$1 million gift funds learning institute for adults at Penn State

May 16, 2012

The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded a second $1 million gift to support the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State

Learning is never-ending, whether it's a work-related program or a personal enrichment activity. More than 73 percent of working adults age 17 and older have participated in informal learning programs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. A second $1 million gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation will enable the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Penn State to expand informal learning opportunities for adults age 50 and older.

"The Osher Foundation's continuing support and OLLI's efforts to increase membership and raise additional funds will ensure the institute's future," said Paula Hogard, director of Penn State Continuing Education, which provides OLLI with office space and classrooms.

OLLI at Penn State is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization whose members plan and present educational and social activities for members. It is one of 117 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at universities and colleges nationwide.

"OLLI members share their passions by teaching a course about what they know or by leading a tour of a cultural site," said OLLI Executive Director Sarah Benton. "OLLI is truly a community asset. It can make members' retirement years fulfilling and full of joy, friendships and fun."

OLLI is affiliated with Penn State Continuing Education, which provides access to Penn State resources for OLLI's learning and social enrichment programs.

Since 2007, the Osher Foundation has awarded more than $2.3 million to OLLI, including $1 million in 2009 to create an OLLI endowment. OLLI members also are raising funds to support the institute through the $100K Club, where members pledge $1,000. There are more than 1,100 OLLI members at University Park campus and at Penn State York. For information, visit the University Park OLLI at http://olli.centreconnect.org/ or the Penn State York OLLI at http://olli.yk.psu.edu online.

Penn State Continuing Education offers a venue for adults to return to the classroom. Continuing Education is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 115 countries worldwide.

  • Bill Russell's wild mushroom class is one of many programs available in Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

    IMAGE: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 01, 2012