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Mon, Feb. 24

Happy 20th anniversary OLLI!

Twenty years ago some prescient students at Yavapai College decided to form a student body made up of mature, retired people who wanted to continue their search for new ideas about their previous work lives or just broaden their knowledge of some of the subjects dear to their hearts, but never had the time to pursue.

With the help of like-minded college staff, a college within a college, called the Yavapai Learning Institute, was formed.

The Yavapai Learning Institute (YLI) grew, increasing student enrollment from a handful in 1993 to more than 150 members in 10 years. Initially four classes per week were offered, later expanding to more than eight classes per week.

In 2005, the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco, a philanthropic foundation funding Life Long Learn groups in various colleges and universities nationwide, was made aware of our efforts. They agreed to fund our fledgling "seniors' college." Their only request was that we change the name from Yavapai Learning Institute (YLI) to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and follow their gift guidelines.

With newfound financial support, we gained momentum and, spurred on by a generation of retiring "baby boomers," we rapidly increased our ability to now offer 40 to 45 classes per session, five times a year, serving more than 600 members.

The curriculum offered is very diverse, offering something of interest for everyone. Classes are facilitated by volunteer members since the early days of YLI to the present. More than 170 facilitators have contributed their time and talents.

We are often mentioned in national publications as a reason to consider retiring here and the notoriety seems to be working.

Happy anniversary Prescott OLLI - you've come a long way!

OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) is a peer directed membership organization at Yavapai College's Prescott campus and NAU's Prescott Valley building, next to the library. OLLI offers over 200 peer facilitated classes during a five, 6 - week sessions a year. For more information or to get on the mailing list please call 717-7634.

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