University receives second $1 million gift for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
The University of Delaware has now established Osher Lifelong Learning Institute programs in Wilmington, Dover and Lewes.


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1:59 p.m., Jan. 5, 2011----The University of Delaware has received a $1 million gift from The Bernard Osher Foundation, the second installment of a $2 million endowment fund to support lifelong learning programs at UD. The first $1 million was awarded in June 2010.

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“I thank the Osher Foundation for helping UD expand its lifelong learning programs and connect in a meaningful way with Delaware's citizens,” said UD President Patrick Harker. “Strong engagement with Delawareans statewide is one of the University's principal goals, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at UD are critical to cultivating this engagement, and serving the communities we're so proud to be a part of.”

The second $1 million reflects the Osher Foundation's recognition of UD's formal affiliation with the nationwide network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes through its name and logo change earlier this year.

Founded as the Academies of Lifelong Learning, the programs have been renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware. UD's lifelong learning program on the Wilmington Campus was founded in 1980. The Southern Delaware program was established in 1989. The Dover program began offering courses in fall of 2010.

UD's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is offered through the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies.

"With the $2 million endowment gift from the Osher Foundation, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware can enhance and expand its programs for adults age 50 and above,” says Jim Broomall, assistant provost for professional and continuing studies.

“The 30-year program in Wilmington housed in Arsht Hall is a national model in part because of the generosity of its benefactors like Sam and Roxanna Arsht,” adds Broomall. “With the gift from the Osher Foundation and our membership in the Osher Lifelong Learning network, we strengthen our commitment as a 'citizen university' serving all three Delaware counties.”

“The trustees of The Bernard Osher Foundation are delighted to welcome officially the former Academies of Lifelong Learning at the University of Delaware to the network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes,” stated Mary Bitterman, president of the foundation. “Given its exceptional performance over 30 years, UD's Osher Institute will undoubtedly serve as a model of best practices for the large and diverse group of Osher institutes across the nation. We are grateful to President Harker, Assistant Provost Jim Broomall, and Ruth Flexman, statewide Osher program coordinator, for their cooperation throughout the grant-making process.”

Affiliation with the Osher Foundation provides UD's lifelong learning programs additional financial resources, and identity as a member of a national network promoting lifelong learning. With UD, Osher has 118 member organizations, each with its own unique identity that reflects its community.

Founded by noted businessman and philanthropist Bernard Osher, the Osher Foundation supports lifelong learning programs as part of its mission to improve the quality of life through higher education and the arts.

Photo by Joel Plotkin