The 120 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLIs) span all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each is a part of a college or university and is funded in part by The Bernard Osher Foundation. The national Osher Institute network formed progressively over a 15-year period, beginning in 2001. Some lifelong learning programs were preexisting and became Osher Institutes with support from the Osher Foundation; others were initiated with Osher funding like OLLI at URI. The OLLI at the University of Rhode Island is one of the newest OLLIs having been established in 2009.
The national Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network is not a franchise and it is not centralized in operations or governance. Each Institute is unique and operates as an independent initiative of its host institution with offerings tailored to meet the needs and interests of its community.
All Osher Institutes offer a wide variety of intellectually stimulating, university-level, non-credit courses and learning opportunities designed for people “50 and better.” Many offer lectures and educational travel opportunities as well as study groups and events that build a sense of community and camaraderie among their participants. There are no tests and no grades. It is learning solely for the joy of learning.
Participants are known as members and pay a membership fee. Some Osher Institutes have an all-inclusive fee structure, while others charge course and activities fees separately. Fees are determined by each individual program. Institutes are administered by designated professional staff and also offer members significant opportunities for volunteer engagement and leadership.
Osher Institutes fulfill the promise of education in its best sense: To develop the mind and spirit for a lifetime of purpose and human flourishing.
More than 160,000 people nationwide are members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Through satellite and partner locations, the 120 OLLIs offer courses and activities in 379 cities and towns throughout the U.S. Visit the National Resource Center website for a U.S. map of all Osher Institute locations, with links to their individual program websites.
The Foundation also provides support to the National Resource Center (NRC) for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Northwestern University.. Be sure to check out the monthly newsletter available to members on the NRC website.
The Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center at the University of Rhode Island prepares health care and human service professionals, faculty, students, and caregivers to better meet the physical, functional, and psychological needs of older adults.
Malford W. Thewlis, MD, a former resident of Wakefield, RI, was a pioneer in the field of geriatric medicine most widely known for co-founding the American Geriatrics Society in 1942. In honor of Dr. Thewlis, URI established the Malford Thewlis Lecture in Gerontology and Geriatrics in 2006 to goal of to raise awareness, enhance knowledge, and stimulate discussion about issues related to aging, longevity, and health care for older adults.
Gerontology courses at URI are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels in several academic disciplines, including Human Development and Family Studies, Nursing, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Kinesiology, Physical Therapy, Adult Education, Sociology, and Political Science. Continuing Education workshops are also offered for currently practicing health care and human service professionals.
Are you a URI Alumni? Be sure to check out The University of Rhode Island Alumni Association and stay connected to your URI family. OLLI Members are invited to participate in their next special event , a URI Night with the PawSox on Saturday, August 12. The BBQ begins at 4:45pm, and the game starts at 6:15pm. There is an opportunity for a pre game tour beginning at 4:15pm also. More details and registration can be found here.
Stay in touch and learn more about what is happening at URI. From the office of External Relations and Communications.