University Receives Grant to Enhance Lifelong Learning Opportunities

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Enhancing its efforts to provide lifelong learning opportunities to the surrounding community, Stony Brook University has received a $1 million endowment grant from The Bernard Osher Foundationin support of programs for seniors at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Stony Brook’s OLLI program is the only such program in the New York City/Long Island area.

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OLLI choral group

Formerly known as “The Round Table,” OLLI at Stony Brook University is organized as a program within the School of Professional Development. It is open to mature adults who are interested in expanding their intellectual horizons in a university setting. The peer-taught workshops, which carry no credits or prerequisites, are designed to offer an informal exchange of ideas among all participants within a framework of accomplishing the workshop objectives.

“This is a wonderful gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation, which breathes new life and energy into the Stony Brook OLLI program, and will do so for many years to come,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “On behalf of all of our current and future OLLI members, I would like to express our deep appreciation to the Osher Foundation for its generosity and vision, which will provide resources, opportunity and encouragement for lifelong learning in an academic environment.”

OLLI membership is open for an annual fee to all retired and semi-retired individuals. The program currently offers more than 100 workshops per semester, and a variety of day-trips to more than 1,000 members. Avenues for participation include workshops, lectures, special events, committees, and social activities. OLLI classes include topics in history, creative arts, science, literature and computer skills; some fall classes include: Intermediate Latin, History of England, Quantum Weirdness, Poetry Out Loud, Senior Legal Matters and Virtual Investing Club.

“Since making an initial grant to the lifelong learning program at Stony Brook University in June 2007,” said Mary Bitterman, president of the Foundation, “we have been impressed by its exceptional progress.  We applaud the collective effort and achievement of its excellent staff and its dynamic community of intellectually vigorous members. We also salute the University’s leadership for its steadfast support of the Osher Institute and for embracing the concept that education is a lifelong pursuit that has the power to forge and enhance our connection to one another and to a larger world.”

For more information go to the Stony Brook University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute website or call 631-632-7063.

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  1. Lifelong learning is of key importance for individuals of all ages and holds an array of benefits for them and society. It promotes their full economic and societal participation, enables them to be better informed and more active citizens, contributes to their personal well being and fulfilment, supports their creativity and innovation, and increases their efficiency as workers or volunteers. Learning is intrinsic and we engage in learning throughout our whole lives

  2. The concept of lifelong learning stresses that learning and education are related to life as a whole – not just to work – and that learning throughout life is a continuum that should run from cradle to grave. This learning does not need to be linked to the attainment of formal qualifications.

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