Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

Here, members can discuss what they learned, what they enjoyed, and offer suggestions to enhance future program offerings.

Take a look at the photos we're taking, and the discussions we're having as OLLI members.

Whether we're in class, in town, or out of town ... we're on the go, having fun, and constantly learning.

We look forward to reading your comments!

While you're online, be sure to visit our website www.bradley.edu/continue/olli to register for our programs.

Don't forget -- OLLI has its own YouTube Channel, where you can see video clips of Learning Trips, Classes, and Study Groups!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Post Deux from France

Our OLLI group of 20 has enjoyed a fabulous time in Lyon, France. we started Thursday with a lecture from a local guide about the history and culture of this ancient city, that dates back to Roman times. We then used the Metro (below ground train) and tramway (above ground trolley) to see different parts of the "old city." OLLI members quickly became comfortable using these forms of transportation, as well as pedi-cabs which several a participants tried. We stopped at the Bartholdi fountain in Place des Terraux near the Musee des Beaux Arts and the extravagantly decorated Lyon city hall.

We climbed the Medieval cobblestone streets of the old city, where we saw charming courtyards and homes and the famous "traboules," stone passageways used primarily by the silk merchants and later by WW II existence fighters. We rode a "funicular," a tram that goes up the hill Fourviere to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, an amazing example of sacred architecture with beautiful mosaics [photo attached]. At the top, we had an amazing view of the city [photo attached] and another delicious lunch, including a traditional French dish, pommes au gratin Dauphinoise. We all loved this creamy, garlicky dish. We had the rest of the day to explore the city, with some taking a well-earned nap and others returning to visit the old city, the Cathedrale de St-Jean, built between the 12th and 15th centuries., and the Musee de Cinema et Miniature, where we saw Harry Potter's wand (be still my heart) and the creature from "Alien," quite frightening up close.

On Thursday we joined our British guide James in celebrating Scotland's vote to stay part of the United Kingdom and then took public transportation to Les Halle's de Lyon Paul Bocuse, the luxurious food indoor food market named for Lyon's famous chef. We enjoyed a tasting lunch featuring choices of fish soup, blood sausage, leg of lamb, or pork intestines made into sausage. Some of us were very happy when dessert arrived and was delicious. We spent the afternoon at the Musee des Beaux Arts and visiting a silk screening studio.

OLLI's 20th Fall Kick-Off Luncheon - September 17, 2014

On Wednesday, September 17, more than 350 OLLI members, volunteers, and instructors gathered at Bradley University to celebrate the kick-off of another academic year.

A volunteer committee decorated the room in a back-to-school theme, complete with books, apples, and individual cupcakes to honor OLLI's 20th birthday. Guests were welcomed by OLLI Vice President Mary Ellen Krum, who encouraged everyone to keep humor in their lives as they continue their lifelong learning goals. Bradley University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. David Glassman, officially welcomed OLLI back to campus. "We believe in OLLI," he said, noting that both he and Bradley University President Joanne Glasser are proud to have OLLI as part of the Bradley family.

Next, Continuing Education Assistant Director Michelle Riggio announced some good news: overall membership for OLLI had reached 1,098 individuals in the past academic year, representing a 7% increase over the past year. She also formally introduced new Program Coordinator Bryan Blanks to the audience, noting his first day on the job will be September 22.

After dining on a delicious meal of prime rib, participants were treated to a keynote presentation by Dr. Michael Wiant, Museum Director at the Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds. Dr. Wiant discussed the importance of gathering and how it impacts lifelong learning.

OLLI wishes to thank all of those who came to campus yesterday to celebrate the kick-off of our year!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Janet Lange Provides Update on OLLI Members in France!

Bonjour from France, where 20 OLLI members are visiting three cities over 12 days. Our hotel in Paris, our first stop, was located next to the Sorbonne, in the heart of the Latin Quarter and on the Left Bank of the Seine. We were about two blocks from the steps of St. Stephen's where Owen Wilson's character is picked up by a car nightly in the movie,"Midnight in Paris." After walking tours of the city, visits to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and Saint Chapelle, and lovely meals, we headed for Lyon today by high speed train.

After a lovely bus drive into the Beaujolais area and mountains, we enjoyed a three-course meal at La Table Du Donjon in the charming village of Oingt, in the Rhone district. Our meal included a puff pastry and duck salad, leg of lamb, and ice cream filled cream puffs, plus tiny cups of espresso and three wines. We have been well fed on this trip.

Next we drove through the Beaujolais mountains to the Chateau de Montmelas, a former castle (which by definition means it was originally for housing soldiers), where the wife of one of the owners gave us a tour of the public portions of the Chateau and tastings of their three wines. The Chateau has been in her husband's family for more than 500 years!

We are having a wonderful time experiencing the Three Faces of France, and we wish you were here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette - Tuesday, September 16

Today, we had the chance to tour the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette hotel, learn about its incredible history, and view the renovations that took place. Not only that--but we also had the opportunity to visit the Marriott Courtyard, which recently opened.

The historical Pere Marquette Hotel was first built in 1926 for $2.5 million. The 12-story building closed in 2011 to undergo an extensive renovation and expansion into a full-service, upscale Marriott Hotel.

Lauren Snopek,Marriott sales manager, began our tour with a private look at a few of the hotel's most famous ballrooms--the 'Marquette Ballroom' with the dazzling, sparkling chandeliers that hang from the ceiling of the ballroom,and the French-inspired 'Cotillion Ballroom " The historic Cotillion Ballroom has been the venue for numerous weddings, and social events of Peoria's elite. The mirrors lining the walls, the detailed carpeting,and preserved wood-work were absolutely breath-taking.

The concierge lounge was a highlight as well, since they kindly offered us treats as we relaxed in this beautifully decorated area with an entire wall of windows.

On our way to the adjoining hotel we checked out the recently completed walkway which links the hotels with the Civic Center and the parking deck. We really enjoyed the amazing view from one of the Courtyard Marriott's suites which provided a birds-eye view of downtown Peoria. Our final stop was the pool and spa area which looked tempting, but our group was hungry for lunch.

The visit concluded with a delicious meal at the Hotel's brand-new restaurant Table 19. Ever wonder where the name originated from? Apparently, during the original days of the Pere Marquette, Table 19 was the most sought-after table to dine at, and with its window seating was the location of many proposals, anniversaries, and birthdays.

Thank you to the Peoria Marriott staff for a wonderful, and informative tour of this historic gem. For more information about the Hotel and the restoration that took place, visit the website here!

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