Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Bradley University?

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is an organization at Bradley University whose members, age 50 and older, want to keep learning and stay active as they reach and enjoy retirement. One way to do that is to keep learning, and OLLI offers them many options.

Participants enjoy a diverse collection of year-round programs including non-credit classes, educational travel, and study groups. The only pre-requisite is that you enjoy learning!


Who attends OLLI?

OLLI at Bradley has over 1,100 Peoria-area members from age 50 to 98 who are enjoying the best of life-after-50 as they participate in educational events designed just for them. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere of OLLI only adds to their experiences. It's learning their way!


Where is OLLI held?

OLLI classes meet on Bradley's campus (in the Michel Student Center), with door-to-door shuttle service between buildings and designated parking lots.

Study Groups meet at Bradley as well as several satellite locations throughout the community including Goodwill Commons, Heartis Senior Living Village, Hult Center for Healthy Living, Lutheran Hillside Village, the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, Peoria Public Library branches, St Paul Lutheran Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, United Presbyterian Church, UnityPoint Health Methodist, Universalist Unitarian Church, and the Washington Public Library.

Learning Trips are conducted primarily within the community and region though some trips include multi-state and international destinations. Local trips are generally half-day excursions using the comfortable easy-access OLLI shuttles. Longer land-based trips utilize charter coaches.


What are OLLI Classes like?

If you think OLLI Classes are like traditional school, you'll be surprised to learn that we take a different approach. Imagine learning only about the topics you choose, taught by engaging instructors, on a college campus, with people your age, and no tests or grades. Add time for socializing, and you have a sense of what we do. It's learning - our way!

OLLI classes are offered on Wednesdays in April and October, and on four consecutive days the second week of January. A typical day lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with several breaks (and snacks!) throughout the day.


What happens in OLLI Study Groups?

If you're like many OLLI members, you want to learn more about the things that interest you. That's what Study Groups offer - the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth with like-minded peers. You may work independently outside the group; you may lead the group; or anything in between. Study Groups are your connection to studying what you most enjoy with people who share your enthusiasm.

OLLI Study Groups meet throughout the year convening weekly for two hours and continuing for up to eight sessions.


What are OLLI Learning Trips like?

Learning Trips are educational travel experiences that encourage you to interact with experts who offer behind-the-scenes looks at area businesses, regional attractions, and international destinations. On OLLI trips, you get to investigate and explore with your peers while receiving top-notch customer service - all travel arrangements are developed by the staff, so that you can focus on learning and fun.


How do I become an OLLI member?

Please contact:
Catherine Lawless
Continuing Education
Bradley University
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
phone: (309) 677-3900
e-mail: .edu


How do I give someone an OLLI membership?

Give the gift of lifelong learning! OLLI gift certificates can be purchased in Continuing Education bycalling (309) 677-3900.


What can you tell me about the Bernard Osher Foundation and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute?

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in1977 by Bernard Osher, a patron of education and the arts known as “the quietphilanthropist.” Osher is a respected businessman and community leader whosenamesake Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life through support for highereducation and the arts.

In 2008, The Bernard Osher Foundation awarded Bradley a grant that established the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute - OLLI at Bradley University.

There are 123 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLIs) spanning all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each is an independently operated lifelong learning initiative of its host college or university and is supported in part by The Bernard Osher Foundation. The national Network formed progressively over a period of nearly 15 years, beginning in 2001. As of March 2016, more than 160,000 people nationwide are members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. Through satellite locations or partner organization locations, the 120 OLLI's offer courses and activities in nearly 380 individual cities and towns throughout the U.S.


How is OLLI organized?

Bradley University is the home of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Bradley recognizes the importance of its OLLI as a standard of excellence in lifelong learning. Bradley also generously supports OLLI through its provision of staff, meeting space, and services for OLLI. Bradley University Continuing Education sponsors the OLLI program and provides staff for program leadership and oversight.

OLLI is a member-driven organization that is guided by dedicated individuals who are passionate about their vision of OLLI at Bradley University. The volunteers serve the organization through its many committees where program ideas originate. This grassroots approach makes everyone a stakeholder in the process and the results.

OLLI at Bradley University is an endowed program of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and is an affiliate of the Road ScholarInstitute Network.


What About Accessibility and Parking?

Most OLLI events are handicapped accessible, and assistive listening devices are available. Parking is reserved for OLLI Classes and Learning Trips, and is usually plentiful for other OLLI events.

Parking Permit Procedures: For our members taking classes who have state-issued handicapped placards or license plates AND are physically unable to utilize our door-to-door shuttle service from Shea Stadium and Westminster Church, we have a very limited supply of handicapped-accessible parking permits for use during OLLI Classes. These permits allow you to park in a handicapped or white-lined space on campus (only four handicapped spaces are located near the Michel Student Center). OLLI covers the cost of this permit if a request is received via email or phone by the date indicated in the brochure. After that date, provided permits are still available, they can be requested at a cost of $10. All requests must be made via an email or telephone call to the contact listed in your brochure, and these requests must include a license plate number, your placard number and expiration date, and the make, model, year, and color of your vehicle. Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


What are the fees for OLLI programs?

OLLI has a combination of free and fee experiences. Below are your options.

  • OLLI Classes - Fees vary with most Classes costing $30 per class
  • OLLI Learning Trips - Fees vary depending on the destination and related travel costs
  • OLLI Study Groups - Fees vary with most Study Groups costing $45 per group

Please contact us if you would like to confirm the fee for a specific event.


When do I get my class schedule?

Your class schedule is provided in several ways. If you register prior to the Spring or Fall Kick-off Luncheon, it will be available for pick-up at the luncheon. If you cannot attend the luncheon, we will mail your schedule the next day. On the first day of classes, you will get another opportunity to receive a class schedule when you check in at the OLLI registration desk (Michel Student Center 2nd floor foyer); it is conveniently printed on the back of your name badge!