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, April 29, 2011

Distilling, Picking and the Abyss

During a daylong trip to LeClaire and Davenport, Iowa, we toured a new microdistillery, visted an antique shop featured in a popular cable television show, and experienced a film in a format that just arrived in Peoria: IMAX.

Our first stop of the day was the Mississippi River Distilling Company, the first microdistillery in the Quad Cities since Prohibition. During our private tour with the owners, we saw the entire distilling process, including cleaning, milling, and cooking of the grain, to the fermentation, blending, aging, and bottling of spirits. We learned how the company purchases fresh grain directly from farmers within 25 miles of LeClaire and ended the tour with samples of the distillery's own River Baron Bodka in the grand tasting room.

After lunch at Sneaky Pete's (where one of our participants "lost" his necktie), we headed to Antique Archeology, the home base for History Channel's "American Pickers," a show that follows three foragers who travel coast to coast in search of forgotten American treasures. While there, we learned how the owners pick through dilapidated barns and overgrown yards in search of rare finds and sensational stories.

Our last stop of the day was the Putnam Museum and IMAX Theatre for a look at the Titanic exhibit and viewing of "Ghosts of the Abyss," a film that follows director James Cameron to the site of his greatest inspiration: the wreck of the Titanic.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Amazing Women

Mary Bitterman, President of The Bernard Osher Foundation; Susan Stamberg, Special Correspondent for National Public Radio; and Kali Lightfoot, Executive Director of the OLLI National Resource Center stand united in learning prior to the closing of the OLLI National Conference.

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Roundtable on Social Media and Marketing

President Keithley sitting in a round table on social media and marketing.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Social Networking

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Prior to our presentation on social media

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

President Keithley

We have arrived at the OLLI National Conference

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Friday, April 8, 2011

O'Brien Steel -- March 31

O'Brien Steel, established in 1975, is a steel service center specializing in hot rolled carbon steel products such as plates, beams, channels, and structural tubing. The company buys in volume from the steel mills and then distributes it, usually in smaller quantities, from that inventory. O’Brien also does a large amount of processing (including laser cutting, flame cutting, and robotic plasma beveling) of the steel to customers' specifications so that they can use the parts in the manufacturing of their products. During the tour, participants met with Vice President Mike O'Brien, saw the steel inventory, watched various cutting processes, and learned more about O’Brien’s ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications.

For more information about the company, please visit www.obriensteel.com.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peoria Charter Coach -- March 31

On this tour, we experienced a behind-the-scenes look at the company that provides transportation for OLLI’s regional trips and more than 400,000 passengers on school outings, airport transfers, sporting events, and civic events. We saw some of the 61 motor coaches that travel more than five million miles annually, viewed the staging process used to prepare the coaches for each trip, and watched as mechanics repaired and fueled the vehicles (which use approximately 10,000 gallons of diesel each week). We also visited the offices to learn more of the history of the company and see how the customer service staff handles the logistics involved with each trip.

OLLI thanks Bob Henderson for providing such a thoughtful, in-depth tour!

For more information about the company, please visit www.peoriacharter.com.

Glen Oak Community Learning Center -- March 29

OLLI had an insider’s look at the new Glen Oak Community Learning Center when we toured the 126,000 square-foot facility in the heart of Peoria’s East Bluff. During our visit, we learned how the school has developed from a one-room frame house in 1898 to a state-of-the-art learning facility that encompasses the block of Wisconsin, Republic, Maryland, and Kansas avenues. The school educates approximately 850 students, grades pre-K to 6, and features four “villages” of learning communities, four integrated learning areas for art, cooking, and life skills, plus a fitness room, nature exploration classroom, and walkways through a park and playground.

For more information about the school, please visit www.psd150.org.

A Day in Delavan -- March 23, 2011

OLLI spent a beautiful day touring this historic town in southern Illinois with Mayor Liz Kinner and Glenn Holmes, past president of the Delavan Historical Society. Our day included visits to an original Colony House (one of seven homes built in 1837 to house colonists until their permanent homes could be constructed) and the Ayer Public Library, a Carnegie Foundation library built in 1907. In addition, we toured the Hoeft private residence in one of the city's quaint neighborhoods and explored the 19th century storefronts in the business district.

In between tours, we dined at The Harvest Cafe, a farm-to-table restaurant that services locally grown products. We also learned more about the renovated 1890s iron-front building that houses the cafe and traced its history from the 1888 headquarters of the Delavan telephone exchange to its current incarnation as a restaurant. In addition, we viewed the Third Street Bridge, the oldest metal truss bridge in Illinois, visited the Delavan Historical Society Museum, and learned how the city's Illinois Army National Guard armory has played a vital part in community events.

Toraason Glassworks -- March 10, 2011

Hiram Toraason, owner of Toraason Glassworks, 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, he led our group to Methodist Medical Center, where he discussed his wall sculpture of 240 pieces of hand-blown glass in the new Hamilton Boulevard entrance.

For more information about Toraason Glass, visit http://toraasonglass.com

George O. Pasquel Co. -- March 9, 2011

Owner Pete Pasquel was our guide as we took a private tour of the restaurant equipment and wholesale food distributor in downtown Peoria. Opened in 1946, the company sells more than 10,000 different types of restaurant equipment, such as china, crystal, glassware, silverware, paper goods, grills, coolers, and more. Our visit included a tour of the 3,000 square-foot retail showroom, product warehouse, and used inventory and equipment building. In addition, Pete shared his personal memories of his six decades with the business, and showed some of the hundreds of mementos he has collected from some of Peoria’s most famous restaurants.

For more information about the company, please visit www.pasquel.com

The OLLI Study Group Committee

Using our brains:

Planning our summer Study Groups.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Myths of Ulysses S. Grant

Bernie Drake debunks the myths surrounding Ulysses S. Grant, famous resident of Galena, General-in-Chief, and United States President.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

Quincy: Villa Kathrine Castle

After touring the Golden Windmill, OLLI visited the Villa Kathrine Castle, a unique example of Mediterranean architecture that sits on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

For more information about our Quincy sites, please visit the Quincy CVB website.

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Historic Quincy -- April 1, 2011

Our day in Quincy included visits to several historic sites. Our first stop on the daylong trip was a tour of the Golden Windmill, which still operates with its original millstones and woodgear mechanism. Next, we toured the Villa Kathrine Castle, a Mediterranean-style villa on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. After lunch, we took private tours of two homes in the city's historic East District.

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