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, May 31, 2011

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio -- May 26, 2011

During a walking and narrated motorcoach tour, OLLI enjoyed a day of discovery about Frank Lloyd Wright in historic Oak Park, Illinois.

On the private tour of Wright's home and studio, we saw how he used it as an architectural laboratory to test design concepts before sharing them with clients. We also took a walk along Forest Avenue to see some of the 25 Wright-designed buildings in the neighborhood, including the Hartley House and a home once occupied by Mamah Cheney, his lover and focus of the novel Loving Frank. Our day also included a private tour of the Unity Temple, where we learned even more about how Wright and his associates developed the Prairie Style of architecture.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ancient Earthworks, Day 3 -- May 21, 1011

The final day of our three-day adventure to ancient earthworks in Ohio began with a private guided tour of the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Chillicothe, Ohio.

The park in south-central Ohio contains remarkable groups of large geometric earthworks as well as artifacts crafted by those of the Hopewell culture. We visited two of the five noncontiguous units within the park: Seip Earthworks and Mound City Group.

Next, we toured the Ohio Historical Center, headquarters of the Ohio Historical Society and the flagship museum of the society's network of more than 50 historic sites and museums. During our visit, we explored the 15,000 square-foot exhibit gallery that chronicles Ohio history through its plants, animals, geology, geography, and climate.

Lunch was a festive affair at Schmidt's Banquet and Meeting Haus in the Historic German Village near Columbus, where we were entertained throughout our meal by a strolling accordionist.

OLLI extends its heartfelt thanks to Dr. Michael Wiant, Director of Dickson Mounds State Museum, for his amazing commentary and guidance throughout this trip.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ancient Earthworks, Day 2 -- May 20, 2011

The second day of OLLI's Ancient Earthworks learning trip began with an early morning visit to Fort Ancient State Memorial in Oregonia, Ohio. Park archeologist Jack Blosser welcomed our group and provided an in-depth look of the 9,000 square-foot museum and adjacent grounds, which feature more than 18,000 feet of earthen walls.

Next, we drove to Peebles, Ohio for a walking tour of Serpent Mound, known as the largest and finest serpent effigy in the United States. Nearly a quarter of a mile long, Serpent Mound represents an uncoiling serpent whose head is aligned to the summer solstice sunset. This public park, in operation for more than a century, also contains exhibits on the effigy and the geology of the surrounding area.

Archeologist and national park ranger Bret Ruby met our group at the day's third site, Seip Mound. Seip, the central mound in a group of geometric earthworks, is 240 feet long, 130 feet wide, and 30 feet high, and was built by the Hopewell Indians as a burial site.

Following lunch at the Chillicothe Country Club, we enjoyed a private tour of the Adena Mansion and Gardens, a 2,000 acre estate once owned by former Ohio governor and United States Senator Thomas Worthington. Our last stop of the day was a look at Story Mound, a large, rounded earthen mound located on just under an acre of ground in the heart of a residential neighborhood in Chillicothe.

Day Two ended with a delicious dinner at the Pump House Center for the Arts, catered by Old Canal Smokehouse.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ancient Earthworks, Day 1 -- May 19, 2011

Dr. Michael Wiant, Director of Dickson Mounds State Museum, is accompanying 31 members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University on a three-day trip to unique aboriginal earthworks in Ohio.

We began the trip with a visit to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. The museum, opened in 1989, has served as the primary venue for Native American art and culture in Indiana. It is also the only museum in the midwest to offer extensive collections of both Native American and American Western art.

Next, we took a tour of the Miamisburg Mound in Miamisburg, Ohio. According to the Ohio Historical Society, the Miamisburg is the largest conical burial mound in the state. Archaeological studies of the surrounding area have shown the mound to be 68 feet high, 852 feet in circumference, and containing 311,353 cubic feet of dirt.

We wrapped up the first day with dinner at The Golden Lamb, recognized as the oldest continuously operating business in Ohio. Between courses, we were treated to an enlightening presentation by the hotel/restaurant's resident historian, who shared stories about The Golden Lamb's many prominent guests (including several United States Presidents).

Monday, May 16, 2011

Historic Nauvoo -- May 12, 2011

Jim Wilhelm, host of WTVP’s “Illinois Adventure” series, accompanied OLLI on our day-long trip to Nauvoo and provided insightful commentary and anecdotes about the historical town and its founders.

Our adventure included a step-on tour by and commentary about the Reconstructed Nauvoo Temple, a visit to many of the historical sites along Main Street (including a brickyard, bakery, gunsmith shop, and post office), a blacksmith shop tour and demonstration, and a guided tour of the Joseph Smith Historic Site. We also enjoyed a wagon ride through the 1840s historic district, heard the stories of early settlers by actors dressed in period clothing, and saw the restored homes and businesses on the “Flats” as they existed over a century ago.

After lunch, we visited Baxter’s Vineyards and Winery, the oldest winery in Illinois that was featured on the Food Network’s “Alton Brown Feasting on Asphalt” series.

Sullivan's Downtown -- May 2, 2011

In early May, OLLI enjoyed a tour of a complex of downtown buildings that have been revitalized by local entrepreneur Pat Sullivan.

During this tour, we got a private, behind-the-scenes look at the Le Vieux Carre (“small quarters”) building on Water Street, a former buggy and implement warehouse built in the 1800s which was also rumored to have once housed Al Capone’s whiskey stills and gambling devices. Pat also gave us a peek at the headquarters for Water Street Solutions (the former post office), and discussed his efforts to create a new urban neighborhood in Peoria’s warehouse district, recently awarded $10 million in federal grants and renamed Rivertown.

Powerton Generating Station -- April 28 & May 11, 2011

OLLI took two separate trips this spring to the Powerton Generating Station in Pekin.

On both visits, we experienced a behind-the-scenes look at the electric generation station located southwest of Pekin. The coal-fired boilers wereshut down, so we had a rare opportunity to see inside the mechanisms that produce enough electricity to meet the needs of 1.8 million households. We also learned how the electricity generated by the station is transmitted for distribution to commercial, retail, and industrial customers.

Central Peoria Churches -- April 26, 2011

Our second foray into local churches led us to four houses of worship in the Central Peoria area.

During this trip, we got a closer look at the beliefs, architecture, and history of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, Salem Lutheran Church, and Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria. Representatives from each church were in attendance to talk about the practices of each congregation, and archiects from Farnsworth Group joined the group to discuss each building's design and architecture.

OLLI thanks Father John Sardis of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church for arranging an amazing lunch for our participants.

Harrison Community Learning Center -- April 19, 2011

In our second trip to District 150 schools this season, OLLI visited the brand-new Harrison Community Learning Center.

We met with Principal Veralee Smith and toured the 109,000 square-foot facility that opened at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Like the new Glen Oak Community Learning Center, the pre-K thru sixth grade school 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. During our visit, we also saw a sculpture in the main entrance made by two Bradley University art teachers.

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

Daarul Uloom Islamic School -- April 15, 2011

On April 15, OLLI toured the Daarul Uloom Islamic School in Peoria. Opened in September, 2010, the school serves approximately 125 students in grades pre-K to 6 with a focus on Islamic and secular education under the banner of a full-time, fully accredited school. The school, which outgrew its former location on Mount Hawley Road, features ten classrooms and a multi-purpose facility used for sports, youth activities, and social gatherings, as well as room to grow to serve older students in the future.

Principal Mona Rustom and Board President Mohammed Salem led our tour and gave participants an overview of the school’s mission, walked us through some of the classrooms, explained the prayer services, and discussed how the Peoria area’s Muslim community is supporting the full-time and weekend instruction.

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

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Alton Adventure

Our Alton Adventure began with a private tour of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center and Museum. Next, we toured the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, the Beall Mansion, and concluded the day at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower, where we observed the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers from the 180-foot-tall observation deck

Historic Alton

Our first stop on today's trip is a guided tour of the Jerry Costello Confluence Field Station, which serves as an international center for river studies.

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