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, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kickapoo Creek Winery -- August 19, 2009

On August 19, more than 40 OLLI members spent a beautiful summer afternoon at the Kickapoo Creek Winery in Edwards, Illinois.

After lunch in the banquet facility, owner/winemaker Dave Conner hosted the group for a personalized tour of his breathtaking winery. Conner, a retired orthopedic surgeon, opened Kickapoo Creek Winery in 2005. The winery consists of 13 acres, including nine different vineyards.

There are 500 plants per acre; each acre of plants produces between three and six tons of grapes. In 2008, the winery produced 42 tons of 19 varieties of grapes. Each ton equates to 750 bottles of wine!

During the tour, Dr. Conner explained the production process, and showed the group the machinery used to crush the grapes and bottle the wine. After our visit to the production room, we were treated to a tasting of three of the 24 varieties of wine produced onsite.

To conclude our visit, we boarded the Grape Train for a ride through the vineyards. Dr. Conner's timing was impeccable -- we finished our tour and boarded the Bradley vans just in time to avoid the approaching thunderstorm.

OLLI extends a big thank you to Dr. Conner and his staff at the Kickapoo Creek Winery for a wonderful day of wine and learning!

For more information about Kickapoo Creek Winery, please visit www.kickapoocreekwinery.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monsanto & Botanical Garden -- August 5

On Wednesday, August 5, OLLI traveled to St. Louis for a tour of a Monsanto research center and the Missouri Botanical Garden,

Our first stop was the Monsanto Chesterfield Village Research Center, one of the world’s largest facilities devoted to plant biotechnology. The facility includes 250 laboratories, more than 100 plant growth chambers, and two acres of greenhouse space. Top researchers from around the world work at the facility to help achieve sustainable agriculture and to help make possible the vision of abundant food in a healthy environment.

Our tour of the facility began with an overview of the site and the science presentation, followed by a two-hour walking tour of the building. We learned about Monsanto's resources and tools of biotechnology, and how they translate the science into products to benefit farmers, processors and consumers. A few of the topics discussed included insect-protected crops, using Bt technology, and herbicide-tolerant crops, using Roundup Ready technology, and how Monsanto’s R&D pipeline delivers future ag products.

We also visited the greenhouses, growth chambers, laboratories, and got a close look at the gene-gun. Monsanto's expert tour guides also introduced us to the language of biotechnology, the process of gene discovery, and traditional plant breeding techniques.

Following a delicious lunch at Zia's on the Hill, we headed to the Missouri Botanical Garden for a private tour of the city's oasis, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2009. Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark. The Garden offers 79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered orchids.

Chicago Segway Tour -- July 29

A dozen members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) toured the Chicago lakefront on July 29. Unlike past trips, however, the over-50 students didn't bike. They didn't hike, either. Instead, they glided along the lakefront and museum campus on Segways, the world's first self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machines.

The OLLI group donned helmets and safety vests, then had a training session in a small park adjacent to Michigan Avenue. After a few minutes of practice, they took a private, two-hour tour of the lakefront, visiting Millennium Park, Daley Bicentennial Plaza, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium, Buckingham Fountain, and the Rose Gardens of Grant Park.

The tour docents shared fascinating stories about the Windy City during the trip, delighting the group with tales about the Great Chicago Fire, President Obama's stirring election night acceptance speech in Grant Park, and more.

"Everything about the trip was educational, from learning about the history of the city to learning how to handle the Segway," said OLLI member (and recent BU retiree) Dr. Fred Fry.

The Segway experience is just another example of how OLLI members are on the go!

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