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, February 27, 2015

Jump Trading Simulation Center - Thursday, February 26

OLLI members participated in a learning trip this week to Jump Trading Simulation Center. The trip lasted 5 hours in total, but the tour was so insightful and educational, it left OLLI members wanting to learn more.

The facility allows many different providers to practice hands on training for many different scenarios. These simulations help the medical professionals to apply their knowledge prior to completing the application in real life. The facility has a few types of skills labs that put the core competencies to work for all medical personal.

As part of the tour, OLLI members engaged in hands-on training in suturing, and interactive paramedic training techniques. In addition, Heather King, Anatomical Coordinator, discussed how surgeons can prepare for surgery through a lab at the facility. We also witnessed heather work with pig and human cadavers as she discussed how this technique assist the surgeons in preparation. They also included a tour of the entire Jump Trading facility. Members were able to see how Jump is utilizing 3D printing for medical simulation purposes.

OLLI would like to thank Sarah Johnson at the Jump Trading and Simulation Center for an amazing tour! To learn more about Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center click here.

USDA NCAUR- Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Many of our OLLI members have mentioned that they regularly pass Peoria's National Center for Agriculture Utilization Research Center (NCAUR) on University Street, but have always wondered what exactly happens in that building on daily basis. Today, OLLI participants had the opportunity to get their questions answered.

OLLI had the unique chance for a behind-the-scenes tour of the NCAUR which focuses on bio-energy, new uses for renewable resources, and safe, healthy foods. We were able to meet with various scientist who were working on a number of projects for the agricultural lab site. We took a first-hand look at the lab, home to more than 100 Ph.D. research scientists who invent industrial and food products and develop technologies to improve environmental quality. It was quickly evident that the scientists were passionate about their work and research.

It is truly fascinating what the NCAUR has accomplished over the years. In 1990, the Peoria lab’s official name was changed to the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR), reflecting a successful research history generating far more than regional impact and the direction of research yet to be done.

Thank you to Clete Kurtzman for coordinating our tour, and to the staff at NCAUR who gave their time and energy for this OLLI trip.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ivex Paper- Tuesday, February 24

IVEX Specialty Paper recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and OLLI members visited the facility to learn about the history and future of the Peoria Papermill.

The tour was introduced with a background on the history of the company. The mill was originally the Illinois Paper Company, built in 1912 by Judson M. Bemis, an Illinois farmer. Manufacturing began in 1913. The plant was built with a paper mill and a small bag factory to produce white coated flour sack paper and consumer size flour bags. In the 1920’s the name of the plant was changed to the Bemis Bro. Bag Co. and in 1985 the mill was sold to a group of investors who changed the name to Petratex Paper Co. In 1987 Petratex filed for bankruptcy and the mill closed. IVEX Corporation reopened the mill in 1988 and successfully ran the mill until 2005 when the mill was acquired by Forest Resources LLC Mill Divis.

We were also given a guided tour of the facility to learn how IVEX uses both recycled and virgin fibers to produce natural and colored krafts. It was fascinating to see show much work was being accomplished at the plant even though there were more OLLI members on site than employees. The staff is fairly small in number, but many of IVEX employees have worked for the company for a number of years. One former employee, Ed Ward participated in the tour as an OLLI member. Ed seemed to be very nostalgic as he talked about his years with the company and reminisced with former colleagues on site.

The Learning Trip to IVEX Paper was a first-time tour for OLLI. We would like to thank Mark Reardon, General Manager, and his entire staff for opening their doors for an insightful OLLI tour.

Lucas & Sons Steel- Friday, February 20, 2015

Margaret Hanley and her staff welcomed OLLI to A. Lucas & Sons, the oldest manufacturing business in Peoria and the oldest steel fabricator in the country. Margaret is a three time graduate of Bradley University and President of A. Lucas & Sons. OLLI was grateful to spend a day with a Bradley Alum who continues to make Peoria proud.

Our tour began with an overview of A. Lucas and Sons Steel’s long history, especially noting the strong employee relationships, which have helped the company withstand economic downturns. Hanley also discussed what the future holds for the small family-owned company.

As part of the tour, OLLI members split into small groups and spoke with employees working within the various stages of production. Some OLLI members even had a chance get hands-on experience at welding a steel beam. The staff at A Lucas & Sons not only spoke about the steel fabrication process, but they displayed their skills as they worked on various projects.

OLLI would like to thank Margaret and everyone at A. Lucas for welcoming us and giving us insight to the fabrication process. We look forward to our next visit. ud.

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