As we grow older, we yearn for that breather at the end of a life filled with endless and exciting adventures and the trying, but rewarding career, but who is to say learning should stop when we reach a certain age?
The Osher Life Learning Institute (OLLI), a special project of the Gerontology Institute at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies (MGS), offers a unique opportunity for mature adults to enrich their intellectual, social, and cultural lives with on-campus and online courses, museum and theatre excursions, special interest groups, video conferences, and more. Members can also enjoy such wonderful experiences through international travel; this fall they can discover the ancient mysteries of Peru or the wonders of Eastern Europe.
As part of this membership-based community, members can take advantage of more than 70 courses at various locations. Among the offerings this fall, courses include Introduction to Cloud Computing at Cordage Park in Plymouth; Geology of Southeastern Massachusetts at the Hingham Public Library; and Silent Film Greats, LGBTs and Their Families, and Culinary Journey to the Far East at UMass Boston. In addition, this season’s 30 brown bag seminars include discussions on Mission to Mars and What Does Brain Research Tell Us about Our Grandchildren—just to name a few.
Due to positive feedback from the debut of online courses last fall, OLLI is excited to announce two new online courses led by facilitators from MGS’ Gerontology Department: Your State House, led by PhD candidate Jerrilyn Quinian, and Prolongevity and Scientific Inquiry into Aging, taught by adjunct faculty member Judith Griffin. Both courses allow learners to access the class from home or from anywhere in the world with Internet access.
Other McCormack Graduate School faculty, students, and alumni will also be sharing their knowledge in OLLI courses this fall. Professor Emeritus of Gerontology Frank Caro will facilitate Brookline's Variation on the 'Village' Model. Public policy PhD alumnus Phillip Granberry will teach The Political Economy of Metropolitan Areas. Hayley Gravette, a PhD candidate in the Gerontology Department, will lead the course Fundamentalism and the Rise of Religious Violence. Gerontology Institute Research Associate Allison Gottlieb is offering Hope in Haiti. And Joseph Sarkisian, a graduate student in the international relations program, will teach Understanding American Conflict in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Originally established with a UMass service endowment grant in 1999, OLLI has grown significantly through the Osher Foundation’s generosity and the Massachusetts Public Higher Education Endowment Incentive Program, which brought its endowment to $1.5 million. Through it all, the McCormack Graduate School has remained a committed anchor to the nationwide (and worldwide) movement of lifelong learning institutes for students aged 50 and older. We are proud that our faculty, staff, and students contribute to this enriching learning environment.