Our Mission and History

About Us

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Arizona State University (OLLI at ASU) is a community of engaged learners discovering the joy of lifelong learning at its best . . . no tests, grades, or educational requirements! OLLI at ASU members have the opportunity to grow and learn inside and outside the classroom via campus events, local affinity groups, group discounts to local cultural and art events, and social media networks.

Our Vision

As an exemplar of global best practices for innovative lifelong learning, OLLI at ASU creates multiple intentional pathways for transformative connections and learning, inside and outside of its community of learners.

Our Mission

The mission of OLLI at ASU is to provide learning experiences and a community where adults ages 50+ engage in non-credit, university-quality classes, member-driven programs, campus-based learning opportunities, and pathways to public service.

Help us support our mission by giving a gift through the ASU Foundation. Donate online or call us at 602.543.6440.

Our Values

Active Participation | Community Commitment | Access and Inclusion | Sustainable Foundations | Trust and Respect | Intentional Innovation | Empathetic Service

Our History

OLLI at ASU began in 1999 when under the guidance of Professor Vincent Waldron, the College of Human Services at ASU began investigating community-based lifelong learning opportunities for older adults. In Fall 2001, Dr. Waldron in collaboration with ASU’s Dr. Richard C. Knopf, oversaw the development and delivery of the first slate of offerings in the West Valley community of Surprise.

By March 2004, the success of the program resulted in a grant from the The Bernard Osher Foundation to help create a self-sustaining institute with the goal to help older adults develop new skills and insights and become active resources and leaders in their communities. In 2007, ASU received a permanent 1 million-dollar endowment based on the growth and innovations of the institute. We now offer programs in the West and East Valleys, downtown Phoenix, and online. We encourage you to support lifelong learning so we may continue to grow our program into a self-sustaining institute serving the Valley of the Sun.

OLLI at ASU is housed in the School of Community Resources and Development in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at ASU.