UNL Osher Lifelong Learning Institute celebrates $1 million endowment

Released on 10/09/2008, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008

WHERE: Nebraska East Union, Arbor and Center Drives, East Camps

Lincoln, Neb., October 9th, 2008 —

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has received a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation. An open house celebration is planned for 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Nebraska East Union. The event is free and open to the public; parking is available in the "A" lot north of the Union.

Lifelong Learning has a 16-year history at UNL, beginning with the Sharing Across Generations for Enrichment program, which was established in 1992. Since 2003, OLLI at UNL has been dedicated to creating lifelong learning opportunities for adults 50 and older. The institute offers a variety of non-credit courses to members year-round, on topics ranging from writing, music, science and history to movies, theater and art. Programs are designed for learning strictly for the joy of learning; participants are not graded and do not earn college credits. The program is part of the UNL College of Education and Human Sciences.

"OLLI at UNL is learning for life," said Dee Aguilar, director of the institute. "We offer intellectual development, cultural stimulation and social interaction. We are a member-driven organization. Our staff works to support and build the program, but the members are the real driving force behind it."

By meeting several criteria set forth by the Bernard Osher Foundation -- including recruiting nearly 700 members -- the institute was successful in its drive toward a $1 million endowment. At the inception of OLLI programs nationwide, grants of approximately $100,000 were made with the understanding that once a lifelong learning institute was launched, the foundation would consider the renewal of the grant for two or more years with a view to providing an endowment gift of no less than $1 million, should the institute demonstrate potential for success and sustainability.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a successful businessman and community leader. The foundation supports a growing national network of lifelong learning institutes for seasoned adults located at 121 colleges and universities from Maine to Hawaii. The foundation also funds integrative medicine centers at Harvard University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as a career development awards program at National Institute of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

For more information, visit http://olli.unl.edu, e-mail olli@unl.edu or call (402) 472-6265.