Kathy Bruin, executive director, talks into a microphone as she has a conversation near her office area at the Lam Family College of Business at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of SF State on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (David Jones / Golden Gate Xpress) (David Jones)
Kathy Bruin, executive director, talks into a microphone as she has a conversation near her office area at the Lam Family College of Business at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of SF State on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (David Jones / Golden Gate Xpress)

David Jones

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is celebrating 20 years at SF State

OLLI has developed a robust and healthy lifelong learning community that makes San Francisco a living and appealing location for adults 50 and over.

February 27, 2023

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), which has existed since 2003, is a continuing education program that represents an active community of students ages 50 and older who believe in lifelong learning through classes and activities.

OLLI offers more than 100 in person and online six-week courses and mini-courses annually, on subjects such as art, literature, music, history science and more. Taught by current and retired professors and other experts. At OLLI there are no exams or grades, and the readings are always optional.

Flyers that give information on memberships and classes sit on a table at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of SF State on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. (David Jones / Golden Gate Xpress)

With the support of the Osher Foundation, which is dedicated to providing scholarships, adult educational needs, medical and art programs in the Bay Area, OLLI is able to maintain its programs availability to the local community.

Program Director Kathy Bruin says OLLI’s funding is provided in part by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

“OLLI is a completely entrepreneurial effort by SF State. In other words, we spend what we raise and receive no money from the University.” Bruin said. “We have a $1 million endowment from The Bernard Osher Foundation, held and managed by University Corporation at the University, so we receive 5% of that each year and all other funding comes from memberships and registration revenue for classes and then some fundraising,” she wrote via email.

For an $55 annual membership,  OLLI members may participate in 10 interest groups including Italian or French conversation, poetry writing, hiking, film, books, human evolution and an SF State ID card to access the pool and weight room in the main gym.

“You take the classes that interest you with excellent instructors,” said Barbara Janney, a student for over 10 years. 

According to Professor Linda Day, who is dedicated to teaching California architecture classes, “the students are enthusiastic, engaged and have life experiences.”

According to SF State President Lynn Mahoney earning a college degree marks only the beginning of a lifelong commitment to educational, intellectual and personal growth.  

“SF State looks forward to the next 20 years of OLLI and hopes that our alumni, present and future, will take advantage of this incredible lifelong learning opportunity,” Mahoney said in an email.

For more information on volunteering and donation opportunities, visit the organization’s website. Their new facilities are located at 160 Spear Street. 


Editor’s Note: The article was updated for clarity about the courses offered and the annual membership fee.

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About the Contributors
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Andy Damián-Correa, Staff Reporter
Andy Damián-Correa (he/they) is a bilingual reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in Bilingual Spanish Journalism. He was born in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico but grew up in the rural town of Cancun, Quintana Roo. Damián-Correa began his career in hotel and restaurant management, and he moved into journalism to create awareness of the challenges faced by the Latinx community. He currently lives in San Francisco. He served as reporter and editor for the college’s award-winning Etc. Magazine and The Guardsman, both City College of San Francisco publications. Damián-Correa was recently honored by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges Northern California division for his column writing. He is an executive producing Anchor’s Podcast, a weekly online Spanish language publication. He is the President San Francisco Student Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). During his free time, Damián-Correa enjoys reading and swimming.


Andy Damián-Correa (él/ellos) es un reportero bilingüe de Golden Gate Xpress. Se está especializando en Periodismo Bilingüe en Español. Nació en Tenosique, Tabasco, México pero creció en el pueblo rural de Cancún, Quintana Roo. Damián-Correa comenzó su carrera en la administración de hoteles y restaurantes, y pasó al periodismo para crear conciencia sobre los desafíos que enfrenta la comunidad Latinx. Actualmente vive en San Francisco. Se desempeñó como reportero y editor de la premiada revista Etc. Magazine y The Guardsman, ambas publicaciones del City College of San Francisco. Damián-Correa fue honrado recientemente por la división de la Asociación de Periodismo de Colegios Comunitarios del Norte de California por escribir una columna. Es productor ejecutivo de Anchor's Podcast, una publicación semanal en línea en español. Es el Presidente del Capítulo Estudiantil de San Francisco de la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos (NAHJ). Durante su tiempo libre, a Damián-Correa le gusta leer y nadar.
Photo of David Jones
David Jones, Staff Photographer
David Jones (he/they) is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in photojournalism and minoring in sociology. He was born in Oakland, California and raised in Hayward, California. His passions are concerts/editorial photography, poetry and searching for new ways of creative expression. During his free time, he enjoys reading, writing poetry, self-reflection and listening to music.

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