An event to celebrate the new name and partnership is January 31.
(Sarasota-Manatee) The Bernard Osher Foundation, a San Francisco-based philanthropic organization, has chosen Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy (RCLLA) to be part of the national network of lifelong learning institutes that it supports. To mark the Academy’s inclusion in the national network, RCLLA will be renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College or OLLI at Ringling College and the Foundation has awarded the program a $100,000 grant to further its community engagement efforts. Janna Overstreet, RCLLA’s executive director, adds that, with good stewardship of this grant, RCLLA will be eligible to apply to the Osher Foundation for a $1 million endowment grant. RCLLA is holding a reception on January 31 to celebrate its future as a member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network. The reception, which is open to the public, is 2:30 to 4 p.m., at Temple Beth Sholom’s Social Hall, 1050 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota. Please RSVP at 941-309-5111.
“Joining the consortium of Osher Institutes opens the door to a world of possibilities,” says Overstreet. “We’ve built a robust program over the past 20 years. This national recognition is a remarkable testament to the quality of our instructors and programs and will provide additional opportunities to meet the lifelong learning needs of area residents. The Osher Foundation’s support will allow us to reach out to even more people in the Sarasota-Manatee region who want to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons and enrich their lives through lifelong learning. We’re looking forward to this exciting new chapter!”
“As part of the network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, we can take our community outreach to a whole new level,” says Dr. Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design. “We can participate in a national conversation about the importance of lifelong learning with our colleagues from similar programs at Brandeis, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Tufts, Vanderbilt, and other esteemed universities. The exchange of ideas about learning-in-retirement programs will enrich the experience of the Academy’s more than 3,500 members. It’s truly a boon to both the Academy and the Sarasota/Manatee community.”
In 2019, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College will make its permanent home at the Ringling College Museum Campus.
“When Osher Foundation senior program director David Blazevich visited our campus, he was impressed with the plans to combine the Museum and Academy in the same physical space and the unique programming opportunities that will provide,” says Overstreet. “The name may be new, but the program’s mission remains the same. OLLI at Ringling College will provide outstanding and affordable educational programs and social interaction that cover a broad spectrum of topics and are rich in intellectual stimulation, often interactive in scope, and worthy of academic consideration.
“We are delighted to support Ringling College’s exceptional program and warmly welcome its vibrant learning community to the national Osher Institute network,” said Osher Foundation president, Mary Bitterman. “We look forward to the continuing contributions that it will certainly make to the field of lifelong learning and trust that it will benefit from meaningful exchanges of information and ideas with Osher Institute colleagues on 121 campuses from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska.”
About The Bernard Osher Foundation
The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The Foundation provides post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to reentry students. It also supports a national network of lifelong learning institutes for seasoned adults on the campuses of 121 institutions of higher education. The Foundation benefits programs in integrative medicine at five universities in the United States and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Finally, an array of performing arts organizations, museums, and select educational programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and the State of Maine receive Foundation grants. Barbro Osher, Honorary Consul General of Sweden in California chairs the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Visit www.osherfoundation.org.
About Ringling Lifelong Learning Academy
As private not-for-profits, both the Lifelong Learning Academy and Pierian Spring Academy served the Sarasota-Manatee region for almost 20 years growing lifelong learning program offerings in number and variety as the demand for services grew. Now they have combined forces with Ringling College of Art and Design to become Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy, offering educational opportunities for adults to pursue new interests, expand intellectual horizons, and enrich their lives. Courses cover a wide range of stimulating topics and are taught by scholars, retired faculty members, and professional practitioners. Courses are taught in an engaging, collaborative manner where learning results in the development of civic awareness, ongoing learning communities of peers, and intellectual and cultural connections to our communities. Visit www.rclla.org.
About Ringling College of Art and Design
For 85 years, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The private, not-for-profit fully accredited college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 11 disciplines and the Bachelor of Arts in two. The College’s rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers. Visit www.ringling.edu.