California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

Officials Announce Osher Foundation’s $1 Million Endowment to Support Its Lifelong Learning Institute

Published: September 29, 2011

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) President F. King Alexander has announced a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation in support of the campus’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI at CSULB), located in the College of Health and Human Services.

“This endowment is a tribute to our members who volunteer their time to make OLLI at CSULB a dynamic learning environment for mature adults; and to the College of Health and Human Services’ visionary leaders over the past 15 years who have seen value in promoting lifelong learning and in mingling generations on a university campus,” said Barbara White, CSULB faculty member and executive director of OLLI at CSULB.

This is the second endowment received from the Bernard Osher Foundation in support OLLI at CSULB. OLLI was cited by the foundation as an exemplary program because of the quality of its educational opportunities, its robust fundraising plan, and the incorporation of a new “wellness” component—the Center for Active Aging—that provides individualized exercise programs for older adults.

OLLI at CSULB is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the positive aspects of aging through educational, social and personal renewal opportunities for adults 50 and older. Founded in 1996 as “Senior University,” it became OLLI in 2006 with receipt of its first $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation.

OLLI is an organization administered by member volunteers and connected to the university and college through a faculty member serving as the executive director. In addition to the campus location, there are two satellite locations – Leisure World Seal Beach and a classroom on Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach supported by Park Bixby, Inc. Current membership is approximately 1,200.

Non-credit classes are offered in four, eight-week session per year and include the arts, sciences, literature, history, politics, computer classes and physical activity programs. Class leaders include institute members and friends as well as CSULB graduate students and current and retired faculty.

OLLI at CSULB is committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities at reasonable cost. Membership is $40 annually. Lecture classes are $10, and computer classes $35 for each eight-week session. “As the economy improves and endowment income can be accessed, it will help OLLI maintain its reasonable rates while continuing to meet its financial obligations,” White pointed out.

“We are deeply appreciative of the generous gift from the Osher Foundation to support the various programs of our Osher Life Long Learning Institute,” said Ken Millar, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “The College of Health and Human Services’ mission is ‘Connect – Discover – Educate’ and nothing we do embodies that mission better than our Osher Life Long Learning Institute.”