The annual board of directors’ meeting of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arizona was interrupted by the surprise arrival of two UA officials who came bearing a four-foot mockup of a million-dollar endowment check from the Bernard Osher Foundation. The room erupted in cheers, table thumping and happy tears, as many OLLI-UA members have worked almost full-time this past year to meet stringent benchmarks to qualify for the second, final million-dollar endowment. This puts OLLI-UA in the top tier of the 119 OLLIs nationally to qualify for the second million. The UA Foundation administers the endowment and OLLI-UA will receive investment income of about 5% annually to use for operating costs.
OLLI-UA maintains a “cooperative and symbiotic relationship” with the Quail Creek Education Committee and offers stress-free, no-credit, no-tests classes here as well as at Pima Community College and Casa Community Center. For one fee members may take all of the classes they can handle in the fall semester (October through November), spring semester (February through March) and the short session in June. One can join for a semester or for the entire year.
OLLI is a mostly volunteer-run education and social organization for adults 50 and over. There are over 1,200 members on four campuses, all affiliated with the UA. In Green Valley alone, OLLI offered 99 classes this past spring semester to over 500 members, including almost 200 Quail Creek residents. Classes ranged from Wine Making and Tasting, Six Great Operas, Estate Planning, Cuban Medical Care, Big Band Swing Music, Meditation, Courtroom Trial Movies, Great Decisions Foreign Policy Discussions, Canadian Perspectives, Geopolitics and Topics in Water Resources.
According to OLLI-UA Board of Directors President Dr. Jana Eaton of Quail Creek, “Just because most of us are retirees doesn’t mean that our minds have retired. We are a community of continual learners who intensely care about the world in which we live. OLLI-UA will serve mature learners for generations to come thanks to a dedicated volunteer base, UA staff support and the Osher endowments.” For more information about OLLI-UA go to olli.arizona.edu.