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Press Release for Thursday, February 5, 2009

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Exceeds 1,000 Members

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of North Florida exceeded its 1,000 membership goal, qualifying the Institute to apply for a $1 million endowment from their namesake, the Bernard Osher Foundation. There are approximately 123 OLLI programs nationwide and only a dozen have reached this membership milestone.

OLLI, designed for adults over the age of 50, has been a great success since it was launched in 2006 with only 165 members. Now, the program has more than 1,000 participants who benefit from a variety of courses, activities and lectures, all offered with no homework and no grades.

“To be recognized as one of the fastest growing Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in the United States is truly a remarkable achievement,” said Robert Wood, dean of the Division of Continuing Education at UNF. “It’s really an indication of the need for programs for adults 50 or better in the Greater Jacksonville area.”

OLLI offers courses at UNF’s University Center and other senior centers in the Jacksonville area. Courses range in topics from history, current events, language for travelers and even digital photography and Photoshop. Courses can be as long as 10 weeks or as short as one day, depending on the subject.

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977. It supports the creation of new lifelong learning programs and the strengthening of existing programs at over 100 colleges and universities across the country.

The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through the support of post-secondary scholarships, lifelong learning institutes, integrative medicine programs, as well as arts, culture and educational institutions in San Francisco and Alameda counties in California and Maine.

For more information and a full catalog about OLLI and UNF’s Continuing Education program, visit or call (904) 620-4200.