Adult Enrichment Through the OLLI Program

Older adults are embracing specialized workshops and courses, such as those offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Clemson University. OLLI is connected to Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, and there are 120 OLLI programs connected to four-year universities around the U.S. The program at Clemson was created in 2001 as a lifelong learning organization which became connected to the Bernard Osher foundation in 2005 through an endowment.

The purpose of OLLI is to provide “non-credit educational programs specifically designed for seasoned adults aged 50 and older”. While there is quite a lot of variation among the OLLI institutions, a common purpose, according to Clemson’s Osher director, Julie Vidotto, is to promote learning that will not only be long, in terms of a lifetime, but “wide and deep”. OLLI programs and courses are also available at Furman University, in Greenville.

Membership in all OLLI programs is open to all seasoned, mature learners. The Clemson OLLI program has a membership fee of $30 plus the cost of individual courses and materials. Subjects with courses include Business, Computers, Health, Home and Garden, Languages and Travel, Natural History, Outdoor Adventures, Practical Arts (Hobbies), Psychology and Science, Arts, Culture and Music.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Center (OLLI) is located at the Cheezem Education Center, 100 Thomas Green Blvd., Clemson. For more information, call 864-633-5242 or email