AARP honors director of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

LAWRENCE — David Wilson, the director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas, was honored for his service to older adults by the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) during one of the organization’s national meetings Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Phoenix.

Wilson was given a crystal memento in recognition of finishing his six-year term as the president of AARP Kansas and his efforts to improve services for seniors overall. The award was presented by Jim Clemmons, AARP regional volunteer director; Rob Romasco, AARP board member and president-elect, and Nancy Stockbridge, AARP South Central regional vice president.
“It was a wonderful event and definitely a surprise,” Wilson said. “It was a delight to be recognized among friends and by such a large and well-respected organization.”

The passion Wilson has shown in his volunteer service at AARP Kansas has carried into his current position of directing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers dozens of short noncredit courses each semester for adults 50 years and older.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, in its seventh year at KU Continuing Education, has been under Wilson’s direction since late 2007. In that time, he has overseen continued program expansion that has increased membership by more than 65 percent.

The program has also increased its educational offerings, expanding its reach to communities throughout Kansas as far away as Liberal, Hugoton and Ulysses, more than 350 miles from KU.

“David Wilson has played a large role in KU Continuing Education’s commitment to serve people throughout the state of Kansas in addition to his dedicated work at AARP Kansas,” said Fred Pawlicki, executive director of KU Continuing Education. “We are proud of David’s recognition and join AARP in congratulating him on his well-deserved award.”

Wilson says that his service with AARP has enhanced his experience directing the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Wilson has been affiliated with AARP Kansas for almost a decade, first as a member of the executive council and now finishing his term as state president. Prior to that, he coordinated independent resident services at Village Shalom (a continuing care retirement community in Overland Park); served as executive director of the Kansas Arts Commission; and was involved with public broadcasting administration for more than 38 years.

AARP, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of more than 40 million people 50 and older through education and advocacy programs. To learn more about AARP, visit To learn more about KU Osher, visit here.