Dominican’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Receives $1 Million Endowment

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dominican University of California has received a $1 million endowment grant from the San Francisco-based Bernard Osher Foundation in recognition of the Institute’s efforts to promote lifelong learning opportunities for North Bay residents aged 50 and older. Now in its fifth year, the Institute has 520 students.

Dominican has received annual grants of $100,000 from the Osher Foundation over the past four years to launch and grow the Institute. The $1 million endowment, which was based on demonstrated program success, University support and community participation, will permanently establish the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dominican. The income generated by this gift will assist with operating expenses and will enable Dominican to strengthen and expand the program.

 “OLLI at Dominican University is learning for life,” said Katherine Henderson, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dominican University of California. “We continue to be so thankful to the Bernard Osher Foundation for its support of our programs.”

The Institute is a member-driven organization that offers intellectual development, cultural stimulation, and social interaction. Six and eight week non-credit courses provide OLLI students with the intellectual challenge of academic programs minus the stress of grades, tests, or homework.

 “Our members enjoy being a part of a learning community of peers seeking knowledge on a wide array of topics, as well as political dialogue on current events,” Henderson said. “We offer content-rich liberal arts and science courses taught at the senior college or graduate level.”

OLLI at Dominican recently added a theatre club and partnerships with several Marin-based agencies, including the Marin Shakespeare Company, the Marin Symphony, and Family Services Agency of Marin.

Spring session courses will be taught at Dominican, as well as at the Margaret Todd Senior Center, The Tamalpais, and The Redwoods. Spring session courses include: Impressionism: Art and Modernity, The Gates to Western Europe: Eastern Europe and the Balkins, Fabulous Females in Film, The Latin American Challenge, and The Golden Age of the American Musical.

Classes are taught by local experts, including film critic Jan Wahl and Marin Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Robert Currier, as well as Dominican faculty. More than 20 Dominican faculty have taught OLLI courses over the past five years.

The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977 by California businessman and Marin County resident Bernard Osher. Among other initiatives, the Foundation supports university programs nationwide that offer intellectually stimulating learning for older adults.

A Spring open house will be held Thursday, April 2 from 10 a.m. until noon in Guzman Lecture Hall on the Dominican campus. Parking is available in the lot at the intersection of Grand and Acacia avenues. For more information about upcoming classes, call 415-458-3763, email [email protected], or visit