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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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Peoria County Coroner's Office- February 27, 2014

OLLI visited the Peoria County Coroner's Office. On our trip we learned about the responsibilities of Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll. Ingeroll is an elected official charged with investigating sudden, unusual, and traumatic deaths and assuring those bodies are examined, identified, and, if necessary, autopsied. Our visit included an in-depth question time with Ingersoll as she explained her duties and answered the many questions our group had about the coroner's office in general.

We were allowed to observe a jury inquest, which is held weekly to determine the manner of some deaths occuring in Peoria County. After the inquest, the group toured the morgue where the bodies are stored prior to examination.

OLLI would like to thank Johnna Ingersoll and her staff for taking the time to host our educational visit.

To learn more about the Peoria County Coroner's Office, click here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Le Vieux Carre- February 25, 2014

OLLI had a private, behind-the-scenes look at the Le Vieux Carre ("small quarters") building on Water Street in Downtown Peoria. The building was a former buggy and implement warehouse built in the 1800's. It is rumored that the warehouse once housed Al Capone's whiskey stills and gambling devices. Our guide Rex would not confirm nor deny the rumors, however he did comment that he had found many old bottles hidden here and there, as he has worked on the building for the past 17 years. OLLI members enjoyed the views of downtown as they wound through the halls and rooms of the six connected buildings that make up Le Vieux Carre. The building currently houses over 25 private apartments and business offices.

OLLI members also had the opportunity to tour the old Sealtest building, which is still in the process of being renovated into apartment and office space. One member, Donna Hamm, was especially keen to see inside the building as it was her former employer, originally Roszell Dairy, over 50 years ago.

To learn more about the Le Vieux Carre from Pat Sullivan, one of the co-developers of the building, read his interview.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Historic Metamora- February 21, 2014

OLLI toured two historic sites in Metamora. OLLI visited both the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center and the Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site.

OLLI's tour of the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center was led by Julie Hendricks the Administrative Coordinator. During the tour, Hendricks explained how the center's library was used and what it held. As OLLI viewed the museum filled with artifacts, Hendricks showed and explained the use of personal, household, school, and congregational items. Some OLLI members braved tetoured the center's restored Grandfather House and The Sutter Barn.

During OLLI's tour of the Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site, Jean Myers the Site Manager and Curator gave historical insight throughout the tour. Myers explained that the courthouse is one of two surviving courthouses where Abraham Lincoln handled cases. Jean Myers then shared details about one of Lincoln's more famous trials, the Melissa Goings case. OLLI members learned from Myers how the Eighth Judicial Circuit court met in Metamora during 1845 until 1895. Myers also took time to explain different artifacts that were located throughout the courthouse, such as the a musket with a bayonet used during the Civil War.

OLLI would like to thank Julie Hendricks of Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center and Jean Myers of the Metamora Courthouse Historic Site.

To learn more about the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center, click here. To learn more about the Metamora Courthouse State Historic Site, click here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Maui Jim- February 20, 2014

OLLI visited Maui Jim's headquarters in Peoria. Maui Jim is now the fastest growing premium polarized sunglass maker in the world. Our tour guide Cortni Boulton welcomed OLLI members and we learned about the “Aloha Spirit” philosophy which is present throughout the company that employees almost 450 people here in Peoria.

She gave a short history of the company, its move from Hawaii to Peoria, and how the its “ohana” (family) has steadily built a enormous following for its products.

As we toured the facility we saw first-hand how the company engineers its PolarizedPlus 2 lenses, which combat the sun’s intense glare and 100% of the harmful UV rays. We toured through the prescription lens department where all of the Maui Jim prescription sunglasses are developed and manufactured. We had the opportunity to visit the repair department, the customer service operators, and of course the extremely busy packaging and mailing area, which distributes Maui Jim world wide.

OLLI would like to thank Cortni Bolton and the entire Maui Jim family for giving us such a warm welcoming tour.

For more information about Maui Jim, please visit their website.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Menold Construction and Restoration- February 18, 2014

OLLI visited Menold Construction and Restoration in Morton. During the trip, OLLI toured Menold’s state-of-the-art restoration and construction facility in Morton. OLLI was given a personal tour by Vice President Steve Driscoll. Driscoll showed OLLI Menold's in-house painting and staining, and we viewed the restoration division, which includes a massive inventory of equipment used for water, fire, storm, and mold emergencies.

We also had the opportunity to walk through the Ozone Room, where content is cleaned and smoke residue is removed, to eliminate 99.9% of odors.

OLLI members leanred that Menold handles over 1,600 projects a year and were amazed to see the amount of equipment needed to maintain this capacity.

OLLI would like to thank Steve Driscoll and Menold Construction and Restoration for an eye-opening tour of their Morton facility.

For more information visit Menold's website.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Homeway Homes - February 12, 2014

On this trip, OLLI toured the Homeway Homes factory in Deer Creek, IL. Our personal tour was led by President Brian Schieler who told us about the 40 plus year history of this family owned company. As we toured the enormous warehouse we learned about the company’s modern home design and construction processes. They build over 100 homes a year from top to bottom, right there at the factory. Schieler quoted,"At Homeway Homes we do it all".

We then drove to Goodfield to the sales office where clients pick out the details and specifics of their new home. From there we also had the opportunity to tour two completed model homes with Sales Manager Ted Schieler. We learned there were over 50 ready-made floor plan options available Homeway Home’s. Ted Schieler also shared one of his father’s favorite quotes, saying customers are “Limited only by imagination and their pocket book.”

OLLI would like to say thank you to the Schieler family, as well as the employees of Homeway Homes for such an amazing tour.

For more information about the Homeway Homes, please click here.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center- February 4, 2014

OLLI visited Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center in Peoria on Tuesday February 4th. OLLI received a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility that opened in April of 2013. Sarah Johnson, Event Coordinator, gave a tour of the facility and showed the OLLI participants what happens during the daily operations of the facility.

The facility allows many different providers to practice hands on training for many different scenarios. These simulations help the medical personal apply what they know prior to completing the application in real life. The facility has a few types of skills labs that put the core competencies to work for all medical personal.

OLLI participants met Sabeen Admani who is one of the Engineers for the facility. She discussed the innovation of 3-D printing. There was also Heather King, Anatomical Coordinator, who discussed how surgeons can prepare for surgery through a lab at the facility. The facility brings in pig and human cadavers to assist the surgeons in preparation.

OLLI would like to thank Sarah Johnson, Sabeen Admani, and Heather King of Jump Trading and Simulation Center for an amazing tour! To learn more about Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center click here.

University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria- January 31, 2014

OLLI visited the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP). University of Illinois College of Medicine has 4 campuses; Rockford, Chicago, Champaign and Peoria.

Our guide was Dave Haney, Director of Strategic Communications, gave us an overview and history of the organization. As he discussed how the program had grown and changed, we learned the first graduating class in 1973 had one female and the rest male, compared to the 2013 graduating class there are 40-45% female graduates. We learned there are about 1,200 instructors at the college and 1,000 of those instructors are volunteer.

On the tour we had the behind the scenes look at the many different labs that the college offer. There are simulation labs as well as different research labs, which are continually being updated, the newest of the labs opened just over a year ago. As one might guess, there is a vast amount of various medical research going on at the college daily. OLLI had the opportunity to meet one of the professors, who is working to cure to Alzheimer’s, and he discussed his current research.

OLLI would like to thank Dave Haney and the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria for a well done tour!

To learn more about the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria click here.

Institute of Physical Rehabilitation - January 30, 2014

OLLI visited the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPMR) at their Peoria location on Sheridan Road. President Rick Zehr welcomed us to the facility and gave us a quick overview and history of IPMR.

As we toured the facility, we met many key members of the dedicated staff at IPMR who discussed the different programs and therapies IPMR has available at their sites throughout the Central Illinois area. We learned IPMR recently launched a new program called STAR (Survivor Training and Rehabilitation) which is designed to help with the physical and emotional problems that occur as a result of cancer and cancer treatment. It is the only comprehensive oncology rehabilitation program in the area.There are 26 IPMR staff members who are certified specialists, assisting with the STAR program.

Ryan Fairchild, a Physical Therapist, gave a short informational talk about fall prevention and the importance of identifying concussions. He explained the different tests and screenings available for IPMR clients. We toured the balance room to view the equipment, and some OLLI members had the opportunity to brave a few of the balance tests.

We went next door to visit The IPMR Return to Work Center, which facilitates a person’s entry or return to work. They have a variety of equipment to provide services to those with an occupational injury or illness, physical impairment, or disability.

Going behind the scenes to find out about the many programs IPMR provides was was a great learning experience. OLLI would like to thank the staff of IPMR for an amazing tour! Click here to learn more about IPMR.

General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport -- February 6, 2014

During our tour of the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport, Gene Olson gave OLLI members an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the operational side of the airport. Gene joked that we'd start the tour with a different activity: walking the outside perimeter fence. That got a big laugh from the 22 members on the trip, all of whom braved wind chills of nearly 20 degrees below zero to attend.

Our visit began with a look at the secure operations room, where we learned about runway safety in severe weather. Gene discussed a myriad of details about the airport, including the differences between the yellow and white markings on the runways, how more than 100 cameras track the comings and goings of all airport personnel, and how the airport is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Next, we got a peek at the inbound baggage facility, where we watched staff members load and unload suitcases arriving in and departing from Peoria. We also saw the ticket counters, waiting areas, and jet bridges. Finally, Gene took us to the boardroom of the Peoria Airport Authority, where we had an amazing 180-degree view of the runway and the 182nd Airlift Wing, located just across the main runway.

OLLI extends its gratitude to Gene Olson, who took more than two hours out of his very busy schedule to host our group tour.

For more information about the airport, please visit www.flypia.com.

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