OLLI@UGA began as Learning in Retirement (LIR) in 1994, when a group of community leaders met to form an organization that would expand services to older adults in Athens/Clarke County and surrounding communities. The first classes were offered that fall.
In February 2009, LIR became OLLI@UGA, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The University of Georgia. We are one of 119 lifelong learning institutes affiliated with The Bernard Osher Foundation across the United States. Our mission is to meet the intellectual, social, and cultural needs of mature adults through lifelong learning.
We receive support from the Bernard Osher Foundation through endowment funding. Since 2011, OLLI@UGA has received two one-million dollar endowments from that organization, and the investment income from those endowments along with membership and activity fees, community sponsorships, and our annual fund drive help to support our organization.
We are a member-based organization with a small staff. Today we have more than 1,400 members and offer 300+ non-credit courses per year as well as travel/study adventures, and more than 25 Special Interest Groups to address the diverse interests of our members.
- OLLI@UGA non-credit courses offer a variety of topics – literature, history, religion, health, philosophy, natural sciences, food, social sciences, performing arts, art and architecture, economics, personal finance, computers, lifestyle issues and more.
- Our travel/study trips have a variety of destinations – from local and regional to national and international.
- Special interest groups (SIGs) provide another avenue for members to meet and socialize with other members with similar interests.
- Social events, such as OLLI Bash (to kick off each semester of courses), holiday Dutch-treat luncheons, parties, and volunteer appreciation events provide members with excellent opportunities to socialize and meet new friends. At the heart of OLLI are its volunteers who plan social events, help out with technology, prepare the newsletter, participate in development activities, look after our finances and plan the budget, plan our courses and trips, coordinate special interest activities, seek to expand our membership, and present courses.