Sarasota, FL – July 17, 2019 – Ringling College of Art and Design today announced the receipt of a $1 million endowment grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation to support the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College and its mission to enrich the lives of mature adults in Sarasota and Manatee counties by providing outstanding educational programs.
OLLI at Ringling College was formed in December 2017 when the Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy (RCLLA) was awarded an initial $100,000 grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation, which is based in San Francisco and dedicated to improving quality of life through higher education and the arts. At that time, RCLLA was renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College to commemorate its inclusion in the national network of 123 exceptional lifelong learning programs supported by the Osher Foundation at institutions of higher education across the country, including American University, Florida State, Johns Hopkins, and many of the Ivy League and Big 10 colleges and universities.
“We applaud the Institute’s excellent staff, dedicated volunteers, and dynamic community of intellectually vigorous members for developing an outstanding program of great variety,” said Osher Foundation President Mary Bitterman. “We also salute the leadership of Ringling College for its support of the program and for embracing the notion that education is a lifelong pursuit that has the power to forge and enhance our connection to one another and to a larger world. We are delighted to provide this permanent support.”
“We are deeply honored to see The Bernard Osher Foundation reaffirm and strengthen its commitment to OLLI at Ringling College through the awarding of this endowment,” said Ringling College President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “The support of the Osher Foundation will ensure that we are able to continue our provision of meaningful lifelong learning opportunities to our region, making it possible for our mature learners to pursue new interests, expand their intellectual horizons, and enrich their lives.”
According to OLLI at Ringling College Director Janna Overstreet, “Designation as an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is the gold standard in lifelong learning, and this $1 million endowment is a deepening of the commitment begun by the Osher Foundation when it awarded us the initial grant.”
“We are truly appreciative for the continued support of The Bernard Osher Foundation. The proceeds of this endowment are targeted toward enhancing our member and volunteer engagement efforts, as what really set us apart is the community of lifelong learners that we build through social interaction, the commitment of instructors and other volunteers to the mission of the program, and our membership opportunities for support and engagement. We create a sense of community based upon shared interests and commitment to the mission of OLLI and to ongoing lifelong learning,” Overstreet concluded.
The mission of OLLI at Ringling College is to enrich the lives of mature adults in Sarasota and Manatee counties by providing affordable and outstanding educational and social interaction programs that cover a broad spectrum of topics and are rich in intellectual stimulation, often interactive in scope, and worthy of academic consideration. OLLI at Ringling College is a division of the Ringling College School of Continuing Studies.
For information on the OLLI program at Ringling College, visit www.olliatringlingcollege.org
About Ringling College of Art and Design
Since 1931, 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 eleven 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 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. www.ringling.edu