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FAQs


What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Bradley University?

Who attends OLLI?
Where is OLLI held?
What are OLLI Classes like?
What happens in OLLI Study Groups?
What are OLLI Learning Trips like?
What are OLLI Lectures?
What is the OLLI Cinema program?
How do I become an OLLI member?
How do I give someone an OLLI membership?
What can you tell me about the Bernard Osher Foundation and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes?
How is OLLI organized?
What about accessibility and parking?
What are the fees for OLLI programs?


What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Bradley University?

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is an organization at Bradley University whose members, age 50 and older, want to keep learning and stay active as they reach and enjoy retirement.  One way to do that is to keep learning, and OLLI offers them many options.  

Participants enjoy a diverse collection of year-round programs including non-credit classes, educational travel, study groups, lectures, and cinema events.  The only pre-requisite is that you enjoy learning!  

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Who attends OLLI?

OLLI at Bradley has over 1000 Peoria-area members from age 50 to 98 who are enjoying the best of life-after-50 as they participate in educational events designed just for them.  The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of OLLI only adds to their experiences.  It's learning their way!

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Where is OLLI held?

Bradley University is the central meeting place for OLLI Classes with sessions in the Michel Student Center, the Cullom-Davis Library, and Westlake Hall.  Parking is never a problem with shuttles providing door-to-door service between designated parking lots and Bradley's campus. 

Study Groups meet at Bradley as well as several satellite locations throughout the community including Bickford of Peoria Senior Living, Humana Guidance Center, Lutheran Hillside Village, the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, Trinity Lutheran Church, United Presbyterian Church, UnityPoint Health Methodist North, and Universalist Unitarian Church.

Learning Trips are conducted primarily within the community and region though some trips include multi-state and international destinations.  Local trips are generally half-day excursions using the comfortable easy-access OLLI shuttles.  Longer land-based trips generally utilize charter coaches.

Lectures are usually held on the Bradley University campus, either in the Michel Student Center Marty Theatre or the Ballrooms.  Lectures may also be held in Bradley Hall, Westlake Hall, or occasionally other buildings on campus.

Cinema events meet at different locations depending on the program.  Many of the events are held in the Michel Student Center Marty Theatre.  There are also events meeting off campus within the community and the surrounding area. 

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What are OLLI Classes like?

If you think OLLI Classes are like traditional school, you'll be surprised to learn that we take a different approach.  Imagine learning only about the topics you choose, taught by engaging instructors, on a college campus, with people your age, and no tests or grades.  Add time for socializing, and you have a sense of what we do.  It's learning - our way! 

OLLI classes are offered on Wednesdays in April and October, and on four consecutive days the second week of January.  A typical day lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with several breaks (and snacks!) throughout the day.

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What happens in OLLI Study Groups?

If you're like many OLLI members, you want to learn more about the things that interest you.  That's what Study Groups offer - the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth with like-minded peers.  You may work independently outside the group; you may lead the group; or anything in between.  Study Groups are your connection to studying what you most enjoy with people who share your enthusiasm.  

Study Groups meet at Bradley as well as several satellite locations throughout the community including Bickford of Peoria Senior Living, Humana Guidance Center, Lutheran Hillside Village, the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, Trinity Lutheran Church, United Presbyterian Church, UnityPoint Health Methodist North, and Universalist Unitarian Church.

OLLI Study Groups meet throughout the year convening weekly for two hours and continuing for up to eight sessions.  

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What are OLLI Learning Trips like?

Learning Trips are educational travel experiences that encourage you to interact with experts who offer behind-the-scenes looks at area businesses, regional attractions, and international destinations.  On OLLI trips, you get to investigate and explore with your peers while receiving top-notch customer service - all travel arrangements are developed by the staff, so that you can focus on learning and fun.  

Learning Trips travel year round and utilize our comfortable easy-access OLLI shuttles.  Longer land excursions travel by charter coach.

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What are OLLI Lectures?

Lectures offer you another opportunity to gather and learn in the evening and on weekends.  Listen to engaging and passionate speakers who come to Bradley to share their stories and expand your world view through their experiences.   

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What is the OLLI Cinema program?

We have several options for movie buffs.  On select afternoons and evenings OLLI invites you to Bradley for Free Flicks, a program that explores the issues and ideas found in films.  Afterwards, a moderator guides a lively discussion that allows you to share, or hear, a viewpoint - and reflect.

Cinema Conversations takes movie-viewing to another level by offering multiple sessions to really tackle a film and the readings related to it.  View the motion picture at Bradley during the first session, then return in subsequent weeks to talk about the major themes and messages of the movie and readings.

Dinner and a Movie combines the screening of a film and the conversation that follows and takes it "on the road," where you can visit a theatre, share a meal with your peers, and enjoy a unique evening of cinema learning.   

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How do I become an OLLI member?

Please contact:
Michelle Riggio
Continuing Education
Bradley University
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
phone: (309) 677-3900
e-mail: mriggio@bradley.edu

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How do I give someone an OLLI membership?

Give the gift of lifelong learning! OLLI gift certificates can be purchased in Continuing Education by calling (309) 677-3900.

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What can you tell me about the Bernard Osher Foundation and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute?

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a patron of education and the arts known as “the quiet philanthropist.” Osher is a respected businessman and community leader whose namesake Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life through support for higher education and the arts.

One of the many programs of The Foundation is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI programs are found on the campuses of over 100 universities in the U.S. including two Illinois campuses at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Bradley University is the third Illinois campus to be selected as an OLLI site and is the second Illinois campus to become endowed by The Bernard Osher Foundation.  Through two separate $1 million gifts from the Foundation, OLLI at Bradley is recognized as an Osher program of distinction.

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How is OLLI organized?

Bradley University is the home of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  Bradley recognizes the importance of its OLLI as a standard of excellence in lifelong learning.  Bradly also generously supports OLLI through its provision of staff, meeting space, and services for OLLI.  Bradley University Continuing Education sponsors the OLLI program and provides staff for program leadership and oversight. 

OLLI is a member-driven organization that is guided by dedicated individuals who are passionate about their vision of OLLI at Bradley University.  The volunteers serve the organization through its many committees where program ideas originate.  This grassroots approach makes everyone a stakeholder in the process and the results. 

OLLI at Bradley University is an endowed program of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and is an affiliate of the Elderhostel Institute Network.

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What About Accessibility and Parking?

Most OLLI events are handicapped accessible, and assistive listening devices are available.
Parking is reserved for OLLI Classes and Learning Trips and is usually plentiful for other OLLI events.

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What are the fees for OLLI programs?

OLLI has a combination of free and fee experiences.  Below are your options.
OLLI Classes - $95 per term
OLLI Learning Trips - Fees vary depending on the destination and related travel costs 
OLLI Lectures - Free
OLLI Study Groups - Fees vary with most Study Groups costing $45
OLLI Free Flicks - Free
OLLI Cinema Conversations/Dinner and a Movie - Fees vary depending on the venue

Please contact us if you would like to confirm the fee for a specific event.

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