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FAQs


What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Insitute (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 Special Events?
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)?

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is an organization at Bradley University whose members want to stay vital and active as they reach and enjoy retirement.  One way to do that is to keep learning - through OLLI programs.  

Together participants enjoy a diverse collection of year-round programs including non-credit classes, educational travel, study groups, lectures, special events, and movie discussions.

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Who attends OLLI?

OLLI at Bradley has over 1000 Peoria-area members from age 50 to 98 who come from all backgrounds and educational levels.  Together they enjoy the camaraderie of their peers as they participate in the myriad of 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.

Study Groups meet at Bradley and at several satellite locations throughout the community including Bickford of Peoria Senior Living, Humana Guidance Center, Lutheran Hillside Village, UnityPoint Health Methodist North, the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, Peoria Public Library, Proctor Endowment Home, Riverview Senior Living, and United Presbyterian 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 van excursions within the Peoria-area. Longer trips generally utilize charter coach transporation.  

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What are OLLI Classes like?

If you were to design the perfect class, it would probably look like this. 
· You would study only the things that interest you.
· Your teacher would be knowledgeable, engaging, and down-to-earth.
· The class would have no grades or tests.    
· And your classmates would mirror you age and interests.

If you could also meet on a college campus, have a guaranteed parking spot, and enjoy some free time together, you would be in an OLLI Class.

We come to Bradley University three times a year to attend classes on every imaginable topic. Each class is about an hour long, and between classes we take time for conversation, camaraderie - and snacks! In OLLI Classes, learning is fun and good for you!

OLLI classes are offered in the fall, winter, and spring for four days each session.  A typical day begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. with classes changing every hour.  Lunch and snacks are included.

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What happens in OLLI Study Groups?

Maybe you want to drill down or dig into a subject of special interest to you. That’s the focus of OLLI Study Groups where we investigate a topic in depth. These discussion-based classes often include the opportunity for us to make presentations, lead a discussion, or do some reading or work outside the class. In this arrangement, each of us is both a learner and a teacher.

While Bradley University is often our base of operation, we also have several community connections who are opening their doors to OLLI Study Groups. Humana Guidance Center, Lutheran Hillside Village, Methodist North, Peoria Public Library, Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, Proctor Endowment Home, Riverview Retirement Community and United Presbyterian Church are great venues for this friendly give-and-take OLLI program.

OLLI Study Groups generally meet on a weekly basis for up to two hours and may convene for up to eight sessions.

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What are OLLI Learning Trips like?

What could be better than a travel adventure that takes you off-the-beaten-path and behind-the-scenes? Better still - how much more fun would it be if someone else made all the arrangements for you?

Now you have a sense of what it’s like to join an OLLI Learning Trip. We like to travel, but our purpose is to investigate and explore our destinations. So you can expect that a local expert will be on the trip, or at the site, who can explain the significance of what we see and do. On the road, we have fun too whether it’s a scenic pull-off, snack stop, or movie on the bus. Our goal is to provide a door-to-door experience in travel learning.

All Learning Trips include transportation and tour guides with most fees included.  Local trips utilize the comfortable OLLI Shuttle bus.  Charter coaches are generally used for regional and multi-state trips.  In all cases, reserved parking is available for your car while you travel.

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What are OLLI Lectures?

Occasionally events pop up that we’d like to enjoy with our OLLI friends. And so we take advantage of opportunities to attend a workshop, enjoy a special meal, appreciate a memorable performance, or hear a good presentation. These occasions are a night out or a day enjoyed - another opportunity for us to gather and learn. 

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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 at Bradley University. Email Emily Skocaj, or call (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 is the third Illinois campus to be selected for the OLLI distinction and is the second Illinois campus to become endowed by The Bernard Osher Foundation.

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How is OLLI organized?


OLLI programs originate in committees of OLLI volunteers who solicit ideas from the membership. An executive board of OLLI members provides advice in creating OLLI programs and governing the organization. Most OLLI programs are led or taught by volunteers.

Bradley University Continuing Education sponsors the OLLI program and provides staff for program leadership and oversight.

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 Cinema - Free

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

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