Large maroon O with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute inside the large )

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Minnesota (OLLI at the UMN) is a vibrant learning community for people ages 50+. Part of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, OLLI belongs to a national network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Our members are engaged, active learners for whom curiosity and the joy of learning are a given. In addition to offering hundreds of high-quality noncredit courses each year, OLLI is also host to intellectually stimulating social, cultural, and volunteer opportunities, all of which are driven by members.


Bernard and Barbro Osher
Bernard and Barbro Osher

Founded in 1995, OLLI at the University of Minnesota is part of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS) and belongs to a national network of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes established by the Bernard Osher Foundation. 

OLLI’s mission is to provide its membership of dedicated lifelong learners with a year-round curriculum of high-quality noncredit courses, as well as intellectually stimulating social, cultural, and volunteer opportunities.

OLLI is honored to have been recognized as an “exemplary lifelong learning program” by the Osher Foundation. The University helped to underscore this commitment in 2020, when it became the first institution of higher education in Minnesota to become part of the Global Network of Age-Friendly Universities.

Advisory Board

On behalf of OLLI members, the Advisory Board advances the OLLI’s mission, vision, and values. The Board also promotes the sustainability and success of the Institute by providing advice, active involvement, advocacy, and support to the OLLI Director.


Left to right: Nancy Allen, Sal Bognanni, Jan Brunell


  • Nancy Allen, Chair
  • Sal Bognanni, Vice Chair; Chair, Planning Committee
  • Jan Brunell, Secretary


  • Peter Blewett, Member at Large 
  • John Cushing, Member at Large
  • Gayle Dreon, Chair, Development Committee
  • Jane Glazebrook, Member at Large 
  • Mary T. Johnson, Member at Large 
  • Kate Schaefers, Ex-Officio; Director, OLLI
  • Bob Stine, Ex-Officio; Dean, CCAPS
  • Ryan Torma, Ex-Officio, Dean’s designee: Executive Director, Professional Development and Lifelong Learning


Left to right: Carmi Bleifuss, Andrew Erickson-Peterson, Kate Schaefers
  • Carmi Rae Bleifuss, Program Specialist | 612-624-7847 |
  • Andrew Erickson-Peterson, Program Associate | 612-624-7847 |
  • Dr. Kate Schaefers, Director; | 512-625-3118 |

Support OLLI

Your gift, whether monthly, annual, planned, or matching, will help OLLI to continue to feed curiosity and foster learning and a lifetime of engagement for active older adults.

Every gift is an investment in OLLI’s present and future communities. Consider giving through the Miriam B. Seltzer Scholarship Fund for OLLI memberships, the OLLI Scholars Program Fund to support intergenerational learning, or the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Fund and OLLI Annual Fund for general support.

Learn more about these giving opportunities.