Osher Lifelong Learning Institute awarded million-dollar endowment
Vanderbilt University’s opportunities for lifelong learning will expand and thrive, thanks to a $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt offers non-credit classes that usually last six weeks during fall, winter and spring.
“In order to keep your brain healthy, you have to challenge yourself by continuing to learn throughout life. This program provides the perfect opportunity for seniors to accomplish this goal, and we are thrilled to expand it,” said Norma Clippard, the director.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt has also received a bridge grant of $50,000 from The Bernard Osher Foundation to help meet its operating needs until the endowment has time to deliver meaningful income.
“The progress that the institute has made since receiving its initial support from the Osher Foundation in December 2006 has been outstanding,” said Mary G.F. Bitterman, foundation president. “Norma Clippard, her staff, and of course, all the members who help plan the programs for seasoned adults are to be congratulated for their remarkable achievements.”
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt reflects the university’s high academic standards, with 65 percent of the instructors consisting of Vanderbilt’s current and retired faculty. In addition, there are monthly “Lunch and Learn” lectures, day trips and special events, including an annual meeting of the membership with a prominent speaker. The institute, previously called Retirement Learning at Vanderbilt, began in 1995. It now has approximately 800 members, according to Clippard.
The Bernard Osher Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. As a part of this effort, the foundation funds a national network of lifelong learning institutes that target older adults. The foundation was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader in the San Francisco Bay area.
Membership in Vanderbilt’s Osher Institute is open to all seniors interested in learning for a lifetime. For more information, call (615) 322-5569 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.