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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Monday, July 28, 2014

Wayne's Printing - July 24, 2014

If you've ever wanted to know how your OLLI brochure gets from the Continuing Education office to your mailbox, or what happens in between, then a visit to Wayne's Printing is in order!

The local printing press was founded by Wayne Owens in 1963, and originally began as a small home-based business. On this trip we got to visit the 37,000 square-foot Edwards facility the company moved into in 2001.

It was absolutely incredible getting to see the new state-of-the-art printing equipment, and the Heidelberg QMDI presses, meanwhile learning about the evolution of the printing industry. Upon entering Wayne's Printing, you would never guess that the facility housed such a massive distribution site. It was fascinating to learn about the many facets that go into printing, from plates to paper. Watching the printing equipment at work, it is hard to imagine that there was a time when this was all done by hand! Nevertheless, employees at Wayne's Printing exude craftsmanship in what they do.

The interesting visit was topped-off with wonderful gifts from Wayne's Printing. Each OLLI member received a personalized note-pad, complete with the OLLI logo!

Thank you to our wonderful friends at Wayne's Printing! We can't wait to come back!

OLLI at Bradley

Effingham, IL - July 23, 2014

Effingham, IL: arguably the hidden gem of Southern Illinois, was full of surprises during this OLLI regional learning trip.

Our first stop on this tour of Southern Illinois was to the renowned John Boos and Company. This company which began producing butcher blocks and cutting boards in 1887, has become famous for its high-quality products. So much so, that it has been endorsed in several Food Network Shows, and by culinary experts across the globe. It didn't take long for our visit to turn into a shopping trip--OLLI members purchased everything from cutting boards to stools.

After a great time at John Boos, it was time for lunch. If I had to choose one place to eat at for the rest of my life, that place would have to be Effingham's Firefly Grill. Head chef Niall Campbell and his wife Kristie established this culinary oasis in the heart of the Midwest. With a menu that changes daily, and local ingredients--often grown outside in their own garden, Firefly is certainly a gastronomical adventure. OLLI members enjoyed options that included: an American Burger, Chicken Burger, and Reuben, delicious garden salads, and the most indulgent chocolate lava cake! Without exaggeration, some OLLI members claimed it was the best meal they have ever had!

Our last stop of the day was to Mid-America Motorworks, which is accompanied by MY Garage Museum, a one-of-a-kind museum that houses vintage Corvettes and thousands of pieces of Corvette history and memorabilia. We were greeted by owner and Corvette enthusiast Mike Yager, who shared with us his humbling and commendable story. After a comprehensive tour of Mid-America Motorworks, OLLI members had some time to admire the collection of vintage cars that sat beside a restored 1910 gas station.

There is no doubt that we will certainly be returning to Effingham in the future!

OLLI at Bradley

Illinois Shakespeare Festival - July 17, 2014

A summer highlight for many OLLI members, this year's Illinois Shakespeare Festival certainly delivered. Joining us for our trip to Normal, IL was professor of Shakespearean literature Dr. Susan Hillabold. Susan gave OLLI members background information on the play, including several elements to be aware of while watching.

Once we arrived to the breath-taking Ewing Manor, OLLI members opened-up their lawn chairs around the central fountain, enjoying the beautiful summer evening.

OLLI members enjoyed a nice picnic dinner, and endlessly flowing wine as they prepared for the evening's theatrical performance. After a few glasses, it was time to enter the historically-accurate amphitheater.

Shakespeare uses humor in Much Ado About Nothing to mask deeper issues, including gender limits, love, and sexuality. On the road back to Peoria, Dr. Hillabold was able to further interpret the performance and discuss it in regards to the original play script.

Safe to say that we are already looking forward to next year's performance!

OLLI at Bradley

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peoria Pere Marquette 2 - July 22, 2014

Can you believe that the beautiful Peoria Marriott 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. Today, we had the chance to tour the magnificent hotel, learn about its incredible history, and view the renovations that took place. Not only that--but we also got an exclusive first-look at the Marriott Courtyard, which opened up only 5 days ago!

The tour began with a private look at a few of the hotel's most famous ballrooms--the 'Marquette Ballroom' and the French-inspired 'Cotillion Ballroom.' The dazzling, sparkling chandeliers that hang from the ceiling of the Marquette Ballroom? Those came straight from Texas following the renovation of the hotel.

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.

As an added bonus, we were lucky enough to visit the sought-after Bridal Suite located on the 12th floor of the Pere Marquette. The Bridal Suite was simply breath-taking, and it is no wonder that many brides swoon over the opportunity to get ready for their big day in front of its vintage vanity mirrors.

The visit concluded with a delicious lunch 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!

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts!

OLLI at Bradley

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