About the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)
Mission: To provide intellectually stimulating, affordable, non-credit learning opportunities to people 50 and older in community settings throughout Vermont.
Who We Are
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Vermont
In January 2003, the University of Vermont received a generous grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation to establish Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes that provide courses and programs for Vermonters aged 50 and over. The University received three subsequent grants followed by a $1 million endowment in October, 2006 and a second $1 million endowment gift in 2016 to permanently establish the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UVM. Institutes now exist in seven Vermont communities in Brattleboro, Newport/Derby/Stanstead, Central Vermont, Lamoille Valley, Rutland, Springfield, St. Johnsbury, St. Albans, and in Greater Burlington.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes offer new opportunities for serving the intellectual needs of Vermont’s older citizens through non-credit lectures, courses, and programs offered at an affordable cost in communities throughout the state. Local community members, in collaboration with UVM, design the curriculum and enroll in non-credit classes taught by active and retired UVM faculty or other area college faculty and experts.
“It’s the belief of Bernard Osher that people are living longer and that this longer life should be coupled with increased learning. The more engaged seasoned adults are, the more constructive citizens they will be.”Mary Bitterman, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Foundation.
“Retirees don’t simply want to play golf and drink wine. They want to sit down with other people and talk about the issues of our time.”Mary Bitterman, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Foundation.
Volunteer with OLLI
As a member-run program, OLLI at UVM relies on the talents, skills, and time of members to support its activities and to keep membership costs affordable. Volunteers can have a direct input into the decisions and direction of OLLI, while in turn OLLI benefits from members’ experience, expertise, skills and ideas. Participation as a volunteer deepens connections with other members and provides an opportunity to pursue interests and to develop new skills. Member and instructor volunteers are the heartbeat of OLLI at UVM and are the reason we continue to thrive as a dynamic organization.
Complete and submit this form to apply to volunteer.Volunteer with OLLI
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) of the University of Vermont (UVM) is funded in part by a partnership between the Bernard Osher Foundation, UVM, income from dues and fees, and donations from members like you. Your support will help to ensure OLLI can grow and expand program offerings, remain accessible and affordable to the Vermont community, and provide scholarship assistance to those in need.
Support OLLI of the University of Vermont.Donate: Give the Gift of Learning
Where Will My Money Go?
Your donation will only be used to support Vermont’s OLLI programs and will help reach the following goals:
- Maintain low membership and class fees
- Attract and retain quality instructors
- Increase and enhance educational programs
- Assure adequate staffing, space, equipment, and publicity for programming
- Hold special events
- Meet current expenses not covered by membership fees
“As an OLLI instructor and member, I have enjoyed numerous OLLI programs and made new friends through OLLI. I have come to realize that OLLI is us. We are fortunate to have a terrific team organizing programming in the office, but it is the members that give OLLI at UVM its vibrancy. I am committed to doing everything I can, including making a donation, to help our OLLI grow and thrive.”Patsy Jamieson, OLLI Instructor and Member Volunteer
Have an idea for a course?
Send us a course proposal
Please click the button below to take a survey that will allow you to send us the details of your proposed course. Questions? Contact: Krista Hamel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-656-5817.
Stay up to date on the latest course offerings and eventsSign up for OLLI emails
Our first edition of the OLLI newsletter was dedicated to Cathi Cody-Hudson, who has recently retired after 41 years with UVM’s Professional and Continuing Education. She played a strong role in OLLI’s history, growth, and success. She was the OLLI statewide administrator from (2009-2014) and served as the OLLI Director 9 years (2014-2023). We are grateful for her tireless and fearless dedication to the OLLI COMMUNITY over the years.
Archives of past newsletters
If I join an OLLI in one VT statewide community, can I attend programs offered by another VT statewide OLLI?
Joining your statewide OLLI as a member is an easy and affordable way to support all the programs that are offered each term. As a member you will meet others who appreciate the opportunity to share in learning. Members also help determine the program topics and help shape the direction of the institute. Members receive regular OLLI enews emails and are invited to attend special events and travel programs.
Your OLLI has a volunteer program committee which works with the steering committee to select programs and speakers. Members are encouraged to provide input to the program committee about speakers and topics of interest to them
Yes, all the OLLI steering committees are volunteers who welcome others to share in the leadership of the institutes. The steering and program committees meet regularly. Assistance is encouraged in other areas including publicity, recruiting new members, and greeting members at program sessions.
The University of Vermont OLLI are part of a large network of OLLIs all over the country. The Bernard Osher Foundation has funded 125 colleges and universities to support lifelong learning programs for older adults throughout the United States. OLLI members in Vermont can share ideas with other OLLIs in other states.
Join your OLLI each semester. Your membership dues are what sustain your local OLLI. You are also invited to make a tax deductible contribution to OLLI to support the ongoing costs of running the OLLI Program that are not covered by the endowment funds. Your contribution will assure that our OLLI will be sustainable long into the future.
Make a tax deductible contribution to OLLI by donating now.
Any other questions that should be here? Please contact us by email with your suggestion.
OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) of the University of Vermont
Krista Hamel, OLLI Director
Professional and Continuing Education
23 Mansfield Ave
Burlington, VT 05405
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