On Wednesday, September 17, more than 350 OLLI members, volunteers, and instructors gathered at Bradley University to celebrate the kick-off of another academic year.
A volunteer committee decorated the room in a back-to-school theme, complete with books, apples, and individual cupcakes to honor OLLI's 20th birthday. Guests were welcomed by OLLI Vice President Mary Ellen Krum, who encouraged everyone to keep humor in their lives as they continue their lifelong learning goals. Bradley University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. David Glassman, officially welcomed OLLI back to campus. "We believe in OLLI," he said, noting that both he and Bradley University President Joanne Glasser are proud to have OLLI as part of the Bradley family.
Next, Continuing Education Assistant Director Michelle Riggio announced some good news: overall membership for OLLI had reached 1,098 individuals in the past academic year, representing a 7% increase over the past year. She also formally introduced new Program Coordinator Bryan Blanks to the audience, noting his first day on the job will be September 22.
After dining on a delicious meal of prime rib, participants were treated to a keynote presentation by Dr. Michael Wiant, Museum Director at the Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds. Dr. Wiant discussed the importance of gathering and how it impacts lifelong learning.
OLLI wishes to thank all of those who came to campus yesterday to celebrate the kick-off of our year!