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 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!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monument Tour with Jim Ludwig- April 15 and April 22, 2014

OLLI members joined Jim Ludwig, Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Bradley University for a unique adventure exporing the monuments of Peoria. Ranging from Vanna Whitewall to Lydia Bradley; from religious figures to a famous agnostic; from classical to very, very modern; from silly to serious, there is a surprisingly rich and varied collection of public sculpture that we all see (they are in plain sight), but don't really notice.

For the Peoria Monument Tour, members boarded the OLLI shuttle to drive by dozens of sculptures and monuments. Jim Ludwig was a very entertaining narrator as he shared some history and anecdotes about treasures of the community. The final portion of the tour consisted of walking through the Peoria Civic Center inside and out, as well as Peoria City Hall and the plaza area.

It was truly a fun-filled tour. OLLI would like to thank Professor Ludwig for sharing his time and talent on the Monument Tour.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Peoria Fire Academy- April 21, 2014

On Monday, April 21, 2014, OLLI visited the Peoria Fire Academy, a 15-acre training facility near Galena Road utilized by local, state, and federal public safety agencies for upgrade training and continuing education. It is also designated as the regional training site for the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

Peoria Fire Captain Byron Yang, provided an in-depth look at the Peoria Fire Department, demonstrated the equipment used by firefighters (including fire gear and breathing apparatus), led a walk-through of the facility’s five-story burn tower, and talked in detail about the duties of the Peoria Fire Department.

OLLI thanks all the firefighters at the Peoria Fire Academy who made our group feel very welcome!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bloomington's Hidden Gems - April 18, 2014

OLLI boarded a charter coach for Bloomington on Friday, April 18, 2014.

The day began with a behind-the-scenes tour of Ewing Manor, a 1929 estate designed by Bloomington architect Phil Hooten. This 44-room house had over 6000 square feet of living space.The tour also included the surrounding Genevieve Green Gardens, created by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, who also designed Springfield's Lincoln Memorial Gardens.

The second stop was the David Davis Mansion, where OLLI members had a chance to glimpse into the lives of the wealthy and powerful of the 1870s.

OLLI members enjoyed a delicious lunch at Lancasters in downtown Bloomington.

After lunch, we concluded our day with a step-on tour of the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail of McLean County. The group had an opportunity to see area barns and farm buildings decorated with 8 x 8 plywood quilt squares. Some of the quilts included were Grandpa's Delight, Star and Pinwheels, and the Maple Leaves, Star, Sugar House.

OLLI thanks our tour hosts for a wonderful day discovering Bloomington's hiddens gems!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Peoria Zoo - April 14, 2014

Julie Brunton, Peoria Zoo Assistant Curator of Education, was OLLI's behind the scenes tour guide on Monday, April 14, 2014. Brunton discussed Peoria Zoo's affiliation with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Through the Zoo's affiliation, the Peoria Zoo works with over 200 other zoos affiliated with the organization to acquire a variety of animals.

Throughout the tour OLLI members were able to learn about the different animal habitats. Brunton also explained what it takes to feed and care for some of the animals on a daily basis. The OLLI group had access into the back of the rhino and giraffe enclosures for an up close look at these magnificent animals. They also had the opportunity to view the lions, tigers, primates, zebras, and more!

OLLI would like to thank Julie Brunton and the Peoria Zoo for a great tour!

To learn more about the Peoria Zoo, please click here.