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, July 26, 2013

Peoria Riverfront Museum - July 25, 2013

OLLI toured the Peoria Riverfront Museum in late July.

We started our behind-the-scenes tour in the planetarium where Sheldon Shafer,Director of Education/Planetarium Curator, explained the technology behind the sky of stars and whet our appetite with a snippet of the Black Holes film.

Ann Schmidt, Assistant Director/Curator of Education, guided us in the Ansel Adams gallery and "The Street," a dramatic exhibit designed with a sense of grandeur, with a large media display to immerse visitors in more than 300 years of Peoria's rich history.

In addition, we learned about a few of the building features and practices that make it an environmentally sustainable museum.

OLLI would like to thank the outstanding staff at the Peoria Riverfront Museum for such an enjoyable tour.

Caterpillar Vistors Center - July 23, 2013

OLLI hosted a second VIP tour of the Caterpillar Visitors Center in late July. OLLI members explored interactive displays and exhibits with two Caterpillar docents.

Some of the highlights included climbing into the seat of a massive two-story Cat® 797 Mining Truck and taking a virtual ride into a customer's mine site down a haul road, seeing what the Holt steam track-type tractor prototype from 1905 looked like, and sitting in the seat of an antique Cat® D8 Tractor to feel what it was like to operate the machine in the 1930s.

OLLI thanks the Caterpillar Visitors Center for welcoming our gang.

For more information about the Visitors Center, please visit www.cat.com

Pat Sullivan's Le Vieux Carre - July 18, 2013

OLLI spent the afternoon touring downtown buildings that have been revitalized by local entrepreneur Pat Sullivan.

Sullivan, Peoria native, and co-developer of the city's warehouse district, was our host as we toured a complex of buildings getting a private, behind-the-scenes look at Le Vieux Carre ("small quarters") building on Water Street, a former buggy and implement warehouse built in the 1800's which was also rumored to have once housed Al Capone's whiskey stills and gambling devices.

Sullivan kept our group entertained with stories from the past, and OLLI would like to thank him for not only his time, but for his ongoing contributions and efforts toward downtown Peoria.

Wheels O'Time - July 17, 2013

Our mid-July trip to Wheels O'Time gave OLLI members a chance to view interactive exhibits that described what life was like in Peoria between 50 and 100 years ago.

Our private tour guides led us through an eclectic collection of antique autos, Caterpillar machinery, clocks, toys, tools, coin-operated machines, a railroad steam locomotive, a working windmill, and more!

OLLI would like to thank the staff at Wheels O"Time for an enjoyable afternoon and allowing our members to take a step back in time.

Summer Social-- July 10, 2013

OLLI members enjoyed the summer social aboard the Spirit of Peoria.

It was a beautiful summer afternoon for cruising up and down the Peoria River.

Captain Alex Grieves, the owner/Captain of the Riverboat, shared the history of the boat along with some of his unique experiences on the river.

OLLI members joined the staff for cake as they said good-bye and wished Jon Neidy luck in his new role at Bradley as Executive Director of the Smith Career Center.

OLLI thanks Captain Grieves and the entire staff of the Spirit of Peoria for such a fun day on the river.

Greater Peoria Sanitary District - June 27, 2013

OLLI toured the Greater Peoria Sanitary District at the end of June. They learned how wastewater is collected and treated to protect the environment in Peoria County, especially the creeks, streams, and the Illinois River.

Our behind the scenes 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 lab monitors the treatment process to meet EPA requirements.

OLLI thanks the staff at GPSD for an enjoyable and informative afternoon.

Peoria Journal Star - June 26, 2013

OLLI members enjoyed an informative trip behind the scenes at the Peoria Journal Star.

Phil Jordan, Marketing Manager, met with the group and discussed how our local newspaper is in good financial shape and what a huge impact its readership actually has on the community.

Our tour guides, Rae Ann and Bernie (our very own OLLI member) let us through the print shop, explaining the printing process while showing us the computer control room, ink and paper storage and of course the 4-story press!

After the tour, the group met with Steve Tarter, Business Editor and Mike Bailey, Opinion Editor. They shared their perspectives on the news business and their specific insights on Peoria Journal Star.

OLLI thanks the staff at the Peoria Journal Star for giving us such an enjoyable and informative afternoon.

Peoria Police Department - June 25, 2013

OLLI visited the Peoria Police Department in late June.

During the trip, we checked out holding cells, line up rooms and interview rooms. When we headed to the evidence room, Denise, the department's fingerprint expert, explained the painstaking process she uses to match fingerprints.

We explored a museum that highlights equipment, photographs, and evidence collected over the last 80 years.

Our tour also included the adjacent Emergency Communications Center, where we observed and learned how the trained staff handles emergency calls for all of Peoria County law enforcement, fire, and ambulance services.

OLLI thanks Steve Fairbanks and the staff of the Peoria Police Department who helped make our tour a success.

Peoria County Jail -- June 19, 2013

During this trip, Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy led our private tour of the jail and guided us as we participate in an interactive indoor shooting range at the facility.

After the tour, we were the Sheriff's guests as he hosted our private lunch at the jail.

For more information about the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department, visit www.peoriacounty.org

Caterpillar Visitors Center -- June 13, 2013

During this VIP tour of the Caterpillar Visitors Center, OLLI members explored interactive displays and exhibits with two Caterpillar docents. Some of the highlights included climbing into the seat of a massive two-story Cat® 797 Mining Truck and taking a virtual ride into a customer's mine site down a haul road, seeing what the Holt steam track-type tractor prototype from 1905 looked like, and sitting in the seat of an antique Cat® D8 Tractor to feel what it was like to operate the machine in the 1930s.

OLLI thanks the Caterpillar Visitors Center for welcoming our gang.

For more information about the Visitors Center, please visit www.cat.com

Metro Peoria Government -- June 12, 2013

In June, OLLI visited the Peoria County Courthouse to learn more about the Metro Peoria Committee, a joint initiative by the Peoria City Council and Peoria County Board to enhance collaboration between the two units of government.

County Administrator Lori Luther gave an overview of committee, while City Councilman Timothy Riggenbach and County Board member Mary Ardapple interacted with OLLI and answered questions on local government matters such as service delivery, collaborative efficiencies, and transparency.

After the discussion, the group walked across the street to enjoy an early dinner at Richard's in downtown Peoria.

OLLI would like to thank the Peoria Metro Committee for taking the time to meet with us and update us on this joint initative.

Rocky Glen Hike -- June 11, 2013

On this trip, OLLI members visited Rocky Glen, a hidden gem of geologic importance spanning 97 acres along Kickapoo Creek Road.

Ed Stermer, geology expert and earth science professor at Illinois Central College, and David Pittman, President of Friends of Rocky Glen, led us on an amazing, two-hour private hike. OLLI members tested their hiking skills as they climbed and slid through the challenging terrain.

Our guides shared insight into the land’s history and gave us updates on how the Friends of Rocky Glen continue to work on preserving and restoring the property.

OLLI thanks Ed and Dave for the time and knowledge they shared with us on our hike!

Bradley University Grand Tour -- June 7, 2013

In early June, OLLI members invited their grandkids to take a first-ever “Grand” tour of Bradley University.

On our private, behind-the-scenes look, some of the grandkids got to play news anchor at Hench Studios and play actors and actresses when we went “on stage” at the Hartman Center for the Performing Arts.

Later, when we checked out the Markin Family Recreation Center, we were given a private dance lesson in the studio -- hip hop no less!

Going underground in the Renaissance Coliseum to see where the athletes hang out and get rehab was cool, especially when we tried out the big lounge chairs in the Men’s Basketball film room.

At the end of the tour, OLLI members and their grandchildren enjoyed a wonderful catered lunch in the Coliseum and felt like VIPs with a view of the performance court. The grandkids even scored some cool BU gear!

OLLI sends a big THANKS to the Bradley Admissions team for such a special tour of our favorite place, Bradley University!

A Day in Historic Logan County

On our visit to historic Logan County we spent the day visiting several sites. The trip started with a group photo opportunity at the Railsplitter Covered Wagon, which is recognized as the World’s Largest Covered Wagon!

Participants learned more about wind farms from one of the local farmers who leases his land for windmills. From there we traveled to the Logan County Courthouse, which features a courtroom with the original 1905 furniture, as well as many other artistic and historic details.

Next, the National Weather Service office gave us a tour of their facility and discussed how meteorologists develop the weather forecasts for central Illinois.

Our final stop of the day was the Lincoln Heritage Museum, where OLLI members delighted in exploring many artifacts from the Lincoln home, a Lincoln campaign banner from 1860, and an original Civil War Union drum used in battles.

OLLI would like to thank the Logan County members involved in the group effort that put together a memorable day for participants.

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