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!

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter:

Follow by Email

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Greater Peoria Sanitary District- April 29, 2014

OLLI members visited the Greater Peoria Sanitary District on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Paul Keturi, Compliance Supervisor for the Greater Peoria Sanitary District (GPSD), led a tour of the facility.

Keturi started with an overview and history of GPSD. He talked about the general methods for collecting wastewater and how it is treated to protect our environment in Peoria County. During the tour, OLLI members had a glimpse of some of the 650 miles of pipes used to collect the wastewater, and details about how the plant treats an average of 25 million gallons from residential, commercial, and industrial customers. OLLI members had an up close look at how the wastewater at GPSD is pumped with two Archimedes screw pumps. Each pump has a capacity of 60 million gallons per day.

OLLI thanks Paul Keturi and the staff at GPSD for such an informative tour of their facility. For more information about GPSD, please visit their website.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Midwest Food Bank- April 24, 2014

OLLI had a chance to get “hands-on” during their tour of Midwest Food Bank, a faith-based, ecumenical nonprofit organization founded in 2003.

It all started back in 2003 when the Keiser family began providing food out of a building on their family farm in McLean County. Today, the organization serves more than 600 food pantries throughout the United States.

During our tour of the facility, we learned how Midwest Food Bank handles the donations, distributions, and volunteers that allow the organization to feed more than 225,000 people each month!

At the end of our tour, OLLI members had the opportunity to help prepare a food delivery. Our task to help pack Couscous for distribution.

OLLI would like to thank Terri Campion at Midwest Food Bank such an amazing learning experience.

To learn more about Midwest Food Bank, please click here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monument Tour with Jim Ludwig- April 15 and April 22, 2014

OLLI members joined Jim Ludwig, Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Bradley University for a unique adventure exporing the monuments of Peoria. Ranging from Vanna Whitewall to Lydia Bradley; from religious figures to a famous agnostic; from classical to very, very modern; from silly to serious, there is a surprisingly rich and varied collection of public sculpture that we all see (they are in plain sight), but don't really notice.

For the Peoria Monument Tour, members boarded the OLLI shuttle to drive by dozens of sculptures and monuments. Jim Ludwig was a very entertaining narrator as he shared some history and anecdotes about treasures of the community. The final portion of the tour consisted of walking through the Peoria Civic Center inside and out, as well as Peoria City Hall and the plaza area.

It was truly a fun-filled tour. OLLI would like to thank Professor Ludwig for sharing his time and talent on the Monument Tour.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Peoria Fire Academy- April 21, 2014

On Monday, April 21, 2014, OLLI visited the Peoria Fire Academy, a 15-acre training facility near Galena Road utilized by local, state, and federal public safety agencies for upgrade training and continuing education. It is also designated as the regional training site for the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

Peoria Fire Captain Byron Yang, provided an in-depth look at the Peoria Fire Department, demonstrated the equipment used by firefighters (including fire gear and breathing apparatus), led a walk-through of the facility’s five-story burn tower, and talked in detail about the duties of the Peoria Fire Department.

OLLI thanks all the firefighters at the Peoria Fire Academy who made our group feel very welcome!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bloomington's Hidden Gems - April 18, 2014

OLLI boarded a charter coach for Bloomington on Friday, April 18, 2014.

The day began with a behind-the-scenes tour of Ewing Manor, a 1929 estate designed by Bloomington architect Phil Hooten. This 44-room house had over 6000 square feet of living space.The tour also included the surrounding Genevieve Green Gardens, created by noted landscape architect Jens Jensen, who also designed Springfield's Lincoln Memorial Gardens.

The second stop was the David Davis Mansion, where OLLI members had a chance to glimpse into the lives of the wealthy and powerful of the 1870s.

OLLI members enjoyed a delicious lunch at Lancasters in downtown Bloomington.

After lunch, we concluded our day with a step-on tour of the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail of McLean County. The group had an opportunity to see area barns and farm buildings decorated with 8 x 8 plywood quilt squares. Some of the quilts included were Grandpa's Delight, Star and Pinwheels, and the Maple Leaves, Star, Sugar House.

OLLI thanks our tour hosts for a wonderful day discovering Bloomington's hiddens gems!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Peoria Zoo - April 14, 2014

Julie Brunton, Peoria Zoo Assistant Curator of Education, was OLLI's behind the scenes tour guide on Monday, April 14, 2014. Brunton discussed Peoria Zoo's affiliation with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Through the Zoo's affiliation, the Peoria Zoo works with over 200 other zoos affiliated with the organization to acquire a variety of animals.

Throughout the tour OLLI members were able to learn about the different animal habitats. Brunton also explained what it takes to feed and care for some of the animals on a daily basis. The OLLI group had access into the back of the rhino and giraffe enclosures for an up close look at these magnificent animals. They also had the opportunity to view the lions, tigers, primates, zebras, and more!

OLLI would like to thank Julie Brunton and the Peoria Zoo for a great tour!

To learn more about the Peoria Zoo, please click here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Blue Man Group - April 10, 2014

OLLI members gathered for a performance of The Blue Man Group on Thursday, April 10, 2014. They enjoyed a pre-performance lecture and dinner with Bradley University Professor Emeritus Jim Ludwig. Ludwig discussed the history of The Blue Man Group, he also highlighted what it takes for this critically acclaimed show to run smoothly. Ludwig provided many insights into the performance of The Blue Man Group.

OLLI Members were entertained by the exciting performance of The Blue Man Group, some members were even seen dancing along with the music.

OLLI would like to thank Professor Emeritus Jim Ludwig for a wonderful presentation and The Blue Man Group for an amazing show.

Illinois American Water - April 10, 2014

OLLI had the opportunity to tour the Illinois American Water Company in Peoria on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Lori Horstman, Production Superintendent of the Peoria plant led the tour. She explained the company's production and distribution methods, which start with water intake at the river.

Members learned that the treatment process takes about 24 hours, before the water is made is available to the public. The water comes from the Illinois River and local wells in the Peoria area.

The tour included a view from the observatory, where the clarification process begins. Members visited the lab, and also learned how the water turbidity is reduced as it is processed.

Horstman discussed the history of Pump Station #1, Pump Station #2 and the Main Well which were built in 1890 and were placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1980. The buildings during that time were fashioned after the Romanesque Revival Style architecture, which include the well-known gargoyles atop of Pump Station #1. The pump stations are still in use today.

OLLI would like to thank Lori Horstman and Illinois American Water for a wonderful tour of the facility.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dozer Park - April 7, 2014

Peoria Chiefs President and Bradley University alum Rocky Vonachen was our guide as we took a behind-the-scenes tour of Dozer Park, home of the Peoria Chiefs.

Although our visit happened to be just 24 hours before the home opener for 2014, Rocky spent nearly two hours with the OLLI gang, leading us on a tour of the concourse, the club suites, the home locker room, the home dugout, equipment areas, and even the manager's office, all while discussing the history of the minor league team, a Class A Midwest League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

OLLI extends its sincere appreciation to Rocky and his staff for being such gracious hosts during our tour. Good luck in 2014, Peoria Chiefs!

For more information about Dozer Park, or the Peoria Chiefs, please visit peoriachiefs.com

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette

OLLI visited the recently renovated Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette on Thursday, April 3. In 2011, the Peoria City Council approved an agreement with developer Gary Matthews to temporarily close the Pere Marquette Hotel for an extensive renovation and expansion into a full-service, Marriott Brand Hotel.

Mackenzie Camp, an alum of Bradley University, was our tour guide. The hotel has over 18,000 square feet of meeting space, and Camp led us through the various rooms allowing us to compare the different set-ups and admire the beautiful artwork. OLLI members had a chance to visit one of the guest rooms. Members also had a chance to learn about the benefits of the concierge lounge, which is available to guests staying in the hotel who have chosen a concierge level guest room.

After touring, the group enjoyed a delicious lunch at the hotel restaurant, Table 19. They also learned the back story about how the name was chosen for the new restaurant.

OLLI would like to thank Mackenzie Camp and the staff at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette for allowing us to be their special guests for the day.

For more information about the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette, please check out their website.

Blog Archive

Contributors