This month, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) celebrates 25 years of serving older adults. The Cal State Long Beach program provides educational opportunities, fitness classes and social opportunities to people ages 50 and up.
“OLLI offers retired people a community of like-minded individuals, people who are retired but who are still interested in learning, in growing and being engaged in the world,” said Carolyn Estrada, who got involved in OLLI in 2009 on the advice of her retired sister.
A small group of active seniors began what was then called Senior University in 1996 with the support of the College of Health and Human Services. Approximately 118 students attended the first class. In 2006 the name changed to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in recognition of the generous support provided by the Bernard Osher Foundation. In recent years, attendance has soared to 2000 attendees.
“Members often tell us, OLLI saves them from isolation and depression,” said Dr. Barbara White, OLLI executive director and faculty emerita from the School of Nursing. “We also hope we are a positive example of lifelong learning and active and healthy aging to our campus community.”
Membership fees at OLLI are $40 for a full academic year or $15 per class. Members can register for any of the 50 to75 classes during each 8-week session. This includes lectures on technology, health and wellness, arts, crafts, and music classes, both on campus and at community venues. OLLI encourages social and intergenerational connections, and participation in campus life. With a university identification card, members can use the university library and receive other CSULB student discounts.
Registration for Spring 2022 classes begins on March 7 for classes beginning April 4. Additional assistance is available by calling 562-985-2398, or by email at [email protected].
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes operate on the campuses of 125 institutions of higher education from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska.