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About Us

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan (OLLI-UM) is a program established in 1987 by a group of Turner Geriatric Clinic volunteers for people who share a love of learning. Under sponsorship of the University of Michigan Health System, OLLI-UM is affiliated with Elderhostel Institute Network and the Bernard Osher Foundation. The approximately 1200 members of OLLI-UM oversee and develop an extensive program of top quality lectures and offer a wide variety of study groups, travel excurions, evening and weekend events, and social/cultural gatherings.

OLLI members are a diverse group drawn from Ann Arbor and surrounding communities. Membership is intended for all enthusiastic learners over age 50, approaching or living in retirement, regardless of previous education. OLLI-UM is dedicated to challenging minds and stimulating the spirit to maintain healthy bodies.

Mission Statement

The mission of OLLI is to enhance quality of life by providing stimulating, meaningful, and high-quality lecture series, classes, travel and social events for an increasingly diverse group of persons 50 and older. OLLI is a volunteer centered organization in that it offers programs for older adults, designed by older adults. It capitalizes on the skills, knowledge, and experience of dedicated senior volunteers who actively plan and implement the learning programs for their peers.


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at U of M evolved from a program called Learning in Retirement, which was established in 1987 by Turner Geriatric Clinic volunteers at the University of Michigan. The successes of the Learning in Retirement program gained recognition from the Bernard Osher Foundation in the form of substantial grants to enhance and expand programming. In March of 2007 — in recognition and appreciation of Osher Foundation contributions — the Learning in Retirement Board of Directors changed the organization name to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan and hosted a celebratory program.

In 2012, Learning in Retirement/Osher Lifelong Learning Institute concluded 25 years of service to learners aged 50+. We are pleased to have enabled so many people to enhance their lives. We are proud of our long-term affiliation with the excellence of the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center.

25 Years of Service Brochure (pdf)

OLLI Leadership Council Members 2017-18

Laurie Barnett Secretary
Lisa Barton† Director, OLLI at Michigan
Peyton Bland
Lynn Boyer
Arnetta Burroughs
Twila Deigert
Mildred Denecke
John Dorcey Treasurer
Ruth Dunkle† Professor,
U-M School of Social Work
Bill Furtwangler Vice President
Gerald Gardner

without vote
Kay Hodges
Carol Maccini
Ruth Primas
Sharon Quiroz
Darlene Racz† Associate Director for Social Work and Community Programs, Geriatric Center, U-M Health System
Craig Ramsay President
Bill Roberts
Leo Shedden
Stu Simon
Benjamin Richards† Assistant Director, OLLI at Michigan
Marie Vitale


E-mail Announcements:

March 2017 to present
July 2016 to February 2017

OLLI Newsletters:

April 2017 (pdf)
April 2016 (pdf)


Scholarships are available to OLLI members who need assistance paying for OLLI study groups or lectures. Please contact the OLLI office (734-998-9351) if you are interested in learning more.