University of Oregon

History of OLLI-UO

OLLI in Eugene/Springfield was originally established in 1993 as Learning in Retirement. A sister site was established in Central Oregon in 2003 as the Silver Sage Society.

In June 2004, the San Francisco-based Bernard Osher Foundation selected the University of Oregon to become the first Northwest institution in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network. The Bernard Osher Foundation awarded a million-dollar endowment to the University of Oregon in 2008 to provide annual supplemental funding for the lifelong learning program. The new program name was adopted at this time: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon, with program sites recognized by their primary geographic location.

Fall 2023 marks our 30th anniversary in Eugene/Springfield and 20th anniversary in Central Oregon. Over these years, approximately 3,100 "dues paying" individuals have participated in these important community engaged programs.

Additionally, there is a National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, with the mission of connecting, collaborating, consulting and celebrating to help Osher Institutes thrive. There are 125 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes on university and college campuses, including all fifty states. To find an OLLI program near you, visit the Osher National Resource Center.

Graphic illustrating OLLI-UO historic timeline.
Timeline of OLLI-UO since its beginnings in 1992. Touch or click the graphic for larger view.