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$1 Million Gift Awarded to CSUF's Lifelong Learning Program
OLLI lecture series
Endowment From Bernard Osher Foundation Enhances OLLI's Future

January 24, 2008 :: No. 137

In its continued support of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Cal State Fullerton, the Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded the university $1 million to create an endowment to benefit OLLI.

Funds from the gift will be used to upgrade facilities and equipment, market and promote the organization, and maintain current membership fees.

“Cal State Fullerton and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participants and volunteers here are deeply appreciative of the Bernard Osher Foundation’s $1 million endowment to OLLI,” said CSUF President Milton A. Gordon. “This remarkable gift will make a significant and lasting impact on our OLLI program, its participants and volunteers. The foundation’s support will enable us to strengthen and expand our program to meet the needs of even more senior learners for many years to come. We are deeply honored that our OLLI program is recognized by the Bernard Osher Foundation as deserving of this support.”

Founded in 1979 as Continuing Learning Experience, OLLI at Cal State Fullerton is a self-directed university support group of more than 825 retired and semiretired individuals dedicated to the pursuit of lifelong learning. Programs consist of study groups, educational lectures, physical and social activities, special events, and travel opportunities developed and facilitated by members.

The university’s partnership with Osher began in 2003, when it received $100,000 from the foundation. Gifts to date from Osher now total $1.4 million.

“We’re happy to be among the continuing learning organizations that have received this endowment from Osher,” said Barbara Talento, OLLI president and emeritus associate professor of nursing. “Among the recent things we’ve done with their grants is update the kitchen in the Ruby Gerontology Center, which enabled us to bring in a nutritionist to teach a class on diet and nutrition. And, we just purchased the ‘OLLI Trolley,’ which will shuttle members from the parking lot to the center.”

The Bernard Osher Foundation, established in 1977 by San Francisco businessman Bernard Osher, seeks to improve the quality of life through programs in the arts and humanities, integrative medicine and financial assistance for students in postsecondary education. The foundation currently supports 119 Osher Lifelong Learning institutes on university and college campuses in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia.


Media Contacts:

Barbara Talento, OLLI, 657-278-3198 or
Gail Matsunaga, Public Affairs, 657-278-4851 or

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