Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Expanding

Open house rescheduled to Feb. 14; to feature information, art, music

Thursday, February 06, 2014
The open house will include artwork on the theme of growth, created by several artists who are OLLI members.

The open house will include artwork on the theme of growth, created by several artists who are OLLI members.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas is expanding its programming with classes now being offered at Riordan Hall in Bella Vista.

Susan Tonymon, director of the institute, and Michael Adelman, interim advisory council chair, will announce the details of new collaborative agreements in Benton and Washington counties during an open house Friday, Feb. 14. The public is invited to attend the open house from 2 to 4 p.m. at the institute’s headquarters in the Global Campus facility, 2 E. Center St., Fayetteville.

The open house will emphasize the theme of growing.

“I am asked about reasons the Osher Institute and other lifelong learning programs in our country are growing so rapidly,” Tonymon said. “The fact is our population is aging. More than 12,500 Americans turn 50 every day, according to the U.S. Census. By 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45 percent of the U.S. population, AARP says. We want to be ready to meet the demand for engaging education and cultural programming as more baby boomers retire in our area and seek quality of life activities.”

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a member-driven, nonprofit organization. Its primary goal is to meet the needs of members by providing resources for stimulating, educational programming that is affordable and accessible.

More than 80 non-credit classes are being offered this spring. The organization’s growth is in response to the nearly 600 members of the organization who take classes as well as provide leadership in developing curriculum, Tonymon said.

Membership is open to Northwest Arkansas residents 50 and older.

Artwork on the theme of growth, created by several artists who are OLLI members, will be on display during the open house. Artists include Frank Burgaraff, Charles Robinson, Lavinia Fritz, Diane Zimmerman, and Everett and Pat Balk. Members and guests will also enjoy a performance by Fayetteville professional harpist Brenda Cox, a silent auction, door prizes, refreshments, highlights of upcoming spring 2014 courses and teaching and volunteer opportunities.

Hugh Earnest, chair of the curriculum committee, said developing a wide variety of subjects for the spring 2014 course catalog is important to the volunteer committee.

“OLLI at UA’s spring class offerings encompass 13 broad topic areas like the growth of Rome during the Baroque era to deciphering the dysfunctional world of Congress with a distinguished lecture offered by former U.S. Sen. David Pryor,” Earnest said. “Our goals are to serve the cultural, social and learning interests of members, attract new members to join us this spring, and receive feedback and programming suggestions.” 

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is based in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas. The Bernard Osher Foundation established more than 115 centers at universities across the United States for the purpose of meeting needs of adult learners. The hybrid organizations are comprised of staff and empowered members who provide leadership and guide content. They provide valuable opportunities to adults 50 and over to share intellectual interests, make new friends, explore cultural topics and other thought-provoking subjects, and exchange ideas with peers.  

For more information about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the “Dine and Discover” Series, special interest and study groups, or how to become a member call 479-575-4545, e-mail olli@uark.edu, or visit http://olli.uark.edu.


Susan Tonymon, director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-4545, stonymon@uark.edu

Heidi Stambuck, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, stambuck@uark.edu

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