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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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Murray Center for the Arts -- March 11

Read a local news link related to this trip.

Lori Luthy, creative director for Bradley’s Undergraduate Admissions Office (and freelance artist), was our personal guide as we toured the Murray Center for the Arts.

The 76-year-old industrial building in downtown Peoria houses the largest group of working artists in the area. During our visit, Lori introduced OLLI to a handful of the 25 local artists who rent studios in the facility, including herself, Ken Tiessen, Jim Jenkins, and Tyler Brandon.

OLLI thanks Lori and each of the artists for talking about their work, how they got started as artists, and for demonstrating their talent while we observed.

Cranes and Equipment -- March 10

Our second learning trip of the Spring took us just down the hill from Bradley University to Cranes & Equipment Corporation.

We spent over two hours with Company President Joan Ausbury, who led our tour and explained how the company evolved from a part-time business in her basement to a five-acre facility in downtown Peoria that sells and services cranes around the world.

Special thanks to Joan and her staff for providing an informative tour!

For more information about Cranes & Equipment Corporation, please visit its website.

Midwest Food Bank -- March 3

On our first trip of Spring 2010, we took a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Midwest Food Bank in Peoria and spoke with Larry Herman, division director, about the donations, distributions, and volunteers that allow the non-profit facility to feed more than 225,000 people each month.

The food bank distributes food to over 600 organizations that provide food goods to members of their communities in need. It is able to distribute the food at no cost due to the immense numbers of volunteers; according to Herman, 99.87% of all donations go to program costs rather than administrative expenses. He estimates that each donated dollar ultimately funds nearly $20 in wholesale value food.

Midwest Food Bank, located at 9005 N. Industrial Road, receives food from manufacturers, distributors, grocers, food drives, and individuals. The overall distribution of the facility (and its sister sites in Normal and Indiana) approaches $2 million monthly.

The Peoria facility is currently partnering with ADM and the University of Illinois to develop nutritious dry mix meals known as Tender Mercies. Using rice from Arkansas, vegetable protein from ADM and flavoring from Watson Company, the bags of food will be heat-sealed, labeled, and distributed to Haiti and within America. The facility had enough product on hand during our visit to make 600,000 servings; volunteers will package it and the overall cost will be less than ten cents per serving.

OLLI extends its thanks to Larry Hermann and Chris Roecker from Midwest Food Bank for making us feel so welcome during our visit.

To learn more about Midwest Food Bank, please visit its website.

"Let's Think About This" Study Group

Greg Peine, OLLI member and Caterpillar Inc. retiree, facilitated this group from February 16 to March 4. During the meetings, he incorporated several activities to help members identify and discuss the contradictions that can exist between intuition (beliefs) and reality (the state of things as they actually exist).

Focusing on the topics of chance, geometry, and cause-and-effect, the group used coin flipping, dice rolling, cutting and pasting geometric figures, making a mobius strip, building hula hoops, running a class factory, and more to help learn how their intuitions match reality.

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