The 125 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 newer 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 125 OLLIs offer courses and activities in 276 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… Check out their Newsletter!