Campus: Sonoma State -- January 19, 2007

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute At SSU Receives Second $1 Million Endowment

Sonoma State University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute has been awarded a second $1 million endowment grant from San Francisco's Bernard Osher Foundation.

The OLLI program at SSU is one of only five in Osher's nationwide network of 93 universities in 48 states to receive a second million dollar endowment.

The SSU Osher LLI began in September, 2001 and was formed to provide local residents "50 and better" with the opportunity to return to school and take classes for the joy of learning. The program now regularly serves almost 400 students in each of its fall, winter and spring sessions.

The granting of the endowment was based on the quality of the program, the generous level of local donations, and the number of members enrolled. Earnings from the endowment are an essential component of the program's budget and fund expenses such as pay for instructors and staff and room rentals on campus, says director Lou Miller.

The SSU Osher LLI began in September, 2001 and was formed to provide local residents "50 and better" with the opportunity to return to school and take classes for the joy of learning.

It offers university-level courses that address contemporary issues, investigate developments in science, explore music, literature, art and other topics in the humanities. It received an initial $1 million endowment grant in May 2003.

The Sonoma State Lifelong Learning program was the first outside Bernard Osher's home state of Maine to receive funding. Les Adler, Dean of the School of Extended Education, played a central role in expanding the program throughout the California State University and University of California systems and from there the Osher Foundation spread it across the country.

Contact: Jean Wasp, Media Relations Coordinator, (707) 664-2057


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