ISU Alumni Association receives major endowment

Ivy Christianson

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute received a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation.

OLLI at Iowa State, formerly known as the College for Seniors, is a program off of the ISU Alumni Association, according to the Alumni Association website. The College received a $100,000 grant in July 2008 from the Osher Foundation in California to create an affiliated institute at Iowa State.

The OLLI is a place where individuals more than 50 years old may attend the program to gain an vast array of knowledge in a wide variety of topics, according to the Alumni Association website. There are no tests or grades, and the classes typically cost $45 to $65 depending on the length.

Many of the instructors for the classes are retired or current ISU professors. The classes are held in the fall, winter and spring and have included: history, religion, science, the arts, current events, music, computers and digital cameras.

Jerilyn Logue, program manager for the OLLI and for the ISU Retirees Association, said in July 2009, a second $100,000 grant was received.

“Shorty after submitting the paperwork for the second grant, we were contacted by Osher and asked to apply for the $1 million endowment,” Logue said. “In addition to the endowment, we received a one-year $50,000 bridge to assist us with the costs until the endowment begins earning interest.”

In addition, to be considered for the endowment, the institute had to meet the following criteria: must offer a diverse and intellectually challenging array of educational offerings; must demonstrate its strong support of the program and materially contribute to its ongoing development and success; must have in place a robust volunteer leadership and sound organizational structure and a growing number of annual, paid memberships; and must reach 500 members before being considered for the endowment.

Logue said the Alumni Association plans to invest the $1 million endowment, and each year the OLLI at ISU program will have access to the interest from the previous year. That amount will be used along with the annual membership and class fees to pay for expenses.

“The confidence Osher has shown in our program by awarding us this endowment is gratifying and a powerful statement to the commitment Iowa State and the Association are making to lifelong learning for individuals 50 years of age and older,” Logue said.

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