Stony Brook University’s OLLI Program Receives $1 Million Endowment Grant From the Osher Foundation

Stony Brook University received a $1 million endowment grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation, extending the University’s ability to offer “Lifelong Learning” opportunities to individuals who are semi-retired or retired and seek to pursue intellectually stimulating programs at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Stony Brook’s OLLI program is the only such program in the New York City/Long Island area.

“Since making an initial grant to the lifelong learning program at Stony Brook University in June 2007,” noted Mary Bitterman, president of the Foundation, “we have been impressed by its exceptional progress. We applaud the collective effort and achievement of its excellent staff and its dynamic community of intellectually vigorous members. We also salute the University’s leadership for its steadfast support of the Osher Institute and for embracing the concept that education is a lifelong pursuit that has the power to forge and enhance our connection to one another and to a larger world.”

Formerly known as “The Round Table,” OLLI at Stony Brook University is organized as a program within the School of Professional Development. It is open to mature adults who are interested in expanding their intellectual horizons in a university setting. The peer-taught workshops, which carry no credits or prerequisites, are designed to offer an informal exchange of ideas among all participants within a framework of accomplishing the workshop objectives.

“This is a wonderful gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation, which breathes new life and energy into the Stony Brook OLLI program, and will do so for many years to come,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “On behalf of all of our current and future OLLI members, I would like to express our deep appreciation to the Osher Foundation for its generosity and vision, which will provide resources, opportunity and encouragement for lifelong learning in an academic environment.”

OLLI membership is open for an annual fee to all retired and semi-retired individuals. The program currently offers more than 100 workshops per semester, and a variety of day-trips to more than 1,000 members. Avenues for participation include workshops, lectures, special events, committees, and social activities. OLLI classes include topics in history, creative arts, science, literature and computer skills; some fall classes include: Intermediate Latin, History of England, Quantum Weirdness, Poetry Out Loud, Senior Legal Matters and Virtual Investing Club.

For more information go to the Stony Brook University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute website or call 631-632-7063.

About The Bernard Osher Foundation

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. Seeking to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts, the Foundation makes grants and endowment gifts to colleges, universities, and other non-profit organizations in four program areas: post-secondary scholarships, lifelong learning institutes for seasoned adults, select integrative medicine programs, and arts and educational organizations.

The Foundation has a nine-member Board of Directors, chaired by Barbro Osher, Honorary Consul General of Sweden in California. It 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 119 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; and Vanderbilt University. 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.