Osher Lifelong Learning Institute hosts fall preview

SF State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) offers students ages fifty and up the opportunity to study a range of interesting topics, from the work of playwright Sam Shepard to watercolor painting.

Photo of students working on a collaborative sculpture in the course, 'Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco Fountains'

Students in the course, “Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco Fountains” collaborate on a clay sculpture inspired by Asawa’s work. Ruth Asawa created SF State’s “Garden of Remembrance.”

Founded at SF State in 2003, OLLI is a membership-driven community of adult learners that offers a variety of courses in two sessions each semester. Courses run for three to six weeks and cover topics meant to engage like-minded community members.

“The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a fantastic opportunity for mature learners,” said Institute Director Sandra Halladey. “We’re flexible, students can take as many or as few classes as they like, and really engage with the classes that interest them.”

OLLI courses are led by current or emeriti faculty and experts with personal connections to their subject. The first fall session featured a class on sculptor Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco fountains, which was led by Asawa’s daughter, Aiko Cuneo.

“The key to healthy aging is to stay engaged, active and curious. If a member wants to study something that’s not offered we can help them start an interest group with some of their fellow students,” said Halladey.

Special interest groups allow students to explore a particular topic in depth. A world affairs discussion group, and a group of amateur chamber musicians are among those open to all OLLI members.

The public is invited to a free preview event on Oct. 9 where prospective students can meet faculty and explore upcoming course offerings for the second fall session. The preview event will be held on the 6th floor of the Downtown Campus at 835 Market Street at 3 p.m.

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, provides funding for Osher Institutes at colleges and universities across the nation. Osher Institutes provide non-credit educational programs specifically designed for adult learners.

To learn more about SF State’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, membership and upcoming course offerings, visit http://olli.sfsu.edu/ or call (415) 817-4243. 

-- Gianna Devoto