CSU, Chico News

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Receives $1 Million Grant To Establish Endowment

Date: 10-05-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

The Bernard Osher Foundation has approved a $1 million endowment for California State University, Chico’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

The foundation has also approved a $50,000 bridge grant award to sustain the program until earnings from the endowment are able to support the program in perpetuity. In 2004, CSU, Chico applied for and received a $100,000 Osher grant, which was followed by two $100,000 grants in successive years.

Debra Barger, dean of CSU, Chico’s Center for Regional and Continuing Education, said the University received the endowment by demonstrating that the prospects for the OLLI’s long-term success and sustainability were very good.

OLLI offers adults who are aged 60 and older or are retired an opportunity to take peer-led classes and participate in the University community. The OLLI program currently has 530 active members and features over 30 diverse classes each semester. OLLI has a volunteer board elected by the membership to help guide the institute, which also receives support and in-kind services from Regional and Continuing Education.

“This is fabulous news for CSU, Chico and recognizes the dedicated work of many individuals to support our learning-in-retirement organization,” said Barger. “OLLI Program Coordinator Linda MacMichael and the OLLI Board have worked especially hard to make it a success, and the $1 million endowment will help us continue providing meaningful educational opportunities for older learners in our community.”

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through the support of post-secondary scholarships, lifelong learning institutes and integrative medicine programs. There are 115 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

For more information about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at CSU, Chico, please visit the Web site, http://rce.csuchico.edu/osher/, or call, 530-898-6679.