Bruin is charged with providing leadership and direction in the growth of OLLI, a vibrant and engaged community featuring enrichment courses tailored for people age 50 and up. Courses cover a diverse range of subjects, including writing, art, music appreciation, politics, Bay Area history, sociology and science. The institute, one of 124 OLLIs nationwide, is designated and partially funded with grants from the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco. Founded at SF State in 2003, it is based at the University’s Downtown Campus and serves more than 600 members. Visit olli.sfsu.edu.
Bruin manages day-to-day operations; develops programs and curricula; coordinates events, member initiatives and promotions; and builds community partnerships.
“At San Francisco State and throughout her career, Kathy Bruin has established herself as a creative problem solver and a point person who gets things done,” said Andrew Harris, dean of SF State’s College of Liberal & Creative Arts. “Her natural leadership skills and — not to be overlooked — compassionate, warm personality make her the ideal candidate to lead our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.”
Bruin has 30 years of experience in publishing, event management, logistics and site operations. Before serving as OLLI’s interim director for three months she was the program assistant at SF State’s Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies. From 2012 to 2015 she was operations manager at Impact Hub San Francisco, a 700-member co-working space focused on social entrepreneurship.
“There is a great deal of enthusiasm and momentum among our members who are dedicated to enriching their lives through our courses and community. Together we are excited to build San Francisco State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute into an indispensable resource for the Bay Area’s over-50 population,” Bruin said. “The warmth of this community is tremendous. I feel so fortunate in my career to have landed here.”
In 1995 Bruin founded About-Face, a media literacy campaign that aims to educate girls and women on issues of body image, media and misogyny. Her parody of a popular advertisement for Calvin Klein’s Obsession perfume garnered widespread media attention.
Bruin was raised in Walnut Creek and earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations from California State University, Chico.
Bruin replaces Gwen Sanderson, who served as director from 2015 to 2019.
About San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University is a doctoral public university serving students from the San Francisco Bay Area, across California and around the world, with nationally acclaimed programs that span a broad range of disciplines. Nearly 30,000 students enroll at the University each year, and its more than 321,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond. Through them — and more than 1,800 world-class faculty members — SF State proudly embraces its legacy of academic excellence, community engagement and commitment to social justice. For more information, visit sfsu.edu.