Why Is Bernard Osher Important? What’s OLLI?

2-Bernard-Barbro-OsherBernard and Barbro Osher run the Bernard Osher Foundation which has funded over 100 Lifelong Learning Institutes across America from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska. Each provides a distinctive array of non-credit courses and activities specifically developed for seasoned adults aged 50 or older who are interested in learning for the joy of learning. (The Academy welcomes all adults and age does not matter)

Although The Academy does not receive Osher funding, we applaud their efforts to encourage people to get together and learn from each other.  Here are their guidelines for organizations that want to become an OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute):

  • The program must offer a diverse and intellectually-stimulating array of non-credit educational offerings, (courses, lectures, and other special events) in a wide variety of academic disciplines; (YES-We have that)
  • Program offerings must be specifically developed for seasoned adults; (YES-We have that)
  • The host institution must demonstrate its strong support of the program and materially contribute to its ongoing development and success. (Of particular concern to the Foundation is the provision of office and classroom space for program operation.); (NO-We don’t have a host institution… and we also do not have the burden of a parent organization)
  • The program must offer opportunities for volunteer leadership, have a sound organizational structure, and have in place a mechanism to evaluate participant satisfaction with educational offerings; (YES-We have that)
  • Program offerings must occur in real-time. (YES-We have that)

THREE CHEERS to Bernard and Barbro Osher for their outstanding support of Lifelong Learning.  To date they have contributed over $700 million to the Osher Foundation