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Osher at Dartmouth
7 Lebanon Street, Suite 107
Hanover, NH 03755-2112
Phone: (603) 646-0154
Fax: (603) 646-0138
Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday
8:30 - 4:30 PM
8:30 - 1:00 PM

Sylvia Paxton, President
Sylvia Paxton, President

An Idea of Continued Learning

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth (OSHER@Dartmouth) is a volunteer organization that provides lifelong educational programs year-round for residents in the greater Upper Valley.

Our program offers opportunities to study timely and provocative subjects by participating in courses, attending lectures, interacting at social events, taking part in group journeys, and more.

The Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at Dartmouth (Osher@Dartmouth) was established by the College as the Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth (ILEAD) in November 1990 by 38 members of the Upper Valley intrigued with the “idea of continued learning." The founders relished the challenge of their own self-administered and peer-taught discussion programs. By 2010, the 20th anniversary of Osher@Dartmouth, over 25,700 people have participated in the institutes programs. In 2014, ILEAD formally, became a member of the Osher network of lifelong learning institutes. It is based on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

Osher@Dartmouth member Hank Buermeyer, who has served on several committees and spent several terms as a study leader, compiled a history of our program in 2010: Click here to read "The History of ILEAD: The First Twenty Years, 1990-2010"


Our program is open to everyone; aside from our annual membership fee, there are no enrollment criteria or educational prerequisites. Members may enroll in any the Osher@Dartmouth course they wish, and will receive first notice of upcoming lectures and events. Membership will often qualify you for a special discounted price on many of our special trips and workshops.


Between 25 and 85 courses are offered in each of the four terms: fall, winter, spring, and summer. The majority of classes meet one day per week for two hours. Full-length courses are five to eight weeks and mini courses are two to four weeks. Classes vary in size from 8 to 25 participants. Lecture-style and movie classes vary in size from 30 to 80 participants. The type of class usually depends on the subject under study and the study leader's own vision of that subject. Group discussions allow class members to explore new subjects and make new friends. Hands-on activities and excursions outside the classroom might excite new interests and broaden your view of the world.

Placement in a course is on a first-come first-served basis. Group discussions allow participating class members to explore new subjects, nurture new interests, and make new friends. Members can also become Study Leaders in courses of their own design.

In recent years, Osher@Dartmouth participants have had backstage access to the production of local theater; engaged in conversations with several prominent politicians; learned the best tips and techniques for solving crossword puzzles, painting watercolors, and selling on eBay; traveled to Botswana, the Basque Country, and Cuba; and written memoirs and screenplays. There is truly something for everyone throughout the year!

When you take classes at OSHER@Dartmouth, you gain opportunities to:

  • Explore new subjects
  • Meet new people
  • Enjoy diverse class styles that incorporate lecture, discussion, hands-on activity, and film presentations
  • Access to Dartmouth's renowned library system (effective with enrollment in a course)

Study Leaders and Volunteers

Our Study Leaders come from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions. We've enjoyed classes taught by seasoned professors from the Dartmouth campus, as well as visiting experts in art, literature, politics, and science. These wonderful volunteers contribute their time and expertise free of charge!

Osher@Dartmouth members can also become Study Leaders in courses of their own design. If you have passion for any topic, our Study Leader mentors will help guide you through the process of creating a course proposal and bringing it to life during one of our three terms.

Study Groups vary in size from eight to twenty-five participants.  Lecture-style and movie Study Groups vary in size from thirty to eight participants.  Study groups traditionally meet once every week for two hours at the D.O.C. House on the Dartmouth College campus or other local facilities, including Kendal at Hanover, Lebanon College, Hanover Senior and Community Center, and many more.

Being an OSHER@Dartmouth Member offers so many opportunities...

  • The chance to meet new friends and share common experiences
  • Regular Study Travel opportunities, both abroad and in the U.S.
  • Tech assistance at one of our "Tech Cafes"
  • Special lectures by experts in their field
  • Membership in Osher@Dartmouth allows you to become a part of the Dartmouth community
  • Access to all Dartmouth College Libraries when enrolled in a class

Leadership Officers

  • Sylvia Sands Paxton, President
  • John Sanders, President-Elect
  • Iain Sim, Treasurer
  • Martha Clark, Secretary


Leadership Council Members

Many the members contribute to our organization by actively participating on committees like our Leadership Council. The Osher@Dartmouth Leadership Council provides guidance to all other committees within the organization. This year's members include:

  • Martha Clark, Secretary
  • Susan Cohen, Volunteer Services
  • John Ferries, Co-Chair Summer Lecture Series
  • Mike Galbraith, At Large Member
  • Maynard Goldman, At Large Member
  • Sandra Hoeh, Chair of Curriculum
  • Sandra Johnson, At Large Member
  • Barbara Jones, At Large Member
  • Deborah Luquer, At Large Member
  • Sylvia Paxton, President
  • John Sanders, President-Elect
  • Bill Secord, At Large Member
  • Iain Sim, Treasurer
  • Skip Sturman, Chair of Planning
  • Steve Tofel, Chair of Marketing & Communications
  • Mary Ella Zietz, Dartmouth Provost Office Liaison


For more information on our programs and committee activities, click on the folders below!

About Our Program - Key Documents About Our Program - Key Documents

Administration Administration

Annual Reports Annual Reports

Curriculum Committee Curriculum Committee

Finance Committee Finance Committee

Google Drive Information Google Drive Information

Leadership Council Leadership Council

Marketing & Communications Committee Marketing & Communications Committee

Member Services Committee Member Services Committee

Photos & Images Photos & Images

Planning Committee Planning Committee

Study Leader Support (Sub-committee of Curriculum) Study Leader Support (Sub-committee of Curriculum)

Study/Travel Committee Study/Travel Committee

Summer Program Summer Program

Last Updated: 8/9/16