Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Top 10 reasons to join OLLI

What we love about OLLI — friendship, learning, camaraderie

New and returning participants invited!

As a volunteer-driven learning cooperative for age 50-plus adults, UD’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program is home to more than 2,000 active members and volunteers who are enthusiastic about the fun, learning, and social opportunities at OLLI. We invite both new and returning members to join the many lifelong learners at OLLI who have already discovered our fun classes and enrichment opportunities. 

Read on for the top 10 things our members love about OLLI.

1. Learning for the joy of learning, no tests or grades!

As a learning cooperative, OLLI offers a fun, informal learning environment with a mix of both academic and entertaining subjects, but with none of the stressful ingredients like tests or grades.


“I never thought I could love school this much! None of my former teachers would be likely to describe me as a highly motivated student. They should see me now!” – Joe B.

2. Being part of a vibrant community

Most of our members love the OLLI community as much as the courses themselves, maybe even more.

“OLLI is my ‘rainbow connection’ to learning and good times.” – Judy D.
“OLLI is the main reason I haven’t moved in with my children. It’s a lifeline to people and learning.” – Rose G.

Guitars-2021-Fall-by-Tim-Ward3. Rediscovering joy in music

With rock band, flute choir, orchestra, brass ensemble, guitar, chorus, singalongs and more, OLLI’s varied music offerings are hugely popular. Some learn to play musical instruments for the first time ever, and others rediscover old talents.

“I’m relearning to play my trumpet after it sat in my attic for 50 years!” – Steve J.


4. Exploring creativity

While there are plenty of academic subjects to choose from, OLLI’s art and handcrafting subjects are a favorite.

“I finally have time to enjoy my creativity — I have taken classes in pottery, watercolors and basket weaving. I just love it!” – Karen S.

5. Finding new passions

With hundreds of choices each semester, there’s literally an opportunity to learn something new every day.

“I’ve done so many things here: studied history, played in bands, sung madrigals, taken yoga and t’ai chi.” – Ruth F.


6. Staying physically active

Looking for ways to stay physically active and hang out with friends? Take your pick from OLLI’s hiking and walking groups, English country dance or Pacific Island dance, yoga and more.

“There are lots of great classes at OLLI, but folk dance is my absolute favorite.” – Gail H.

7. Sharing your knowledge as an instructor

OLLI’s volunteer instructors enthusiastically share their lifetimes of knowledge and passion, whether acquired through their professional and academic backgrounds or through their hobbies or avocations.

“I love being an instructor at OLLI. I challenge myself to learn about a new subject and then to teach it to others.”— Rita M.

OLLI-KS-2021-stained-glass8. Making new friends and reconnecting with old ones

Camaraderie and friendships are driving forces behind OLLI’s success.

“One of the main reasons I like coming to OLLI is the camaraderie.” – Jeanne H.
“We moved to the area two years ago and it’s been a great experience to meet new people,” said another. – Martin C.

9. Benefiting from UD resources

As part of a University of Delaware program, members can take advantage of many UD benefits like a free UD email and Zoom account, limited UD course auditing, UD library privileges and more.

“I never thought that this late in life I’d be enjoying student discounts for newspaper subscriptions and online purchasing. Thanks, OLLI!” – Nick S.

Rediscover-Slower-Lower10. Having fun!

And, just in case we didn’t say it enough, OLLI provides a fun way for members to learn from and interact with each other.

“What do I love about OLLI? The friendly people, many of whom have become dear friends, the interesting classes, and [the] fun events, which lead to even more fun events.” – Carol W.
“OLLI is fun. You socialize, you learn and you stay current in today’s changing world.” – Joan M.