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OLLI promotes learning, inclusion for older adults

Glenda Avalos

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UTEP provides learning opportunities for senior adults and forms part of the Bernard Osher Foundation founded by Bernard Osher. Osher believed that as individuals get older, they should be more engaged with society to stay healthy.

The Bernard Osher Foundation supports more than 350 colleges with programs and scholarships. Around the nation there are more than 122 colleges that incorporate the OLLI program at their campus, to promote inclusivity and diversion among older adults.

“The important part is that they have someplace to go to — some place to learn — some place to be engaged with other people. If you listen to the activity in the other room, you hear lots of happy voices, people really excited about sharing with each other. And that’s what this is all about.” said Lynn Provenzano, executive director of OLLI at UTEP.

OLLI has been at UTEP for more than 25 years. The program offers a variety of classes throughout the year. This summer it will be offering classes for six-week courses in different areas such as art, history and language arts.

Provenzano has served as a teacher to OLLI for 11 years and now hopes to continue her work towards the program as the executive director.

“OLLI, it challenges us. It gives us an opportunity to look into new topics and research things that we always wanted to know, learn new things and socialize,” Provenzano said.

All are welcome to the OLLI program, including new volunteers and interns who want to teach and help the program.

“We’re always looking for instructors, people that can share with us,” Provenzano said. “We have some younger instructors who, you know, are engaged in the community. And so they’ll come in, they’ll offer up their expertise, and teach a class.”  

Provenzano said OLLI is engaged with every generation in the community as well. She added that all the members are valuable not just to our program, but valuable in their own way to their communities.

“We have a lifetime of experiences that we carry with us. And at some point, we need the world to know about them,” Provenzano said.

For information about OLLI, visit or stop by Miner Hall, Room 209.




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OLLI promotes learning, inclusion for older adults