News Release

Osher Institute Receives Endowment

The Bernard Osher Foundation has given a $1 million endowment gift to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to enhance programs in the community.

From UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 23, 2014) – The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded a $1 million endowment to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Miami (OLLI at UM) in recognition of the program’s efforts to extend membership and further develop stimulating learning opportunities for Miami residents aged 50 and older. 

OLLI at UM’s membership is on track to double this year, serving a growing community of nearly 600 members. The program offers more than 200 courses both on and off campus, including in residential communities in Pinecrest, Kendall, and Coral Gables.

“This endowment will strengthen our roots in the community, allowing us to share our wonderful programs with more Miami residents in years to come,” said Rebecca M. Fox, dean of UM’s Division of Continuing and International Education, which administers OLLI at UM as part of its non-credit offerings. “We are extremely grateful to the Osher Foundation for their vision and generosity, and their commitment to the idea that no one should ever stop learning.”

The generous gift follows three annual start-up grants of $100,000 each. This donation, which is part of Momentum 2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, will further the creation of a privately funded donor network, which is expected to keep membership costs affordable.

OLLI at UM members adopt leadership roles, including facilitating the OLLI Travelogues – a series where members discuss their travel experiences in places like Thailand, Burma, India, Antarctica, and the Czech Republic. Members also organize social activities and field trips, serve on an advisory board, determine the strategic direction for the program, and lead membership drives. Its members represent a very diverse group, including a former aide to two presidents, a published author, and a recently retired broadcast news anchor, among others.

“Our members’ dedication is remarkable,” said Julia Cayuso, director of OLLI at UM. “The convergence of their personal and professional accomplishments, compelling knowledge and high engagement lends a rich dimension to our success.”