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, November 21, 2014

Komatsu- Wednesday, November 19, 2014

OLLI visited Komatsu in Peoria on Wednesday, November 19. 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 autonomous machinery. 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.

Yinlun Machinery- Monday, November 17, 2014

It may not be a well-known fact, but Morton, IL is home to one of the 16 sites of the Chinese company Yinlun Machinery. Yinlun is the top manufacturer of heat-exchanger products in China, and customers include CAT, GM, Volovo, Ford, and John Deere. OLLI members visited the Morton facility and learned quickly about how much the company has grown over the years.

OLLI members learned that Yinlun stands for silver wheels, and the company has surely evolved over the past few decades. In the seventies, Yinlun used silver in the manufacture of engine coolers which was replaced by copper a decade later. To learn more how the company has grown, OLLI members were able to take a tour of the 50,000-square-foot facility lead by Joe Ding, Vice President of Engineering.

Yinlun has 3327 employees throughout China and Europe, however Morton is the only facility in the United States. Yinlun also proudly holds 148 patents, and reported sales of $305 million in 2013. The Morton community clearly benefits from the emergence of the Yinlun site in the United States. We would like to thank Yinlun Machinery for welcoming us on a very informative tour.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Proof- Thursday, November 13, 2014

OLLI members see Proof that the Bradley Theatre Department is at the top of their game for our most recent theatrical outing. Over 40 members attended the fall production of the play Proof, performed at the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts at Bradley University. Proof is a Tony-Awarding winning play, and was made into a feature film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins. The show deals with a variety of heavy themes, and prior to the performance, OLLI members were fortunate to expand on these themes through a lecture given by Jim Ludwig, Professor Emeritus of Theatre.

The evening began as OLLI members learned about the history of the Hartmann Center. It is hard to imagine now, but at one time the building was utilized as an athletic facility - and it even had a pool. Today the Hartmann Center is the playground for actors, directors, and designers to build upon technique and develop a strong skill-set within the performing arts. It houses numerous productions throughout the year, including a musical which is always performed in September.

Proof beautifully provokes thought into how we deal with mental illness. The main character in the play has spent a good portion of her early adulthood caring for her father who has a debilitating mental disorder. The actors approached each character thoughtfully and earnestly. The audience seemed to be brought into a world where mental illness and the struggles associated were faced head-on. The discussion points in Professor Ludwig’s presentation rang true throughout the production, and gave OLLI members a framework as they watched the story unfold.

OLLI would like to thank Professor Ludwig and the entire Bradley Theatre Department for a wonderful evening of quality theatre and discussion.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Peoria Journal Star- Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On November 11, OLLI members had the opportunity to take a Learning Trip to the Peoria Journal Star. Tour guides for the day were Rae Anne Hamp and Bernie Drake, our own OLLI President. The building, equipment, and staff have changed quite a bit over the years, but the Peoria Journal Star's dedication to bring quality news to the Peoria area has remained the same.

OLLI members were also able to talk with Phil Jordan, Marketing Manager. Phil said that the local newspaper is in good financial shape, and described the huge impact its readership actually has on the community. Despite the fact that a lot of people are concerned with the future of the newspaper business, he said, more people are reading the Journal Star today then 20 years ago. Many readers, however, are now using their phones and other electronic devices to catch articles online. As a result, the Peoria Journal Star is adjusting some of their marketing and advertising efforts.

Our guides directed us through the print shop to show the computer control room, ink and paper storage, and of course the 4-story press! At the end of the day, members took a peek into the newsroom and offices, and spoke with an editor about the process of a story getting published. The tour ended with a discussion led by Mike Bailey and Dennis Anderson regarding their perspectives on the news business and the future of print journalism.

OLLI would like to thank the Peoria Journal Star and their amazing staff!

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