About OLLI

About OLLI

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a program of the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. OLLI brings diverse educational and social opportunities to active older adult learners.

Offering short-term educational experiences, and volunteer opportunities for adults 50 and older, OLLI seeks to foster intellectual stimulation, new interests and personal development through academic pursuits, and to provide a community in which to gather.

OLLI at the University of Nevada, Reno is one of 124 Osher Institutes established since 2001 at such colleges and universities as University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles; Brandeis; Duke; Northwestern; Rutgers; Tufts; and Arizona State University.

Osher Foundation

Based in San Francisco, the Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The foundation provides post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, benefits programs in integrative medicine and supports a national lifelong learning network for seasoned adults. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of 124 institutions of higher education, also have a National Resource Center.

Osher Foundation Award

The Bernard Osher Foundation awarded OLLI at the University of Nevada, Reno a second $1 million endowment. Mary Bitterman, president of The Bernard Osher Foundation, said this second endowment was awarded “in recognition of both the ongoing excellence of the Institute’s programming and the unstinting commitment of its members.” It is thanks in great part to the generous support of the foundation — which awarded OLLI the first $1 million endowment gift in 2010 — that our OLLI has grown and thrived in recent years, and moved toward becoming a self-sustaining program. An essential element of earning support from The Bernard Osher Foundation is OLLI’s demonstrated ability to raise funds in order to ensure lifelong learning opportunities are available to generations to come.

Both endowment gifts have been invested in the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation endowment. OLLI does not have $2 million to spend. Rather, the income from this investment is disbursed for OLLI to use each July. The first $1 million endowment has generated about $50,000 each year. The second $1 million generates about the same amount. These funds have allowed us to make many improvements necessary to grow our membership and develop our programs, but to become sustainable we need your added support. Fundraising will help ensure OLLI can continue to grow and improve as a self-sustaining program, developed and supported by and for its members.

OLLI Staff

  • Executive Director
    Kristen Kennedy
  • Administrative Assistants
    Kendell Crosier
    Kari Gannon