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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Monday, February 21, 2011

Conversational Spanish Lunch -- February 17, 2011



In Spain, dinner is usually served between 9:00 – 11:00 p.m. (and sometimes as late as midnight), leaving significant time between work and dinner. As such, Spaniards often eat tapas – or appetizers – in the hours between finishing work and having dinner. We experienced this Spanish dining tradition when we met at Noir Tapas in Peoria Heights for OLLI’s first-ever conversational lunch, which also served as a preview for Dottie Strickler’s Study Group Journey in Spanish: Conversational Spanish and Travel.

For more information about Noir Tapas, please visit the restaurant's website.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Energy Knowledge Cafe -- February 16, 2011



Dr. Bob Podlasek and OLLI Past President Kenny Carrigan coordinated and organized an informative and engaging Energy Knowledge Cafe on Wednesday, February 16, 2011.

Dr. John Engdahl, Bradley University Fites Chair of Engineering and Technology, presented a program titled "The Future of Nuclear Power." Twenty OLLI members, 65 Bradley University undergraduate students, and several faculty members attended the presentation.

The Energy Knowledge Cafe meets monthly to discuss emerging issues related to energy use, production, and conservation.

The next intergenerational gathering of the Energy Knowledge Cafe will be on May 18 and feature Dr. David Zietlow, who will lead a discussion on the comparison of high-hybrid and electric vehicles.

For additional information about the Energy Knowledge Cafe, please contact Suzy Thompson of the Bradley University College of Engineering and Technology at 309-677-3541.

To read more about this presentation, please read Lydia's Blog.

Peoria Public Library -- February 16, 2011



The Peoria Public Library is in the midst of a $28 million construction overhaul with renovations at the Main Library, an addition to the Lincoln Branch, and the development of a new North Branch near Allen Road.

On this trip, we visited the construction site at the Main Library, located in downtown Peoria at the corner of Main and Monroe streets, and saw how the library is operating at a limited capacity while a new elevator tower is built and four of the five floors are renovated.

We saw the beginnings of a new lounge area, created from the old entrance area, where patrons can relax with a drink or snack, as well as new gallery space for exhibits and a local history and genealogy room. We also learned how the auditorium is being refurbished to offer the large space so many Peorians depend on for meetings and programs.

For more information about the library, please visit its website.

ICC Culinary Arts Institute -- February 15, 2011



One year after a total renovation of the kitchen at Illinois Central College North, the school’s Culinary Arts Institute is back open for business – in fact, enrollment in the program has tripled since 2009.

During our tour, we met with Chef Charles Robertson and learned how the former kitchen and cafeteria of Zeller Mental Health Center, circa 1949, has been transformed into two industrial-sized kitchens and a bake shoppe that daily serves 150 students in three classes.

We also toured classrooms, saw equipment, and talked with instructors about how the school’s culinary arts certificate is preparing students for careers in the foodservice industry by providing the skills necessary for entry-level positions.

For more information about the ICC Culinary Arts Institute, please visit the school's website.

Quest Charter Academy -- February 10, 2011



The seeds of Peoria’s first charter school were planted in 2006 by research conducted by members of Bradley’s Institute for Learning in Retirement (OLLI’s original name).

During this tour, we found out how that research, which included exploration of best practices, evaluation of models, and development of a set of recommendations, evolved into the Quest Charter Academy. We toured the building, visited classrooms (all of which are named after universities in order to promote the goal of college graduation), and talked with Engin Blackstone, principal, about how the school’s math, science, and technology-based curriculum is providing new educational opportunities for Peoria’s fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students.

For more information about Quest, please visit the school's website.

Peoria City Hall -- February 4, 2011



Peoria City Hall, constructed 112 years ago on the site of an outdoor produce market at the corner of Madison and Fulton, has been celebrated recently with a 52-page booklet about its priceless art and architecture.

The author of that booklet, local historian Dr. Peter J. Couri, was our guide as we took a private tour and learned about all the planning, politics, and Peorians involved in constructing the Flemish Renaissance-style building.

During our visit, we saw the Italian marble wainscoting, copper cupola bell tower, ornamented stepped gables, and the open atrium rotunda with a stained glass skylight, as well as the historic murals, lithographs, ironwork, sculptures, and paintings by renowned artists Triebel, Peaco, and Roberts.

For more information about Peoria City Hall, please visit the city's website.

Toraason Glass -- January 20, 2011



A learning trip to Toraason Glass is always in demand. During this visit, 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 led our group to Methodist Medical Center, where he spoke about his wall sculpture of 240 pieces of hand-blown glass in the new Hamilton Boulevard entrance.

For more information about Toraason Glass, visit the studio's website.

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