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CCU Atheneum: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University (OLLI@CCU) provides non-credit classes, clubs, lectures, special events and local, national and international excursions for community members aged 50 and above.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University (OLLI@CCU) provides non-credit classes, clubs, lectures, special events and local, national and international excursions for community members aged 50 and above.

OLLI at CCU has new location near campus that increases programming

by Carol Osborne
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You may have noticed groups of senior citizens touring the campus, eating in Hicks Dining Hall, or boarding vans next to the Coastal Science Center this semester.

Those are members of OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, enjoying the benefits of having a new center in the Burroughs & Chapin building on east campus. Our current proximity to the credit side of the University should allow us to increase the inter-generational programming and collaboration with University staff and faculty that we have enjoyed in the past.

For those of you who are not familiar with the program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University (OLLI@CCU) provides non-credit classes, clubs, lectures, special events, and local, national and international excursions for community members aged 50 and above.

Lifelong learning was first established on campus in 1987 as “Third Quarter,” became associated with the Osher Foundation in 2007, and received million-dollar endowments from the foundation in 2013 and 2016. We are one of 123 OLLIs across the nation.

Attracting around 2,200 participants annually, OLLI@CCU offers 250 to 350 courses each semester. Classes run from one to eight weeks and cover a wide variety of subjects: current events, history, exercise, arts and crafts, estate planning, cooking, dance, film, music, genealogy, health, languages, writing, and technology.

Members may also join clubs to meet and spend time with others who share their passion for dining, books, languages, current events, gardening, investing, public speaking, writing or playing games. OLLI lecture series are offered at no cost at both the Litchfield Education Center and the Conway Education Center each semester.

This semester’s special event, the OLLI Yard Sale, is open to everyone at our Conway Center, 290 Allied Drive, on April 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We have expanded our excursions during the past few years, offering 20 to 30 day trips each semester and 10 to 20 during the summer. We have organized overnight trips to the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville; the potteries and zoo in Piedmont, N.C.; and a spy tour to Washington, D.C., with Joseph Fitsanakis and two of his students.

Through Collette and Premier World Discovery tours, we provide opportunities for national and international travel for our members. We are traveling to Tuscany in April and California in May; future destinations include Spain and Portugal, Costa Rica, the Canadian Rockies, Thailand, and Nashville.

Many CCU faculty and staff have responded positively to our invitations to teach and lecture, and quite a few have become rock stars in our students’ eyes. Now that we have consolidated to three centers (Conway, Georgetown and Litchfield), we hope even more of you will try your hand at teaching for OLLI.

You will find our OLLI students rich in experience, full of curiosity and extremely grateful for your time. You may also be interested in taking classes or signing up for excursions yourselves since full-time slotted faculty and staff at CCU are eligible for complimentary memberships.

At the very least, we hope that you will recommend our program to friends, neighbors and family who may have retired, but who do not wish to retire their minds! We also award all retiring faculty and staff a free year’s membership to OLLI, so be sure to visit us when that day arrives, if not before.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is part of the division of Academic and Community Outreach, which also coordinates Continuing Education workshops and Coastal Carolina Kids Camps. This year, we are offering weekly morning and afternoon camps for children ages 6-10 in Litchfield (14427 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island) and in Conway (290 Allied Drive, Conway) from June 17 to Aug. 9 (not including the week of the Fourth of July).

If you have children or know of children in this age range who would benefit from and enjoy the summer camp experience, please direct them to our website: www.coastal.edu/outreach. Just like the OLLI classes, Kids Camps cover much territory, from theatre, writing and art to magic, chemistry, and drumming to Harry Potter, marine biology, superheroes and dinosaurs.

The author of this article, Carol Osborne, is the director of the Office for Academic Outreach which oversees OLLI and its operations.

 

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