Osher Foundation awards $1 million to OLLI @ Furman

November 17, 2011 | Vince Moore

elderly-people-on-computer
elderly-people-on-computer
elderly-people-on-computer

by Vince Moore, Media Relations Director

The Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco has awarded the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Furman University a $1 million grant in support of the rapidly growing continuing education program.

According to Lucy Woodhouse, director of OLLI @ Furman, the grant will fund an endowment to support the growing OLLI membership and provide opportunities for more program outreach into senior communities throughout the Upstate.

The Institute offers more than 300 courses and events a year to its nearly 1,200 members.  It will also soon have a new home on campus, the 22,000-square-foot Herring Center for Continuing Education.

In making the announcement to a group of OLLI members Thursday, Richard Riley, chair of Furman’s Board of Trustees, read from a letter written by Osher Foundation president Mary Bitterman.

“We applaud your vibrant learning community which reflects your contributions and time, talent and financial resources that your members have made to develop and maintain an outstanding, yet affordable program,” Bitterman wrote.  “Your successful fund raising for the construction of your new home in the Herring Center is a particularly inspiring achievement, and we commend you on setting a very high standard for others in the national network of Osher Institutes.”

Woodhouse said this is the second $1 million gift that the Osher Foundation has given in support of OLLI @ Furman.  The former Furman University Learning in Retirement program was renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Furman in 2008 after it received the first series of grants from the Osher Foundation.

OLLI @ Furman is a member-led, member-run, diverse learning community of senior adults engaged in non-credit educational courses and programs, social opportunities and physical activities that inspire students to stay mentally and physically active in a supportive university environment. Membership and courses are affordable, and scholarships are available.

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The Foundation supports 119 Lifelong Learning Institutes across the country.

For more information, contact Lucy Woodhouse at 864-294-2997 or lucy.woodhouse@furman.edu, or visit the OLLI @Furman website.