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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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wildlife Prairie Park Butterfly Garden - May 27, 2014

On Tuesday May 27, 2014, OLLI members enjoyed a morning at Wildlife Prairie Park. Members learned all about the new Kim St. John Butterfly Habitat directly from those who made it happen.

OLLI members saw the habitat up-close and observed how the 2,600 square feet are filled with larval and nectar plants.

Master gardener and OLLI member Lee Maki discussed the construction and design of the house and lead a walk-through of the facility.

He also lead members through other areas of Wildlife Prairie Park.

OLLI would like to thank Lee Maki and all the staff and volunteers at Wildlife Prairie Park for an enjoyable day!

To learn more about Wildlife Prairie Park, please visit their website.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rocky Glen Hike- May 22, 2014

OLLI members enjoyed a hike in Rocky Glen on Thursday, May 22, 2014. Dave Pittman, President of Friends of Rocky Glen, lead the group during the hike.

Pittman provided insight about the land's history, and updated the group on the purchase and how the Friends of Rocky Glen are continuing the hard work to preserve the property.

OLLI thanks Dave for an amazing hike!

To learn more about Friends of Rocky Glen, please visit their website.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Peoria Area Houses of Worship- May 20, 2014

This seasons's series of the Peoria area church tours was held on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, and more than 30 members participated in the popular trip.

Throughout the day, we got a closer look at the beliefs, architecture, and history of New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church, Northwoods Community Church, Islamic Foundation of Peoria, and St. Jude Catholic Church.

Edward J. Barry Jr., Senior Architectural Manager for Farnsworth Group, Inc., accompanied the group to discuss the architectural highlights. Representatives from each church were also on hand to discuss the their congregational practices.

Thank you to OLLI member Mary Barthel for helping to organize this learning trip!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard & Winery - May 15, 2014

OLLI members took a Learning Trip to Mackinaw Valley Vineyards on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

Members learned about wine making and wine tasting with a behind-the-scenes look at Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, located just east of Mackinaw in eastern Tazewell County.

Bradley University alumnae Diane Hahn, owner of the working vineyard, guided our private tour of the winery that features an amazing 30-mile view of the valley and farms below.

Before lunch members participated in a formal tasting of six wines.

OLLI would like to thank Diane and the staff of Mackinaw Valley Vineyards for an amazing day at the vineyard.

For more information about the vineyard, please visit their website.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Amana Colonies- May 13, 2014

OLLI members took a Regional Learning Trip to the Amana Colonies in Iowa on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The Amana Colonies were founded in 1855 by the Germans who had originally settled in New York State years before.

When they first settled on the 26,000 acres, they developed seven Amana villages which are National Historic Landmarks. These villages are called Amana, High Amana, West Amana, Middle Amana, East Amana, South Amana, and Homestead. The population has stayed at around 2,000 people since 1855, with 800 living in Amana and between 150-200 people living in the other six villages.

Amana was originally founded as a communal living colony with the help from the church. This meant that no one received a wage as none was need to live on. The community came together and served five meals a day and helped one another to care for the families.

OLLI members were joined by their very own step-on guide, Harold, who gave us the history of Amana as we did a driving tour of the colonies. Our tour included a visit to a communal era kitchen haus, a general store, a church or meeting house, and a basket and broom store where members saw Iowa's largest rocking chair! They even saw the Amana Colonies Golf Club, which is six miles of walking on the golf cart path.

For lunch OLLI members enjoyed authentic German food from an original communal kitchen at the Ronneburg Restaurant. After lunch, everyone had time on their own to explore and visit shops that featured locally made art, crafts, and food.

OLLI would like to thank the Amana Colonies for being great hosts and sharing wonderful information about the colonies.

To learn more about the Amana Colonies, please visit their website.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pat Sullivan, Peoria native, entrepreneur, and co-developer of the city’s warehouse district, hosted OLLI members for a tour of the complex of downtown buildings that have been revitalized in recent years.

Members had lunch at Kellehers, then had a private, behind-the-scenes look at the Le Vieux Carre (“small quarters”) building on Water Street, a former buggy and implement warehouse built in the 1800s.

The tour consisted of winding through the renovated building for a look at apartments and office space. Sullivan explained how they re-use old doors, windows, and basically whatever they find to help decorate the space.

The group also walked across the street to the old Sealtest building. Here OLLI members learned of recent renovations to make this former dairy facility more apartments and office space.

OLLI thanks Pat Sullivan for sharing his vision with us, and hosting our tour of his downtown buildings.

Peoria Journal Star - May 9, 2014

On Friday May 9, 2014, some OLLI members took a learning trip to the Peoria Journal Star. Our tour guides were Rae Anne and Bernie (current OLLI member).

The learning trip featured a tour of the building, a mainstay visible from War Memorial Drive that dates back to the 1950's with an addition completed in 2004 to house new high tech printing and packaging equipment.

Members took a peek into the newsroom and offices and even swung by the "cavern" left behind when the old press was dismantled once the new press was put into service.

Following the tour, Mike Bailey and Steve Tarter shared their perspective on the news business and the future of print journalism.

OLLI would like to thank the Peoria Journal Star for an amazing tour.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wheels O'Time - May 6, 2014

OLLI members went back in time on Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at the Wheels O'Time Museum in Dunlap, Illinois.

Members had a chance to view interactive exhibits that described how life was in Peoria between 50 to 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 learning trip.

To learn more about Wheels O'Time, please visit their website.

Chicago's Field Museum- Monday, May 5,2014

Today OLLI members boarded a charter coach and headed to Chicago. Frequent OLLI instructor Randy Saxon accompanied us and shared his unique insights about the Field Museum exhibits along the way.

OLLI members had a behind the scenes tour in the non-public collections area with the Field’s very own Jim "The Bug Guy" leading the way. They had up close encounters with real live bugs, including a chance to hold a live tarantula! The visit also included a private tour with a docent through some of the permanent collections to learn about the Museum's history and highlights. From SUE the famous T.rex fossil to mummies of ancient Egypt, the docent shared her favorite secrets about the museum artifacts.

After lunch the group had access the special exhibit Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair. Here members glimpsed the hidden collections and treasures from the event of century, the Columbian Exposition, which was also the debut of the Field Museum.

It was a wonderful learning filled day, and OLLI would like to thank Randy Saxon for joining us on our adventure to The Field Museum.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Kickapoo Creek Winery - May 2, 2014

OLLI members enjoyed a learning trip to Kickapoo Creek Winery on Friday, May 2, 2014. Kickapoo Creek Winery owner, winemaker, and OLLI member Dr. David Conner was OLLI's personal tour guide.

During this learning trip, members learned about the process to make wine. They then sampled some of the winery's wine. Members then enjoyed a tour of the winery and learned what it takes to take care of the grapes throughout the seasons to be able to produce wine.

OLLI thanks Dr. Conner and the staff at Kickapoo Creek Winery for their hospitality.

For more information about Kickapoo Creek Winery, please visit their website.

Henson Disposal and Midwest Fiber- May 1, 2014

On May 1, 2014, OLLI members traveled to the Bloomington/Normal area to visit two recycling facilities. First we visited Henson Disposal, a company that operates Central Illinois’ only construction and demolition recycling facility, which helps reduce the amount of construction debris sent to local landfills. Tim Kirk, co-owner, of this family owned business, was our personal tour guide. He explained the process of their facility and then showed us first hand how employees recycle construction debris.

After lunch at Lucca Grill, the group visited Midwest Fiber Recycling. OLLI learned about this new $8 million state-of-the-art single-stream Materials Recovery Facility. Marie Streenz, Development Manager, gave members a private tour to view recycling at work in the 86,400 square foot building hub.

OLLI thanks Henson Disposal and Midwest Fiber for such an informative day learning about the recycling process.

To learn more about these facilities please visit their websites, Henson Disposal and Midwest Fiber

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