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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)




Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

The Office of Executive Development and Continuing Education at Coastal Carolina University provides the best in adult education throughout the Grand Strand, Conway and Waccamaw Neck areas.  OLLI, housed in the Office of Executive Development and Continuing Education at Coastal Carolina University, seeks to provide opportunities for adult, noncredit students to achieve intellectual stimulation, as well as cultural and social growth, while fostering a close, lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between the students and the University.  Lifelong Learning courses are designed to meet the needs and interests of seasoned adults in these communities and are offered during day and evening hours at three convenient locations.


Policy Change:  As of 9/1/14, participation in OLLI courses, clubs and excursions is limited to individuals 18 years of age and older.

OLLI is a membership organization.  The membership fee is $20 per semester (fall and spring).  This fee is required whether you are signing up for a one-day workshop, multiple courses or a special interest group.  A number of benefits are associated with the OLLI membership.  These include:

  • Photo ID
  • CCU parking decal
  • Weekly OLLI eNewsletter
  • Selected OLLI-sponsored free lectures
  • CCU library card and on-campus library use
  • CCU Bookstore discount
  • OLLI discount to the Hackler Golf Course at Coastal Carolina University
  • Discounted membership with select YMCA branches in Myrtle Beach and Georgetown
  • Discounted membership fees/dues with Fitness Edge branches in Murrells Inlet and Carolina Forest
  • Discounts at HealthPoint Center for Health & Fitness in Litchfield
  • Group travel opportunities
  • Belle W. Baruch Foundation's Hobcaw Barony during the semester, specific events and programs will be offered to OLLI members with current ID cards at a special rate.
  • Discount admission to:
    • Most CCU-produced cultural events
    • Atlantic Stage performances
    • Long Bay Symphony performances
    • Theatre of the Republic performances
    • Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum discount on exhibition opening receptions.
    • Brookgreen Gardens


Members in good standing of the CCU Alumni Association are welcome to participate in OLLI clubs and events.  Registration is required.


The Bernard Osher Foundation, a San Francisco-based philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting higher education and the arts, has provided funding to institutions of higher education to develop and grow noncredit, intellectually stimulating programs for older adults since the fall of 2002. Through its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute grant program, the Osher Foundation awards annual grants of $100,000 to university and college campuses with the understanding that, once a lifelong learning institute is established with annual support and demonstrates potential for long-term success, the foundation considers an endowment gift of no less than $1 million. At present, the Osher Foundation supports 117 OLLIs on university and college campuses in all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia), as well as a National Resource Center for the institutes at the University of Southern Maine (http://www.osher.net).

In the fall of 2007, Coastal Carolina University’s Division of Academic Outreach was awarded its first $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation. Upon receipt of the grant, our 20-year-old adult education program was renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University, nicknamed “OLLI at Coastal,” and rededicated to providing quality learning and networking opportunities to the large and growing older adult population along the Grand Strand.

The structure and management of Coastal Carolina University’s Lifelong Learning program have evolved over the years under various leadership forms but always with the strong and indispensable support of the University, which has provided staff, facilities and the technical resources needed to serve nearly 3,000 adults a year. With the rapid growth of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs, the “silver tsunami” of the retiring (and Southern-migrating) baby boomers and tight budgets, the Osher Foundation’s support has been key to fulfilling the goal of our strategic plan – to secure the financial underpinnings of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University.

In June 2009, we received our second grant, and in June 2011, the third and final annual support grant was awarded.These grants were devoted to marketing and publicizing the OLLI program with the intended results of increasing enrollment and membership. In 2013, at the Osher Foundation’s invitation, we applied for and received a $1 million endowment plus a $50,000 “bridge” grant to transition the program to interest-only revenue. With the University’s commitment to provide space and auxiliary support and the initiation of a fundraising strategy to ensure the future sustainability of our OLLI at CCU, we received a $50,000 operating grant in June 2014 to aid in fundraising efforts.

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