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!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Science for Lunch -- February 26, 2013

For the first time ever, OLLI partnered with the USDA National Center for Agricultural Utilization to present Science for Lunch, a special lunchtime seminar.

Dr. Terry Isbell, Research Chemist and Biomass Research Development Initiative Project Director, and Dr. Mike Cotta, Research Microbiologist and Research Leader for the NCAUR Bioenergy Unit, discussed the exciting promises and challenges held by energy crops and second generation biofuels and how scientists in Peoria are unraveling those challenges and opening new doors for a biofuel future.

OLLI sincerely thanks NCAUR staff and Drs. Isbell and Cotta for a fascinating day of learning.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Islam in the West Study Group -- February 20, 2013

As an extension of their classroom studies, participants in OLLI's "Islam in the West" Study Group visited the Daarul Uloom Islamic School in Peoria.

There are currently 160 students enrolled in K1 through 8th grades (except 7th) with a staff of 21 teachers. During the tour, Mohamed Salem discussed the significance of knowledge for children, their personal growth, and how the family, media, community and school interact.

He also detailed the school curriculum, explaining how the school strives for high academic standards and educational excellence to prepare the students to become productive and responsible members of our global society.

Study Group co-facilitator and OLLI Curriculum Chairperson Bob Beckenbaugh thanked the staff for their hospitality and graciousness in answering the participants' questions. "We all gained a much deeper knowledge of and respect for the school and a better understanding of Islam and how Muslims face assimilation into the West through education," Beckenbaugh said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Altorfer Cat Power Systems -- February 19, 2013

Altorfer Inc. celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2012 as a dealer of Caterpillar's full line of construction and mining equipment, work tools, truck engines, and power systems. The corporation has locations in 15 cities, employs over 720 staffers, and serves 88 counties across Eastern Iowa, Northern Missouri, and Central Illinois.

During our tour of the East Peoria Power Systems facility, we learned about the sales and distribution of truck engine parts and on-hightway trucks, and visited the generator and engine service department.

OLLI thanks Jim Painter and all the staff at Altorfer for welcoming us to their facility.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Toraason Glass -- February 6, 2013

During our visit to Hiram Toraason's glass blowing studio in downtown Peoria (one of OLLI's most popular and frequently repeated learning trips), we witnessed him create a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Hiram led a tour of his gallery and demonstrated the techniques of working with 2,000-degree molten glass. OLLI members had a front-row seat as we watched him at work.

As always, OLLI graciously thanks Hiram and his colleagues for welcoming us to the studio.

For more information, please visit http://toraasonglass.com

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hot Scotsmen -- February 1, 2013

On the first day of February, OLLI visited the Hot Scotsmen fine art foundry in Peoria.

Owned and operated by two Bradley University alumni, Corey Kinsman ('04) and Kyle Chipman ('06), Hot Scotsmen is a full-service foundry that provides bronze casting services to the fine art industry including mold making through patination, metal fabrication, restorations, sculpture commissions, and consulting.

During our private tour, we learned the process of fine art casting using the lost-wax method, how and why bronze statues are restored, and saw examples of fabrication solutions for a wide range of projects. Hot Scotsmen has produced life-size statues located nationwide and pieces ranging in size from miniatures to large-scale statues (including the recently dedicated A.J. Robertson statue on Bradley's campus).

OLLI thanks BU alums Corey and Kyle for welcoming our group to the foundry. For more information, please visit www.hotscotsmen.com

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