Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Announces Linda Kehres as Director
LAWRENCE, Kansas (Aug. 15, 2019) — The University of Kansas Professional & Continuing Education has announced that Linda Kehres will serve as the new director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at KU. Kehres comes to KU after four years as the executive director of Let’s Help, a Topeka-based not-for-profit organization. Under Kehres’ leadership, the agency was recognized as Topeka’s Nonprofit of Distinction.
“It was clear to us in a very short period of time that Linda’s knowledge, leadership, experience, energy and compassion are a perfect fit for our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute,” said Sharon Graham, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Professional & Continuing Education.
Kehres succeeds Jim Peters, who will retire Sept. 30 after nearly eight years as director of the Osher Institute. “I’m certain Linda will bring fresh ideas and renewed energy to the Osher Institute,” said Peters. “And her commitment to enriching lives will find a welcoming home here.”
“The program has grown significantly since its early days in the 1990s as KU For Lawrence,” added Graham. “I’m very proud of the work that Jim has done, and am excited for the future of the program under Linda’s leadership. We’re fortunate to have loyal instructors, volunteers and donors who have enabled us get to where we are now – celebrating 15 years of the Osher Institute.”
KU’s Osher Institute was established in 2004, and provides intellectually engaging and enriching non-credit classes and events to diverse communities of lifelong learners, with a focus on participants age 50 and older. KU’s institute is one of 120 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the United States, and offers classes at 42 venues across Northeast Kansas and the greater Kansas City area, including Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, Leavenworth and Johnson County.
Kehres, a native of Olpe, Kan., earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emporia State University and an MBA from Baker University. She previously served as associate director of programs for Communities in Schools and as development director for Big Brothers Big Sisters. In 2017, Kehres received the Go Topeka Women of Influence Recognition and Rising Star Award. She is also a graduate of Leadership Kansas, a program focused on educating and motivating social, business and political leaders across the state.
“It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to join this premier program providing educational enrichment opportunities to seniors,” Kehres said. “Lifelong learning is a passion of mine and it’s exciting to do what you love every day in service to others. I am thrilled to be part of the KU family and look forward to collaborating with others to enrich the lives of seniors.
The Osher Institute and KU Professional & Continuing Education will hold an event Oct. 18 to welcome Kehres, recognize Peters and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the KU Osher Institute. The “Farewelcome” reception will be held at the Lied Center Pavilion. Learn more about the event and Osher Institute at osher.ku.edu.
About KU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Part of KU Professional & Continuing Education, KU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, with its network of more than 120 instructors, provides members with a wide-range of noncredit enrichment courses, covering history, literature, art, music, religion and more without the pressure of exams or homework. The Institute delivers accessible, innovative learning environments to participants 50 years and older, at 29 sites in 16 cities across Kansas and Greater Kansas City.