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!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rocky Glen 1 -- May 14, 2012

Rocky Glen, comprised of 97 acres along Kickapoo Creek Road in West Peoria, is a hidden gem of geologic importance. On this half-day trip, we learned about the site during a two-hour private hike with Ed Stermer, geology expert and earth science professor at Illinois Central College. David Pittman, President of Friends of Rocky Glen, a group dedicated to the site’s preservation, also accompanied us to provide further insight about the land’s history.

For more information about Rocky Glen, visit www.friendsofrockyglen.org

Peoria County Barn Tour -- May 10, 2012

Thirty OLLI members spent a gorgeous May day exploring nearly a dozen barns during the Peoria County Barn Tour

The day began with breakfast in the Michel Student Center Alumni Dining Room on Bradley’s campus. Soon thereafter, Bob Sherman, a barn expert with degrees in history and museum management, discussed and examined the nomenclature and the functional uses of farm structures, and we boarded the bus and ventured out into the countryside for a day-long visit to barns throughout Peoria County.

Toraason Glass -- May 9, 2012

On our tour of Hiram Toraason’s glass blowing studio in downtown Peoria, Hiram demonstrated the techniques of working with 2,000-degree molten glass to create a one-of-a-kind work of art.

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

Midland Davis -- May 8, 2012

On our tour of Midland Davis Corporation in Pekin, we learned how the fifth-generation company has evolved into a full-service recycling provider that processes more than 168,000 pounds of cardboard, 42,000 pounds of newsprint, and 21,000 pounds each of paper and co-mingled plastics each week.

Under the watchful eye of facility manager Tony Lamberson, we also got to watch the entire scrap metal recycling process, from hopper sorting to semi loading.

For more information about Midland Davis, visit www.midlanddavis.com.

Illinois American Water -- May 7, 2012

On our private tour of the Illinois American Water Company in Peoria, we learned about the company’s production and distribution methods and viewed laboratory equipment and historical architecture at the treatment plant, located just north of the McClugage Bridge. Our visit included a look at the observatory and fish hatchery, plus displays, instruments, and a replica of an early laboratory in a museum housed in the facility’s 119-year-old red sandstone pumping station.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Greater Peoria Sanitary District -- April 24, 2012

During our visit to the Greater Peoria Sanitary District (GPSD), we learned how wastewater is collected and treated to protect the environment in Peoria County, especially the creeks, streams, and Illinois River. Our private tour included a peek at some of the 650 miles of pipes used to collect the wastewater, details about how the plant treats an average of 25 million gallons from residential, commercial, and industrial customers, and a look at how the laboratory monitors the treatment process in order to meet the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency. For more information about the GPSD, please visit www.gpsd.dst.il.us

Lincoln Presidential Museum -- April 23, 2012

OLLI teamed with Anna Saxon of Methodist’s Encore! and her husband, frequent OLLI instructor and President Lincoln expert Randy Saxon, to retrace Lincoln’s life in Springfield. In the morning, we toured the Presidential Museum and Library. After lunch, we took a tour of Lincoln’s home and the surrounding neighborhood, where he served nearly 20 years as a lawyer and legislator and eventually departed for an uncertain future in Washington, D.C.

Peoria Fire Academy -- April 20, 2012

During this trip, we visited the 15-acre training facility utilized by local, state, and federal public safety agencies. Marty Baker, Division Chief of Training, provided an in-depth look at the Peoria Fire Department, led a walk-through of the facility’s five-story burn tower, and gave some lucky OLLI members a chance to put out a fire on their own! For more information about the Peoria Fire Academy, visit www.ci.peoria.il.us/fire-department

Peoria Area Churches -- April 19, 2012

During this trip, we got a closer look at the beliefs, architecture, and history of First Federated Church of Peoria, Peoria Seventh Day Adventist Church, Christ Lutheran Church, and St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church. Edward J. Barry, Jr., Senior Architectural Manager for Farnsworth Group, Inc., accompanied our group to discuss the architectural highlights, and church representatives discussed the congregational practices.

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