Osher Foundation awards $1 million to Clemson’s OLLI program

The Bernard Osher Foundation made a $1 million gift to Clemson’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a continuing education and membership program for older adults.

The gift — a $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds — is the foundation’s second $1 million gift to OLLI at Clemson and a recognition of the institute’s contributions to the local community, said OLLI director Julie Vidotto.

OLLI at Clemson offers lectures, courses, excursions and social events to adults ages 50 and older, as well as access to Clemson events and resources. The institute holds approximately 215 classes each year in interest areas including technology, philosophy, history, fine arts, culture, travel, nature and fitness, among others.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Osher Foundation for this latest expression of support,” said Brett Wright, interim dean of the College of Health, Education and Human Development, which houses Clemson’s OLLI program. “This generous gift will expand our efforts to make a difference in the lives of older adults, and we are thankful for our continued partnership.”

OLLI at Clemson grew out of a grassroots effort led by local retirees 12 years ago and a $5,000 commitment from the College of Health, Education and Human Development. Since then, the program has grown to more than 1,000 active members and is now housed in the Charles K. Cheezem Education Center at Patrick Square in Clemson, the result of a generous gift from the Cheezem family.

For more information about Clemson’s OLLI program, go to clemson.edu/centers-institutes/olli/.

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