Going further

OLLI members tour downtown Chicago on Segways.

Additional images

April 21, 2010

When do you stop learning?

Ask that question of any of the 750-plus members of the Bradley University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and you’ll hear a resounding, “Never!”

So this week’s announcement that San Francisco-based The Bernard Osher Foundation awarded Bradley University a $1 million endowment to continue lifelong learning at Bradley is affirming news for those who believe learning is a never-ending process. Bradley is one of just a handful of institutions across the country to receive such a grant from the Osher Foundation.

“The progress the Institute has made since receiving its initial support from the Foundation…has been outstanding, and we congratulate you…on your remarkable achievements,” said Osher Foundation President Mary Bitterman.

The endowment funds will be invested by Bradley University with the resulting interest being used to partially fund salaries and other costs to support OLLI. This gift will enable Bradley to direct resources to increase programs and services for new and existing OLLI members.

With this achievement, OLLI at Bradley now embarks on a new quest to grow its membership and expand its programming.  Significant is that this growth will be influenced by the members who work hand-in-hand with the OLLI staff to guide the program. 

Bradley University President Joanne Glasser considers OLLI a great attribute Bradley offers the central Illinois community.  “This gift is recognition of the great value OLLI brings to our community and our campus.  It is my hope that OLLI members will forever consider Bradley your educational home.”

With the $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation, OLLI at Bradley is now nationally recognized as a program of distinction for learners age 50 and beyond. 

The grant was announced Wednesday at a luncheon on Bradley’s campus before more than 100 Olli members.

OLLI at BU is an organization that specializes in the learning found in three settings—classes on campus led by university and community volunteers, educational travel throughout the state and country hosted by behind-the-scenes experts, and study groups where members are both resources and participants.  The result is a vibrant community of learners who are continuing their education well into their post-career lives.

Bradley University Continuing Education, in affiliation with the The Bernard Osher Foundation and the Elderhostel Institute Network, sponsor the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University.