While the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a young organization, its roots actually extend wide and deep with the Western Michigan University community. WMU emeriti, faculty, and staff have collaborated for years on educational opportunities for mature adults. Due to the combination of a growing desire on the part of WMU administration to provide support for academic activities for mature adults, and the continued commitment of WMU emeriti to lifelong education, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute was established.
The purpose of the Institute is to:
- Provide intellectual and cultural stimulation, personal growth, and social engagement for adults in an informal, lively, learning atmosphere.
- Enrich and extend the quality of life for participants.
- Create an academy of learners who can share what they have learned and experienced during their lives.
- Experience what so many have learned at over 400 lifelong learning programs at colleges and universities around the world.
Planning for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute began with WMU emeriti, the WMU associate vice president of community outreach, and Extended University Programs. The executive committee was established during the summer of 2010, and the committee has focused on garnering support and participation from community representatives from around the Kalamazoo area.
The Institute is proud of its partnership with WMU's Center for Gerontology, which provides classroom space in the state-of-the-art Health and Human Services Building.