Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Receives Grant for Third Year

Dec 12, 2019 | College News

Hikers on mountain, OLLI group

The Bernard Osher Foundation in California recently awarded $25,000 to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas to increase activity in fundraising and membership.

“Course fees and membership fees cover about 55 percent of the annual budget,” said OLLI Director Josh Raney. “There are 124 institutes around the country. Grant funds such as these provide opportunities for OLLI to expand its programs in unique ways to reach a broader demographic of lifelong learners in Northwest Arkansas.”

This is the third renewal of the Osher capacity-building grant. The institute received the first grant in 2017, its 10th year at the university. The initial grant was pivotal in the institute experiencing a 10 percent growth in members that year and milestones with regard to fundraising. To receive an opportunity for a fourth-year renewal of the grant, OLLI is striving to grow to 635 members and increase the level of philanthropy by June 30, 2020.

Memberships are annual and provide a variety of benefits such as discounted course fees and tickets to U of A theatre and music performances. To join, new and renewing members can enroll online at the OLLI website or in person at 211 E. Dickson St. in Fayetteville. Gifts can be made online or by cash or check made to OLLI, University of Arkansas with OLLI Giving Fund written on the memo line. For more information about matching gifts or planned gifts, contact Josh Raney, 479-575-3541 or jraney@uark.edu.

OLLI is a volunteer-driven service organization. It provides learning opportunities and social activities to adults. Activities such as hikes, games, classes, field trips, book clubs and more help OLLI’s participants enjoy a happy and productive lifestyle. The Spring 2020 course catalog will be available early next year and published as an insert in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Jan. 19, 2020. Learn more on the OLLI website.

The Bernard Osher Foundation, established in 1977, supports 124 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes on university and college campuses across the country, with at least one grantee in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The foundation also supports a National Resource Center for Osher Institutes which is located at Northwestern University.