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!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Toraason Glass -- November 2, 2010



In early November, we experienced a behind-the-scenes look at local artist (and OLLI favorite) Hiram Toraason’s glass blowing studio in downtown Peoria. 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. After our tour, Hiram took our group to Methodist Medical Center, where he talked about his wall sculpture of 240 pieces of hand-blown glass in the new Hamilton Boulevard entrance.

For more information about Toraason Glass, visit his website.

Historic Oregon -- October 28, 2010



In late October, OLLI traveled to Oregon, Illinois, located about two hours north of Peoria, where we spent a beautiful autumn day learning about the art, nature, and cultural attractions of the town.

Our stops included a tour of Art Casting of Illinois, where owner Karly Spell and her staff (which includes some Bradley graduates) provided a tour of the bronze foundry. Next, we visited the Chana School for a private tour of the historic one-room school. After the tour, local artist Jeff Adams hopped on our bus to provide commentary as we drove through the town’s Sculpture Trail. Following lunch at the White Pines Inn, we ended the day with a private tour and blacksmithing presentation on the grounds of the John Deere Historic Site in Grand De Tour.

For more information about the attractions in Oregon, please visit the town's website.

A Day in Galesburg -- October 21, 2010



On an all-day trip to nearby Galesburg, we were delighted to have architects, theatre professionals, authors, and professors as our guides when we learned all about the historic city. Dr. R. Lance Factor, Knox philosophy professor and author of Chapel in the Sky, and Owen Muelder, director of the Underground Railroad Freedom Center, gave private presentations and a tour of Old Main, a national historic landmark on the campus. We will took private tours of the Central Congregational Church, Orpheum Theatre, and enjoyed lunch at the always-popular Packing House.

For more information about Galesburg, please visit its Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

The Lion King -- October 20, 2010



Forty OLLI members enjoyed a day of musical theatre and insight when we traveled to Chicago for a performance of Disney’s The Lion King. Jim Ludwig, retired faculty member of Bradley University’s theatre department (and current OLLI member) joined us for insightful commentary during the trip, which included a pre-performance tour of the Cadillac Palace Theatre and a post-show talkback with members of the cast.

Fitness Nature Hike -- October 12, 2010



OLLI's first-ever fitness hike was led by Blair Gorsuch, Exercise Physiologist and Director of Proctor Hospital’s Burkland Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, at Fox Ridge State Park in Charleston. Blair helped our group navigate the park’s miles of scenic trails and talked about how hiking can benefit a healthy lifestyle.

Energy Knowledge Cafe -- September 22, 2010



As one of OLLI's original Study Groups, the Energy Knowledge Cafe meets monthly to discuss a variety of issues related to energy. In September, Jim Moroz, a research director at Caterpillar Inc., made a presentation to the group concerning the current technologies in photovoltaics. This presentation had a twist, however; OLLI members were joined by two undergraduate Bradley University classes for an intergenerational discussion.

For more information about OLLI's Study Groups, please visit our website.

Kickapoo Creek Winery -- September 28, 2010



In late September, a group of 30 OLLI members joined us for a tour of Kickapoo Creek Winery in Edwards (with owner and OLLI member Dr. David Conner).

Our trip included an incredible "Grape Train" tour of the vineyards, a plated lunch in the pavilion, a tasting of five different wines, and a presentation on the winemaking and bottling process.

OLLI thanks Dr. Conner and his staff at the winery for providing another great learning adventure!

For more information about the winery, visit Kickapoo Creek Winery's website.

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