Foundation Funds Life - Long Learning
by Gail Matsunaga
From Dateline (March 13, 2003)
In another nod to the university's commitment
to and excellence in the area of gerontology, the Bernard Osher
Foundation recently awarded $100,000 to the Institute of Gerontology
to create the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Renewable annually for three years, the grant “will
help further establish our role in the realm of lifelong learning
and will allow us to expand and extend into the community,”
says Pauline S. Abbott, director of the Institute of Gerontology.
In addition, an administrator will be hired to oversee the OLLI.
To be housed in the Ruby Gerontology Center, the institute
will become the campus's main resource for information on courses,
services and activities geared toward senior scholars - age 50 and
older - from such programs and organizations as Continuing Learning
Experience (CLE), 60+, University Extended Education, Center for
Successful Aging, Adult Re-Entry Center and Center for Oral and
The OLLI also will offer non-credit coursework that
Abbot says, “will give us the potential to use emeriti faculty
members, those who want to continue to teach. They represent all
areas and many disciplines, and will be introduced to new audiences.”
Designed to complement CLE's offerings, which
are primarily offered in the Ruby Gerontology Center, the OLLI classes
could possibly be held at off-campus locations - reaching
those who cannot make it to Fullerton.
Eventually, says Abbott, classes may be offered via
According to a recent survey conducted by the Institute
of Gerontology, Orange County's senior population has doubled
since 1980, and by 2020, will number approximately 965,000. Nationally,
the educational level of older adults is increasing. And in a study
commissioned by the AARP regarding why people age 50 years and older
continue to learn about new things, a large proportion of those
surveyed said they did so for the “joy of learning,”
to enhance their spiritual or personal growth and to keep up with
what is going on in the world. In Orange County, more than 9,000
residents age 50 years and older were enrolled in local community
colleges and universities in fall 2000.
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