The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC San Diego will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Wednesday, April 30, from 4 pm to 7 pm, with a by-invitation gala for members and guests.
Expected to attract more than 200 OLLI members, along with instructors and prominent supporters, the 40th anniversary event will be held in the Great Hall at UC San Diego’s International Center.
“This is a milestone that deserves to be recognized beyond our doors,” said President Jim Wyrtzen. “We’ve never been more proud of the high level of intellectually stimulating programs, topics and events we provide for our members.”
Mary Walshok, Associate Vice Chancellor of Public Programs, and Dean of UC San Diego Extension will offer welcoming remarks. Walshok was among the university’s leaders who helped establish a campus-sanctioned learning center for retirees and semi-retirees over age 50, an on-going mission that still prevails.
Keynote speaker will be Mary Bitterman, president of The Bernard Osher Foundation. Mr. Osher, the San Francisco-based philanthropist who has supported the 117 campus-based learning institutes around the country that bear his name, is also expected to attend the 40th anniversary event.
Originally founded in 1974 as the Institute for Retired Professionals, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego had modest beginnings, with a handful of classes held at various on-campus locations, off-campus sites and in members’ homes. A year later, with membership at around 50, the name was changed to the Institute for Continued Learning.
The campus’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute took its current name in 2006, when Mr. Osher added UC San Diego to a growing list of universities to which he had committed financial support for higher education, with an emphasis on the arts.
Following an initial $350,000 gift, The Bernard Osher Foundation has established a sustaining $1 million endowment at UC San Diego. Other local OLLI programs include San Diego State University and Cal State University, San Marcos.
Directed by more than 700 members, UC San Diego’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offers 32-40 classes each quarter. Subjects include archaeology, science, live musical performances, literature, current affairs, politics, French language classes, along with master classes and lectures presented by UC San Diego faculty members.