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, April 20, 2015

Peoria County Jail - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

OLLI members had another chance to visit with the Sheriff at the Peoria County Jail. During the trip, Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy led our private tour, along with Corrections Superintendent Brian Asbell.

On this behind-the-scenes tour of the Sheriff's department and the attached jail, McCoy provided a narrative about the county's law enforcement services. He discussed the importance of the interactive indoor shooting range in keeping the officer's skills honed.

We went through the intake area, viewing the jail's newer technological advances, including a closed circuit bonding system, computerized mug shot and booking system and a live scan fingerprint process system. Sheriff McCoy spent time with OLLI discussing the strategies and challenges facing the operations of the County Jail, as well as current community issues.

OLLI members spent time in the lockup portion of the facility and learned about the inmate's day-to day routines. They had a chance to visit an empty cell block and see up close just how small a cell can be.

OLLI would like to extend a huge thanks to Sheriff Mike McCoy and his staff for hosting our tour.

Komatsu - Friday, March 20

OLLI visited Komatsu in Peoria on Friday, March 290.. Komatsu established in 1921, is a diversified provider of industrial-use products and services. While remaining an international leader in the field of construction and mining equipment, the Company also participates in industrial machinery and vehicles, logistics, electronics and other solutions-based operations.

OLLI members were given a tour of the Komatsu facility, and learned that the company only uses welders who have had 3 or more years of experience. During the tour, many of the truck frames were on display in the variety of development stages. One frame weighs between 30,000-40,000 pounds. OLLI members were pleased to learn that Komatsu takes safety and procedure very seriously. There were a number of safety check sites and signs around the building to ensure employees are protected on site.

Towards the end of our trip, OLLI members were able to talk with a Komatsu engineer about some of the specifics that go in to designing large mining trucks, including the autonomous truck. Instead of using a human to work with the equipment, autonomous machinery is powered by a computer. It is clear that Komatsu is advancing technology and moving towards the future of building quality industrial machinery and mining equipment. OLLI wants to thank Komatsu for a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their operations.

To learn more about Komatsu click here.

Wheel Art Pottery - Thursday, March 19, 2015

OLLI members cranked up their creativity for this hands-on trip to Wheel Art Pottery. Jacob Grant and Susie Mathews co-own, this studio which opened in 2010.

We learned the background and history of the studio, and also about the different types pottery as we toured the front of the facility. On this trip, OLLI members had a chance to get dirty and tap into their inner artist as they attempted Wheel Throwing and Hand-building. By the end of the morning everyone had at least two pieces of art to put in the kiln.

Our time at the studio flew by and no matter the experience level we all enjoyed working with the clay. Wheel Art Studios will put the pieces in the kiln, and in three weeks we can see just how awesome our art turned out.

A big thanks to Susie, Jacob and Ricky for hosting our group at Wheel Art Pottery, what a fun day!

Toraason Glass - March 16, 2015

Hiram Torrason is a great example of how art is truly alive in Peoria, IL. Toraason Glass has been a favorite Learning Trip site over the years, and continues to be popular with our OLLI members. Hiram led a tour of his gallery and demonstrated the techniques of working with 2,000-degree molten glass to create a one-of-a-kind work of art.

In addition to working with the glass, Hiram also discussed the development of the arts scene in Peoria, and why central Illinois became the home for his glass blowing business. One area that Hiram expanded upon was the First Friday event that takes place once a month throughout Peoria. First Friday is an event in which a variety of artists can display their work for the public. Peoria is very fortunate to have unique talents such as Hiram who truly enrich the arts scene within our community.

OLLI would like to thank Hiram for another great tour. We always enjoy his enthusiasm.

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