Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Established in 2004, OLLI@SCU is one of 119 Institutes across the country, all made possible by generous grants and endowments from the Bernard Osher Foundation; instruction is at the university level—but without tests, grades, or papers! Now in its 12th year, with a membership of more than 1000 for the third year in a row, OLLI@SCU is a thriving community of adult learners. Membership offers an array of options that responds to the myriad interests and needs of our members. There are anywhere from 22-24 long and short courses combined and offered on campus each quarter. “Beyond the Classroom: Destination Learning,” covers the Bay Area and offers classes outside of the campus.
Now in its fifth year, the Distinguished Speaker Series is another learning opportunity. This series enables Osher members to hear about significant issues of the day from knowledgeable and sought out speakers such as San Jose Mercury News columnist, Scott Herhold, and spring 2016 speaker, Jeff Rosen, District Attorney of Santa Clara County, who will address “The Challenge of Law Enforcement in Santa Clara County: Trust is the Game Changer That Brings Justice and Safety.”
You can also “Travel the World with OLLI,” with our Lifelong Learning Through Travel group that offers an exciting combination of discovery, learning, and adventure through small group interaction and educationally focused travel. In 2016 we are looking forward to international trips to Ireland and Sicily, as well as a domestic tour to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. The first trip to be finalized for 2017 is a river cruise on the Danube River, open exclusively to OLLI programs across the country.
Additional offerings include Special Interest Groups or SIGs. A SIG is a group of OLLI members who gather outside of class time to provide learning or recreational opportunity in areas of personal interest. SIGs are a very popular benefit of membership, as they are a great way to make new friends and socialize with members with similar interests. A sampling of our current 13 SIGs includes Appassionati Italiani, Current Events Discussion, Let’s Play Bridge, Mystery Book Club, and Photography.
Of course, all of this would not be possible without our volunteers. From leadership who manage committees and major programming, e.g., Curriculum, Lifelong Learning Through Travel, Social, Membership, Operations and Volunteers, to the classroom hosts, mailing team, event hosts, and committee members—it is truly an engaged and active community.