OLLI members often comment on the welcoming environment and friendly atmosphere they encounter at our classes, study groups, learning trips and original events. Our members and volunteers are the creative lifeblood in every aspect of our program. In fact, more than 400 volunteers each year collaborate to create these fantastic offerings.

Are you passionate about a subject or hobby?  Share your knowledge by teaching a class or facilitating a study group. Is there a business in the area you’ve always wanted to see, but could never get in the doors? Attend a learning trip committee meeting and share the idea. Are you looking for a way to connect with members on an ongoing basis? OLLI has committees and activities that match any interest. 

Who Volunteers at OLLI?

Everyone! OLLI is a member-driven organization guided by dedicated individuals who are passionate about their vision of our lifelong learning community. The ratio of volunteers to our membership is around 40% each year, and they contribute to the vibrant energy that permeates our program. You don’t need any prior experience or expertise. Everyone has the talent to help OLLI in some capacity.

Why Volunteer at OLLI?

The top member expectations of OLLI are opportunities for socialization and a sense of belonging, a wide variety of high-quality experiences, the inviting and helpful nature of volunteers and staff, and an outlet to feel relevant and keep growing intellectually. OLLI volunteers make these expectations a reality. We would love your help keeping our members connected, having fun and staying involved!

What Do Volunteers Do at OLLI?

Everything! Over 400 volunteers each year work with Continuing Education staff to make OLLI come to life. We have a wide range of opportunities for interested volunteers. If you’d like to help, take a look below at what we have to offer. You are welcome to volunteer at any time. Send us an email at olli@bradley.edu (or call our office at 309-677-3900) and we’ll get you started. We look forward to having you share your time and passions with us!


  • Curriculum Committee (spring and fall) –meets three times in May to plan fall classes and three times in November to plan spring classes. Volunteers contribute ideas for classes and potential instructors.
  • Curriculum Committee (winter) - this committee meets three times in August to plan winter classes. Volunteers contribute ideas for classes and potential instructors.
  • Luncheon Coordinators - work with staff to selects the menus for the fall and spring session kick-off luncheons and are responsible for centerpieces on the luncheon tables.
  • Parking Coordinators - facilitate park-and-ride service during the spring and fall sessions of OLLI and registration social classes by distributing signs, directing parking, facilitating the loading of buses and reporting any parking concerns to staff.
  • Class Hosts Coordinator - works with staff to obtain current lists of registrants for each class and contacts class members to secure one member to serve as class host. 
  • Class Host - coordinates the OLLI classroom by introducing the class instructor(s), distributing handouts and providing assistance to the instructor, The class host also distributes and collects class evaluations, distributes thank-you notes, gifts and/or gift certificates, and reports any class concerns to the staff.
  • Art Exhibit Coordinators – schedule four artists to exhibit during each week of spring and fall classes. Staff will provide a list of potential artists from ideas submitted throughout the year by members and volunteers. The art exhibit coordinator will then review the list, determine a good mix  of potential artists and invite four of them — one per class day — to display their work. The coordinators will also organize setting up and taking down the show with the staff.

Study Groups

  • Study Group Committee – meets in January, May, August and November (two meetings each cycle) to plan groups for every season. Volunteers contribute ideas for groups, potential facilitators and possible sites for group meetings.
  • Study Group Hosts Coordinator - works with the staff, obtains current lists of registrants for each group and contacts group members to secure one member to serve as the Group Host. 
  • Study Group Host - coordinates the session by introducing the facilitator(s), distributing handouts and assisting the facilitator. The study group host also  distributes and collects evaluations, distributes thank-you notes, gifts and/or gift certificates, and reports any concerns to the staff.

Learning Trips

  • Learning Trip Committee - meets once in January, April, July and September to contribute ideas for trips and original events. Volunteers often bring newspaper, magazine and online clippings for reference in the planning process.

Membership Development

  • Membership Development Committee – meets once in July, October, January and April to develop outreach, orientation and retention ideas for OLLI members.

All coordinators are free to assemble their own committees and/or recruit friends in order to accomplish the duties described here.