Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Osher Lifelong Learning at SF State celebrates two decades of service to older adults

San Francisco, CA, February, 2023 ‐‐‐ One of San Francisco’s treasures, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at San Francisco State, has reached a major milestone: two decades of service to people who are fifty and above. OLLI does that through classes, interest groups, outdoor activities, lectures, outings, and other activities.

Programs such as OLLI at SF State make San Francisco a great place to live and grow older, and explain why Forbes recently named San Francisco as one of the twenty‐five best places to enjoy your retirement.

Kathy Bruin, OLLI at SF State’s director, notes that the program is the perfect fit for people in retirement or getting close. “One of our members said to me that upon retiring he knew he would keep his body active by playing tennis and hiking, but he wanted to make sure he kept his mind active too. We were the perfect fit for him and his wife because in addition to enrichment, we have many ways to spend time together and make new friends outside of the classroom.” OLLI offers classes, interest groups, outings, and travel.

“Although we’ve been here for twenty years, I’m proud to say that we’re still growing,” Bruin said. “Our twentieth anniversary gives us a chance to recognize some major landmarks: record membership levels, programs that are bigger and more innovative than ever before, a very successful fundraising program, and much more.”

Bernard Osher, who inspired and helped fund the creation of 125 OLLIs across the United States, seconded Bruin’s comments. “In 2003, when we founded OLLI at SFSU, we had big goals in mind but no clear idea of how it would work out, or even if it would work out. But two decades later, I’m pleased to say that this OLLI has exceeded all of our expectations and is providing important services to a very receptive and committed audience of older adults. For me, it’s a dream come true.”

Mary Bitterman, president of the Osher Foundation, echoed Osher’s comments. “We work with OLLIs all over the United States but we think of the one in San Francisco as the home team, and we’re very proud of what this organization has accomplished and the foundation that it is building for for a bigger and better future.”

SF State President Lynn Mahoney also offered her thanks and congratulations: “On behalf of myself and my colleagues at SF State, we are delighted Osher Lifelong Learning Institute calls our campus home, drawing older adults with a curiosity and desire for knowledge to our University. We look forward to seeing OLLI at SF State continue to grow and innovate in the future.”

Learn more about OLLI at SF State.