Lecture Series Overview

Suggest A  Speaker


We hold four lecture series each year. During the fall and spring semesters, lectures are held on Friday afternoons from 1:30-2:30 pm. In January and May, we hold lectures six to eight mornings from 10:00-11:00 am. Lectures are usually held in the Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Room A off the lobby on the first floor. During the Pandemic, lectures are held via Zoom.

In the past 30 years, more than 1200 speakers have given a lecture at OLLI. Topics range from art, music, and literature to public policy, economics, and politics to astrophysics, history, and sports. We strive to present experts on a wide range of issues.

Below is a sampling of lectures offered during 2016-2019.

  • The American Songbook, Donnie McKethan
  • The Changing Face of American Sports, George Solomon
  • A Conversation with Marty Baron, Editor, The Washington Post
  • The Criminalization of Poverty, Peter Edelman
  • The Dreamers' Story, Donald  Graham
  • Life Is Polyrhythmic, Ysaye Barnwell
  • Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House 2016, Allan Lichtman
  • Washington National Opera as Classic, Contemporary, and American, Francesca Zambello
  • Who Gets What: Victim Compensation After Tragedy, Kenneth Feinberg
  • Will There Ever Be Peace in the Middle East?, Elliott Abrams


Each lecture series is announced several weeks ahead of time through our e-newsletter as well as in paper format available in the OLLI Social Spaces or outside the office on the fifth floor.

Due to limited seating, reservations are required to attend lectures. Reservations can be made through the website.

Each registrant may reserve one seat. Your name must be on the list of registrants to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to guarantee your seat. 

Suggest A Speaker

To broaden members' exposure to a wide range of expertise, speakers are drawn from the federal government, universities, arts organizations, media, think tanks, and other institutions in the Washington metropolitan area. The Lecture Committee, made up of 12 to 18 OLLI members, researches and reviews potential speakers. Emphasis is placed on offering a series with a diverse group of speakers and topics.

Study Group Leaders cannot give lectures. Members can register for study groups led by individuals in whom they are interested. Also, since more than 120 individuals serve as Study Group Leaders throughout the year, the lecture schedule cannot possibly accommodate all, or even, most of them. 

To recommend a speaker, please call the office at 202-895-4860 or email olli@american.edu.