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, December 8, 2014

Philharmonic Chorale- Sunday, December 6, 2014

OLLI gets in the holiday spirit with a tradition that has taken place in Peoria for 90 years.

OLLI attended Sunday afternoon’s performance of Christmas with the Philharmonic Chorale held at the Performing Arts Center at Illinois Central College. The Philharmonic Chorale welcomed singers from all over Central Illinois, and there were close to 50 performers present for this holiday production. The Philharmonic Chorale is led by J. Michael Morris who entered his twelfth year as director.

The music for the performance ranged in repertoire with selections such as, Three Nativity Carols, In the Bleak Midwinter, and Love Came Down at Christmas. It can often be said that music is such an integral part of the Holiday season; and OLLI members could be found singing themselves, as a number of selections asked for audience participation. A number of the selections also included instrumentation from a variety of professional guest artists which added another musical layer to the performance.

OLLI’s own Dottie Strickler, Philharmonic Chorale Executive Board Member, sang with the choir. Dottie also spoke with OLLI members regarding the various nuisances of organizing a musical production for the Philharmonic Chorale. Peoria is very fortunate to have volunteer groups that work hard each year to bring quality musical performances to the community. Towards the end of the concert the chorale led the audience with the holiday classic Joy to the World. It was truly fascinating to hear so many voices coming together to express the meaning of the holiday season through the beauty of music.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toraason Glass # 2- Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Once again, Hiram Torrason showed OLLI a great example of how art is truly alive in Peoria, IL. Toraason Glass has been a popular Learning Trip site over the years, and this was our second trip this year alone. 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.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Champaign- Thursday, November 20, 2014

It is not uncommon for Peoria area residents to visit the city of Champaign; however OLLI spent the day in Champaign County and discovered the hidden gems that many people may not realize exist. OLLI members were able to start off the morning with a visit to the Columbia Street Roastery. The Roastery is a popular coffee stop in Champaign, and OLLI members were able to learn about how coffee evolves from the field to the cup. The Columbia Street Roastery is a three generation family owned business that is committed to “push the concept of what it means to be a good community member through our whole bean coffee and loose leaf tea.”

The next stop on the Champaign County Learning Trip was Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch. OLLI members enjoyed brisket, beans, and coleslaw for lunch, complete with entertainment provided by a string banjo trio. Following lunch it was time to visit with the reindeers on the ranch. OLLI members found that the reindeers were extremely friendly and excited for visitors to give them a little attention.

Finally, the day concluded with a traditional tea ceremony at the Japan House. The tea ceremony was introduced over 500 years ago as a peaceful welcoming often performed in the home. Anyone taking part in the tea ceremony was required to be silent during its duration. OLLI members found that the tea was extremely soothing, and the ceremony served as a relaxing end to the busy day in Champaign County.

Atlanta- Tuesday, November 18, 2014

OLLI members "Got their kicks on Route 66", and discovered many unique treasures in Atlanta, IL. The day began with a tour of the J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator which was built in 1904. OLLI members learned that the grain elevator in Atlanta is the only fully restored grain elevators that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was very evident on this Learning Trip that many community members are dedicated to preserving the history of the small community.

The next stop on the Atlanta tour was the Atlanta Public Library and Museum. OLLI members quickly fell in love with the quaint library space that is uniquely octagonal in its design. The library houses many community activities including lifelong learning style lectures and book clubs. The museum is located just across the library and holds a fascinating collection of antiques and memorabilia that celebrate Atlanta’s rich history. One section of the museum contains old records, pictures, and memorabilia from the old Atlanta school district.

Finally the day concluded with a visit to the Robert Glenn Wertheim Candy Company. OLLI members not only learned about how the candy company got its start here in Atlanta, but they were able to actually dip chocolate and pull peanut brittle. The Wertheim Candy Company is a three generation family owned business. OLLI members left the candy company with a smile on their faces, especially since they were able to take home their homemade creations.

OLLI would like to thank the community of Atlanta for welcoming us on a very informative and fun-filled Learning Trip.

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