Osher Lifelong Learning Institute expands
Photos by Lane McLaughlin December 20, 2019
Provost announces OLLI classroom partnership with Lewes church
The University of Delaware’s popular Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) educational program for adults aged 50-plus in Lewes, Delaware, is adding new classrooms in 2020 at the Trinity Faith Christian Center on New Road in Lewes.
UD Provost Robin W. Morgan recently announced the new classroom partnership to a standing-room-only crowd of OLLI members and supporters at OLLI’s current Lewes facility in the Fred Thomas Building on Dupont Avenue.
Special guests present for the announcement included I.G. Burton Jr., Sussex County Council vice president and UD trustee; Delaware state Senator Ernie Lopez; and Ralph Begleiter, OLLI instructor, UD professor emeritus and former CNN correspondent.
Morgan praised the OLLI members’ dedication to both the OLLI program and the community.
“You are a great asset to the University of Delaware, the community and each other,” Morgan said. “Learning doesn’t stop with a degree earned from an educational institution, and our job at UD is to turn people into lifelong learners. OLLI exemplifies that.”
UD’s OLLI southern Delaware program has been based in Lewes since 1993 and has grown tremendously over the years, said Anna Moshier, OLLI’s Kent and Sussex County program manager. “Ten years ago, we held about 50 classes each semester in Lewes,” she said. “This spring we’re offering 117 classes across our Sussex County locations, 91 of those in Lewes alone.”
With the program’s expanding membership and course roster, the extra classroom space will be a welcome addition, said Moshier, adding, “We’re thrilled about the new location, and we couldn’t be more pleased about our new partnership with Trinity Faith Christian Center.”
Although OLLI programs are not faith based, Bishop Arthur D. Jones of Trinity Faith Christian Center said the church’s leadership team welcomes the OLLI partnership and sees it as a good fit with the church’s outreach philosophy.
“Our church’s ministry has always been community oriented, and we’ve always supported education,” said Jones. “We’re involved in senior ministry, children’s ministry and veteran’s ministry, and we strongly believe we should find the needs in our surrounding community and help to meet those needs.”
UD’s lifelong learning program in southern Delaware was founded more than 30 years ago as the Southern Delaware Academy of Lifelong Learning with just 59 members. With the program now boasting 1,050 members in Kent and Sussex counties, the timing was right for this expansion, said Moshier.
“UD is committed to offering a continuum of education opportunities all the way from high school through undergraduates, graduate students, continuing education and lifelong learning. OLLI is an incredibly important part of that,” Morgan said.
The first OLLI classes planned for the Trinity Faith Christian Center classrooms will be in the summer of 2020. OLLI classes will also continue to be held at the Fred Thomas Building as well as other nearby locations, including Ocean View Town Hall, Heritage Shores Clubhouse in Bridgeville and The Moorings.
In Kent County, OLLI classes are held at Wyoming Church in Dover, as well as at Delaware State University as part of a new community partnership. In New Castle County, OLLI classes are offered at UD’s Arsht Hall on Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington, as well as other community-based venues.
UD is proud of its history of having one of the earliest and largest lifelong learning programs in the country, designed for adults age 50-plus to take classes and socialize together, with no grades or exams. The OLLI program is organized as a learning cooperative with a membership fee, not tuition. Partial scholarships are available. OLLI’s upcoming spring semester starts Jan. 27 in Kent and Sussex counties and Feb. 10 in Wilmington.
For more information, contact OLLI at 302-645-4111 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit olli.udel.edu/spring2020.