Osher receives second $1M endowment
December 12, 2011By Alison Lee Satake
The University of North Carolina Wilmington announced Monday that its Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), which provides classes and programs for adults over 50 years old, has received a second $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation. It received its first $1 million endowment in 2007.
“In addition to the classes, OLLI members find a real sense of community,” said Shelley Morse, OLLI director. The institute has about 1,000 members. And last year, there were about 297 class meetings held at the institute located on South College Road from history and politics to literature and music.
“The pioneering efforts and vision of individuals who founded the program established a standard of excellence that has become a hallmark of the Institute,” said Mary G. F. Bitterman, president of the Osher Foundation. “We salute you on yet another year of providing outstanding educational service to seasoned adults in the Wilmington area.”
From the first endowment, OLLI has received about $50,000 per year. After the second endowment goes into effect, that support could double to $100,000 per year, said Megan Gorham, UNCW director of development for corporate and foundation relations. She applied for this second endowment in October.
One stipulation of the endowment is that the institute must spend a minimum of 5 percent of the interest or a maximum of half of the interest per year. The timing of when OLLI will accept the second endowment will be based on determining the maximum interest on the endowment, she said.
Last fiscal year, OLLI’s expense budget was $642,936. UNCW contributes about $265,000 and the programs bring in about $426,000 in revenue each year. Since 2005, the Osher Foundation has given about $325,000 in additional grants beyond the endowment.
In addition to the two OLLI endowment gifts, Bernard and Barbro Osher established another $1 million endowed scholarship at UNCW that provides financial assistance to non-traditional, re-entry students. UNCW awarded honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees to the Oshers in 2008.