One of the many beneficiaries of the Bernard Osher Foundation is the Osher Life Long Learning Institute at the University of California at Berkeley. This particular "OLLI" has provided me and my wife with classes in diverse and challenging areas of knowledge. These classes are designed for adults over 50 years of age, have no examinations or certificates, and foster the development of a community of peers who share the common experience of the continuing loss of friends and family with advancing age. From enthusiastic students, we have developed into volunteers, committee members, envelope stuffers, teaching assistants, and strongly opinionated quality-control watch dogs. The heart of this program is the talent, dedication, and ability of the instructors. We students make our opinions and preferences known and help to guide the continuing evolution of the program.
I have been involved with the Osher Lifelong Learning Instititute for the past 5 years, 4 years at OLLI@SFSU and 1 year at OLLI@UCBerkeley. I have been both a student and a volunteer. My life has been so enriched, participating in these classes and being a part of a most interesting and engaged group of older learners. The classes are thought provoking, stimulated as much by the class interaction as by the instructor. Such fun to really learn without the pressure of tests and grades.