LLI Spotlight

LLI Spotlight: Cate O’Hara, Program Director, OLLI, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

By Peter Spiers

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Cincinnati was founded in 1990, offering fewer than 20 courses to 130 founding members that year; twenty-five years later, 1,700 learners chose from 400 courses. The OLLI is just one of the ways host University of Cincinnati OLLI supports community learning. The OLLI’s sister organization—Communiversity—offers learning programs to Cincinnatians of all ages, with an abundance of vocational programs in test preparation, job skills, and certificate programs for professional development, as well as a wide range of courses for hobbyists and more. Cate O’Hara has served as the OLLI’s Program Director since January, 2013. 

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LLI Spotlight: Jeff Shinaman, Executive Director, Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL), SUNY Empire State College

By Peter Spiers

The Academy for Lifelong Learning at SUNY Empire State College was founded by volunteers in 1992 and has since grown to 375 members, with a 40% spike in membership in the last year alone. Jeff Shinaman, ALL’s Executive Director, attributes the recent growth to a change in membership dues and the class fee structure. Formerly a flat annual fee of $250 for all the courses you wanted at no extra charge, the model now combines $50 annual membership dues with a per-semester fee of $50 for the first course and $25 for each additional course. Each spring and fall eight-week term features about 30 classes (or “study groups” as they’re called at this lifelong learning institute) led by volunteer facilitators who are a mix of ALL members and local community representatives. In addition to multi-week classes, ALL offers several one-time lectures each semester, free to members and their guests, featuring speakers such as Memory Athlete Brad Zupp. ALL is located in Saratoga Springs, NY, home to the famous Saratoga Race Course and close to prime vacation destinations Lake George and Adirondack Park. Saratoga Springs has become a retirement destination with a growing 60+ population.

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LLI Spotlight: Julie Vidotto, Director, OLLI at Clemson University, Clemson, SC

By Peter Spiers

Founded in 2002, the OLLI at Clemson University serves more than 1,000 older adults in the Upstate region of South Carolina, a popular retirement destination for both Clemson alumni and others drawn to the low taxes, mild climate, natural beauty and thousands of miles of lakeshore in this corner of the state.  Julie Vidotto has been the OLLI at Clemson Director since early in 2014.

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LLI Spotlight: Liz Tiley, Manager, Five College Learning in Retirement

By Peter Spiers 

Five College Learning in Retirement was formed in 1988 and is sponsored by Five Colleges, Inc., a consortium of four colleges and one university in Western Massachusetts—Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Liz Tiley as been the organization’s Manager since 2013.

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