Photograph of the members of the OLLI Leadership Council in the Fall of 2017
OLLI Leadership Council, Fall 2017

About Us

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan (OLLI-UM) is a program established in 1987 by a group of Turner Geriatric Clinic volunteers for people who share a love of learning. Under sponsorship of the University of Michigan Health System, OLLI-UM is affiliated with Elderhostel Institute Network and the Bernard Osher Foundation. The approximately 1600 members of OLLI-UM oversee and develop an extensive program of top quality lectures and offer a wide variety of study groups, travel excursions, evening and weekend events, and social/cultural gatherings.

OLLI members are a diverse group drawn from Ann Arbor and surrounding communities. Membership is intended for all enthusiastic learners over age 50, approaching or living in retirement, regardless of previous education. OLLI-UM is dedicated to challenging minds and stimulating the spirit to maintain healthy bodies.

Mission Statement

The mission of OLLI is to enhance quality of life by providing stimulating, meaningful, and high-quality lecture series, classes, travel and social events for an increasingly diverse group of persons 50 and older. OLLI is a volunteer centered organization in that it offers programs for older adults, designed by older adults. It capitalizes on the skills, knowledge, and experience of dedicated senior volunteers who actively plan and implement the learning programs for their peers.

History

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at U of M evolved from a program called Learning in Retirement, which was established in 1987 by Turner Geriatric Clinic volunteers at the University of Michigan. The successes of the Learning in Retirement program gained recognition from the Bernard Osher Foundation in the form of substantial grants to enhance and expand programming. In March of 2007 — in recognition and appreciation of Osher Foundation contributions — the Learning in Retirement Board of Directors changed the organization name to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan and hosted a celebratory program.

In 2012, Learning in Retirement/Osher Lifelong Learning Institute concluded 25 years of service to learners aged 50+. We are pleased to have enabled so many people to enhance their lives. We are proud of our long-term affiliation with the excellence of the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center.

OLLI Office

Our Phone Number
734.998.9351

Our email address 
olli.info@umich.edu

Our address is
2401 Plymouth Road, Suite C 
Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2193

Office Hours
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday

Staff Directory

Lisa Barton
Lisa Barton
Director
734.761.2540
libarton@umich.edu
Lisa Barton joined the team on March 14, 2011 as the Finance Coordinator and now serves as OLLI's Director. She holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the Ford School of Public Policy, as well as a BA in Political Science from U-M. She brings varied work experiences including data analysis for the U.S. General Accounting Office, freelance writing, administrative work in the technology and risk management fields, as well as bookkeeping and office management for a property rental company. Lisa was also a successful volunteer fundraiser for Beaumont Hospital and U-M Pediatric Endocrinology.
Benjamin Richards
Benjamin Richards
Assistant Director
734.998.9357
ribenjam@umich.edu
Ben Richards joined the team in July of 2017 as OLLI’s Assistant Director. He holds a BS in Kinesiology from Saginaw Valley State University. He brings years of work experience from the non-profit sector, most recently having worked the previous four years as the Health & Wellness Director of the Ann Arbor YMCA.
Julie Haines
Julie Haines
Administrative Assistant
734.998.9351
hainesj@umich.edu
Julie Haines received a BA in English from the SUNY Geneseo. Julie’s past work experience includes working as a desktop publisher and administrative assistant. She has been with Osher Lifelong Learning since April 2013 as OLLI’s Administrative Assistant.

OLLI Leadership Council Members 2017-18

Nina Abney
Associate Director for Social Work and Community Programs, Geriatric Center, Michigan Medicine
Laurie Barnett
 
Secretary
Lisa Barton
Director, OLLI at Michigan
Peyton Bland
 
Lynn Boyer
 
Arnetta Burroughs
 
Twila Deigert
 
Mildred Denecke
 
John Dorcey
 
Treasurer
Ruth Dunkel
Professor, U-M School of Social Work
Bill Furtwangler
 
Vice President
Jerry Gardner
 
Kay Hodges
 
Carol Maccini
 
Ruth Primas
 
Sharon Quiroz
 
Craig Ramsay
 
President
Benjamin Richards
Assistant Director, OLLI at Michigan
Bill Roberts
 
Leo Shedden
 
Stu Simon
 
Marie Vitale
 
† without vote