ElderCollege receives grant to become an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

5/16/2007 | By: Staff Report  |

ElderCollege, a learning-in-retirement organization sponsored by Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Bernard Osher Foundation to become an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The University's ElderCollege program was founded in 1991 by lifelong learners interested in continuing education beyond retirement. It will become one of 112 Osher institutes established since 2001 at such colleges and universities as University of California Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA, Brandeis University, Duke, Northwestern, Rutgers, Tufts and New York University.
Based in San Francisco, the Osher Foundation has supported higher education and the arts since its founding in 1977 by community leader Bernard Osher. It awards annual operational grants of $100,000 for up to four years to strengthen existing lifelong learning programs on campuses across the country. The foundation also has given endowments of as much as $1 million to several universities demonstrating exceptional success in serving the educational needs of older learners.
"We are excited to have ElderCollege named an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, especially as it recognizes the outstanding programs and successes already achieved by our ElderCollege members," said Fred Holman, the University's vice provost for Extended Studies. "This new OLLI designation allows them to continue their great work while offering even more educational opportunities for seasoned adults as part of an impressive nationwide network of lifelong learning programs."
In preparation for its annual membership drive beginning in Aug. 2007, ElderCollege will change its name to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Nevada, Reno and transform its website to reflect the new name and identity. The member-directed organization will continue its mission to foster leadership, intellectual exploration and personal growth, and the board of directors and member-driven programs will continue uninterrupted under the OLLI designation. 
"The educational courses and events that have been ElderCollege mainstays for many years will continue to be developed and offered by its membership, and housed as always at the University's Nelson Building in downtown Reno," said Shera Alberti-Annunzio, assistant director of professional development programs for the University's Extended Studies. "The OLLI grant will help upgrade classroom technology and equipment, provide additional internet access, enhance an increased membership drive, endow scholarships for memberships, which are currently $45 a year, and allow the board to hire a part-time assistant for administrative support."
A daylong kickoff celebration and membership drive honoring the new Osher designation will be held Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007, at the Warren Nelson Building, 401 West Second St., the University's off-campus ElderCollege/OLLI facility in downtown Reno. The event is free and open to the community. Prior to the annual membership drive in August, a special summer class rate for nonmembers will be $25. 


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