Our last OLLI (Osher Life Long Learning) class was today. The guest was Dick Riley, former SC governor and President Clinton’s Secretary of Education. He spoke passionately about the importance of education. He is also the “Riley” in Furman’s Riley Institute, where we attend Civil War to Civil Rights program this summer.
At the end of the class he read a letter from the Osher Foundation, the foundation that supports our OLLI and many others, and the letter announced that they would be giving our Furman OLLI a second million dollars. The first million was an endowment to get the building of our new facility going. This is a HUGE amount of money for our program and it will be used for programming. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for us. Their are 119 OLLI programs throughout the US, including one at U of MN. The Furman OLLI has only been in existance since 2008, their was a previous continuining learning program that it was built on, and in that 3 years they have doubled membership from 500 to 1000 and broke ground on a new Continuing Education Building at Furman. It will house OLLI and other education programs. For a town the size of Greenville, this is a very large audience. Furman is deeply committed to OLLI and getting the community involved and that makes a big difference to the success of this program vs. other schools.
After the letter was read we saw a short video from the new president of Furman, he is out of town right now, which was very nice and they announced we were all invited to lunch at a beautiful conservatory like facility right on the lake. What a fun surprising morning.
Check out the OLLI website and take a look at the brocure for winter classes. I just signed us up for our winter classes. I am taking another Southern history class by my favorite history professor. This will cover slavery, the Civil War and reconstruction. Bob and I will both be taking Religion and Politics. I will take 3 or 4 groups on Friday bonus field trips and we are signed up for 3-4 more so it will be another busy winter.