Coastal Carolina University's Lifelong Learning program has received a $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, a San Francisco-based philanthropic organization. In recognition of the grant, CCU's adult education program will be named the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University.
At present, the foundation supports 115 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) on university and college campuses in 48 states, as well as a National Resource Center for the institutes at the University of Southern Maine. Osher hopes to sponsor at least one institute in each of the 50 states. South Carolina now hosts three OLLI programs at Clemson University, USC-Beaufort and Coastal.
Beginning in the fall of 2002, Osher began awarding grants of $100,000 to university and college campuses on the understanding that, once a lifelong learning institute was launched, the foundation would consider the renewal of the grant for two more years with a view to providing an endowment gift of no less than $1 million should the institute demonstrate potential for long-term success.
"We have had the Osher Foundation in our sights for the past three years," said Linda Ketron, director of Lifelong Learning, "but only this last spring did we feel that the combination of teaching, management and advisory talent, a varied and exciting curriculum, and the support of the administration merited their investment. We are devoting the first year's $100,000 grant to publicizing and marketing our program. Our first order of business will be a needs assessment to determine what our area seniors want that we aren't offering."
Advisory Board President Norm Whiteley anticipates "increasing the participation of our current Lifelong Learners and adding new members to the family. Lifelong Learning has become a necessity in our modern society of increased life spans, exploding technology and globalization."
For more information or to submit your suggestions to the needs assessment, contact Ketron at 843-349-4032.