Seniors in a group fitness class.

OLLI Celebrates 20 Years

For 20 years, OLLI has been a meaningful part of many members of the community’s lives.

12th Annual OLLI Art Show

February 20-26, 2017 Presented by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

In the Duncan Anderson Gallery, CSULB Design Building

Artists Reception on Sunday, February 26 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

For more information visit the show’s website.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Cal State Long Beach has become an integral part of the community that makes up the campus. In October OLLI celebrated its 20th anniversary. It has expanded immensely over the past two decades.

It began in 1996 as Senior University and was renamed OLLI in 2006 after receiving its first $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation. It received its second $1 million endowment from the foundation in 2012, allowing for even more expansion and support of the institute. In addition to the support from the Osher Foundation, OLLI is supported through endowments, membership fees, fundraising and grants. In turn, OLLI supports CSULB students through scholarships to students studying aging.

Bill Fitzpatrick, president of OLLI’s governing board, began his experience with OLLI as a student nearly a decade ago and quickly became a volunteer instructor when he was encouraged to share his passion for Irish History as an official class. Joining the board five years ago was a natural progression.

“OLLI has become a meaningful part of my life,” Fitzpatrick said.

That eagerness to share skills and knowledge is part of the glue that holds OLLI together. Many instructors followed a similar path to Fitzpatrick, starting as students and transitioning to instructors. In addition to volunteers, CSULB graduate students often take the reins in teaching popular art history courses.

“We provide not only educational opportunities but social as well. Often members come to OLLI once they’ve retired or after the loss of a spouse and are looking for community.”

Last year, there were more than 1,700 members taking classes. Classes offered range from computer, physical fitness, acting, foreign languages, financial, writing, archery, photography and many more, with four eight-week sessions each year.

“We provide not only educational opportunities but social as well. Often members come to OLLI once they’ve retired or after the loss of a spouse and are looking for community.” Barbara White, OLLI’s executive director.

In addition to the CSULB campus, a selection of classes are also offered at other community locations, such as Park Pacific Tower downtown, the Alpert Jewish Community Center and Leisure World in Seal Beach.