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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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shamrock Plastics - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shamrock Plastics owner and president, Mary Cay Westphal, welcomed OLLI to their facility for a private behind-the-scenes tour. This thermoforming facility contains over 36,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space.

OLLI members divided into small groups, as long time staff members gave us an up close look at the thermoforming process. Each station we visited demonstrated a particular step, showing us how some of the parts are made at this facility. We learned what it takes to achieve a platinum supplier status for Caterpillar, which Shamrock Plastics was very honored to earn this past March 2014.

OLLI would like to thank Mary Cay and her very dedicated staff for such a wonderful and informative tour.

For more information you can check out the website at Shamrock Plastics.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Peoria Disposal Company and Peoria City/County Landfill - September 22, 2014

OLLI member Les Bergsten, Chairman of the Peoria City/County Landfill Committee, was our host for today’s tours.

We started with a visit to the offices of the Peoria Disposal Company. Chris Coulter, Vice-President of Peoria Disposal Company welcomed us to PDC. He gave an overview and history of this family-owned company. Bergsten talked about PDC and his role on the committee. In addition to traditional curbside waste and recyclable collection, PDC has resources to provide technical consulting, laboratory analysis, equipment rental, transportation, brokerage, hazardous waste disposal, and many other environmental services.

For the next stop, OLLI members boarded the shuttle and headed to the Peoria City/County landfill for the next part of the trip. During our tour, Bergsten discussed the history of the landfill, and gave us an update on the construction of Landfill #3. It was quite an adventure to drive through the landfill, watching and observing the huge machines performing their actual operations.

OLLI would like to give a big thanks to Chris Coulter and Les Bergsten for providing such insight into the operations of PDC and Waste Management.

Post Quatre from France

Our intrepid travelers, OLLI Francais, started the work week on Monday with a leisurely walk through the ancient Roman city of Arles.

Our local guide here is Austrian and speaks fluent English. The Mistral was blowing today, the strong, cold wind that travels from the northwest through the Rhone river valley. OLLI members found it invigorating after the past few warm days, but our guide explained that it blows an average of one-third of the year and makes some people anxious and out of sorts.

Our guide did a great job of refreshing our memories of Roman history while explaining the importance of the city since it was first settled around 800 B.C. The Romans took over the town in 123 B.C., gradually building a large city with Roman baths, a Forum, Circus forchariot races, Theater for cultural events, and an arena for games and fighting. Much of the arena remains and bull games and bull fighting now takes place there.

We had our photo taken on some of the remaining steps of the Roman Theater. After another memorable lunch, near the choppy Rhone river, we visited the Musee de l'Arles et de La Provence Antiques, where we saw a Roman boat that was recovered from the mud of the Rhone river in 2011 and put on display in 2013. Our guide shared the stories behind many more treasures in the Musee before leaving us until Tuesday, when we conclude our journey to see the "Three Faces of France."

Post Trois de France

Jet 'aime Aix-en-Provence! On Saturday OLLI Francais visited this southern, Proven├žal city of 140,000 and strolled through the many markets of flowers, vegetables, baked goods, jewelry, linens, ad more. The ladies were sad that there was no time for shopping, but most of the men were relieved. After another wonderful lunch of salmon and poached pears for dessert at L'Orangerie, we returned through the old city and toured the Cathedrale Saint-Saveur, another lovely and vert ancient church, but with a beautiful contemporary alter. We then traveled by bus to the studio of Paul Cezanne and learned more about the artist and his life and work. After dinner at a local restaurant in Arles, many of us stayed to watch a local parade that ran from 9-11 pm, and 8 of us took a whirl on the local merry-go-round.

OLLI Francais does not rest on Sunday! We left by coach to see a bird park where the beautiful pink flamingoes live and the Mediterranean Sea tourist town of Saintes Maries de la Mer, where finally some retail therapy took place. We then journeyed to a little known area of southern France, the Camargue, the delta region of the Rhone, where we saw a demonstration of how bulls are cut from the rest of the herd to be chosen for bull fighting and toured the ranch. On the way back we made a brief stop at the bridge that Van Gogh painted when he lived in Arles.

I hope you are enjoying these brief descriptions of our amazing journey and will forgive me my typos, as I am often writing on the fly. Au bientot, Janet

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