Osher Lifelong Learning Institute meets ambitious membership goal

Numbers mean institute is eligible for endowment

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. –   The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), part of the West Virginia University Center on Aging, has achieved a premier goal – signing up its 500th member.

Fred Butcher, Ph.D., vice president for planning and operations at the Health Sciences Center, and his wife, Elisabeth, recently became members No. 499 and 500.

“We are so excited that the Butchers have joined OLLI,” said Sherry Kuhl, assistant director for public education and community outreach for the WVU Center on Aging. “Meeting our membership goal of 500 means we are now eligible for a million dollar endowment from the Osher Foundation.”

Started in 2007 at WVU, OLLI is open to anyone age 50 or older regardless of educational background. Most classes are held in OLLI’s Mountaineer Mall classroom. Members can take courses and seminars, go on field trips, volunteer and meet others. Field trips include visits to environmental and historic sites, and classes include study of history, physics and the arts.

“We are happy to see OLLI growing so quickly, which is a testament to its role in providing lifelong learning opportunities and intellectually stimulating classes and discussions,” Kuhl said.  “Much of the credit for its success goes to the volunteers, who work hard and with great energy and commitment.”

If an Osher endowment comes through, payments received would be used to pay the program director’s salary, buy supplies and offset costs such as rent and utilities, Kuhl said.

The institute is run and attended by its members. More than 40 active and retired WVU faculty members support the curriculum. Instructors also include business and union experts, religious leaders and state and local specialists in public programs.

Annual memberships are $65. Dues cover the costs of the courses, office expenses and teaching materials.

For information OLLI see www.olliatwvu.org or call 304-293-1793.


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ab: 11-11-09

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