The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded $1 million to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to endow and support the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the U of I. This is the second $1 million endowment the foundation has given to OLLI, a member-driven program dedicated to the pursuit of lifelong learning.
The Osher LIfelong Learning Institute is located in the Reseach Park, with offices and classrooms at the Atkins Building. OLLI at Illinois began in the fall of 2007 with 11 courses and 297 members. It now has more than 1,000 members and will offer 36 courses in the spring of 2013. In addition to classes, OLLI offers programs and activities that include lectures, study groups, travel opportunities and collaborations with the campus and community
In announcing the gift, Osher Foundation President Mary Bitterman pointed out that the U of I institute has experienced exceptional growth since its inception in 2007. “We recognize that the Institute’s success represents the collective achievements of its excellent staff and dynamic community of intellectually vigorous members who give generously of their time, talent, and financial resources,” Bitterman said. “We applaud the university’s leadership for its steadfast support of the program and for embracing the notion that – at its best – education is a lifelong pursuit that has the power to elevate, delight and forge connections to each other and to a larger world.”