OLLI History

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Emory University (OLLI at Emory) is a community of seasoned adults who wish to stay mentally alert and physically active through classes and social programs that nourish the mind, body, and soul. OLLI at Emory provides educational, cultural, volunteer, and social opportunities designed for individuals 50 years and older, through courses, lectures, seminars, special interest groups, special events, and trips. OLLI at Emory is an academic cooperative of members that provides adults with opportunities for intellectual development, cultural stimulation, and social interaction. The educational programming is centered on courses developed and taught by volunteers who share their time, passion, and knowledge. OLLI at Emory is a member driven, community-based program, housed within Emory Continuing Education.

OLLI at Emory recognizes the unique experiences and capabilities of members by emphasizing and encouraging peer learning, member participation, collaborative leadership, and social interaction. The atmosphere is supportive and filled with humor, wisdom, diversity, and insight.

OLLI at Emory is a membership organization and part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Network. 

Our History

Programs for older adults at Emory started in 1979 as Emory Senior University. Beginning with 33 members and a few classes held in church basements, our program has grown into an important community outreach branch of Emory Continuing Education. The Bernard Osher Foundation, a philanthropic organization headquartered in San Francisco, awarded an endowment to Emory in 2009, thereby creating an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute - Bernard Osher Foundation

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was started in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts.

The Foundation provides post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to reentry students. It also supports a national lifelong learning network for seasoned adults. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of 125 institutions of higher education from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska, have a National Resource Center at Northwestern University. In addition, the Foundation benefits programs in integrative medicine in the United States and Sweden, including centers at the University of California, San Francisco; Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston; the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; Northwestern University; Vanderbilt University; the University of Miami; and the University of Washington. Finally, an array of performing arts organizations, museums, and educational programs in Northern California and in Mr. Osher's native state of Maine receive Foundation grants.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes Program

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes are found on the campuses of 125 colleges and universities 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 Foundation also provides support to the National Resource Center for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Northwestern University.

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