About the Institute

Never Stop Learning!

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth (Osher at Dartmouth) is a volunteer, non-profit (501c3) organization that provides educational programs year-round. Opportunities include studying timely and provocative subjects by participating in courses, attending lectures, interacting at social events, and more.

Osher at Dartmouth was established by Dartmouth 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 our organization, over 25,700 people have participated in the institute's programs. In 2014, ILEAD formally, became a member of the Osher network of lifelong learning institutes.

Osher at Dartmouth member and Study Leader Hank Buermeyer compiled a history of our program in 2010: "The History of ILEAD: The First Twenty Years, 1990-2010"


To provide outstanding lifelong educational opportunities to those in the greater Upper Valley.


To be recognized as a national leader for excellence in lifelong education.

Core Values

  • An unwavering commitment to lifelong education;
  • Membership open to all, regardless of educational background;
  • A diverse, high quality program, led by dedicated volunteers;
  • A welcoming social environment, within and beyond the classroom;
  • An appropriate fee structure that provides for financial sustainability, member affordability, innovation, and growth;
  • Strong and continuing two-way relationships with Dartmouth College and the Osher Foundation; and
  • Excellence in everything we do. 


Between 25 and 90 courses are offered in each of the three terms: fall, winter, and spring.  In recent years, our 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
  • painted watercolors
  • learned tips about selling on eBay
  • traveled to Botswana, the Basque Country, and Cuba
  • written memoirs and screenplays
  • There is truly something for everyone throughout the year!

Learn more about this term's Courses.


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 Osher at 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.

Learn more about becoming an Osher Member.


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