OLLI-USF Virtual Courses

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USF courses in partnership with the History Center


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at USF (OLLI-USF) is a member-based learning community for adults age 50+. It offers classes, workshops, lectures, events, and social networking. OLLI provides high-quality, low-cost learning opportunities for seasoned adults across West Central Florida.


Registration is Open

This spring the History Center will offer three OLLI-USF virtual courses, listed below. Course registration is conducted through the USF OLLI website. History Center members can have their OLLI-USF member fee (not the course fee) waived by calling Charisse Dixon at (813) 974-5848.


Tampa Grows: Annexing Its Way North

Carl L. Zielonka, DDS, and Sharon Gaskin lead this two-part virtual OLLI-USF course from 10 a.m. to noon on Jan. 17 and 24.

Starting with its first suburb, Tampa Heights, Tampa grew north by annexing neighborhoods like Seminole Heights, Sulphur Springs, Belmont Heights, College Hill, and others. We will look at these communities closely and take a deeper dive into Temple Terrace, another beautiful and historic neighborhood. What better way to understand Tampa’s history than through its neighborhood history?

The Seminole Tribe of Florida

This three-part OLLI-USF course is meeting virtually from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 1 and 15 and hosting a group tour of the Tampa Bay History Center’s Seminole and Miccosukee Gallery and Coacoochee’s Story Theater from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 8 with Nancy Dalence, Director of Education at the History Center. After the group tour, there is an optional group lunch at Columbia Cafe.

Trace the modern history of the Creek Indians, later known as the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and their migration to and development on the Florida peninsula. We will cover the fascinating traditions, culture, and evolution of these unconquered and proud people. You will learn about the Seminoles’ relationships with the U.S. government; culture, traditions, and recreation; connection to Black Seminoles; the Seminole Wars – from their perspective; life in the Everglades; economic progress; relationship to FSU, smoke shops, bingo, and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinos.

Key West: Small but Significant

This three-part OLLI-USF course is meeting virtually from 10 a.m. to noon on April 5, 12, and 19, with instructors Rodney Kite-Powell, Director of the Touchton Map Library at the Tampa Bay History Center, and Cori Convertito, Ph.D., Curator and Collections Manager for the Key West Art and Historical Society.

Just four miles long and one mile across, Key West has played an important role in Florida’s history. Through photographs, maps, and stories, we will explore Key West’s connections to the Calusa Indians and the Cubans, from cigars to the Conch Republic. Learn from Tampa Bay History Center instructors about the Key West lighthouse, Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railroad, and the early cigar industry. And we won’t leave out the notable personalities – Zachary Taylor, Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemmingway, and Harry Truman.