Texas Tech's Lifelong Learning Institute Announces $1 Million Endowment From Osher Foundation

Money will buoy institute to provide educational enrichment for older participants.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Texas Tech University, run by the Division of Outreach and Distance Education, announced today (April 24) a $1 million endowment from The Osher Foundation during a news conference.

The institute provides non-credit learning opportunities for people 50 years of age and older who want to continue to expand their knowledge through participation in classroom learning activities, lectures, discussion groups, field trips and social events.

"At Texas Tech University, we believe that learning doesn’t cease after graduation," said Kent Hance, chancellor of Texas Tech University. "Our institution relies on the generosity of foundations, such as The Osher Foundation, so that we can continue to provide educational opportunities to those who choose to learn regardless of their stage in life."

The Bernard Osher Foundation, which began funding Texas Tech’s institute in 2005, is a charitable foundation established in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a businessman and community leader in San Francisco. The foundation offers annual grants of $100,000 for up to three years to lifelong learning programs at institutions of higher education across the U.S. Upon demonstrated success of these programs, The Osher Foundation considers establishing a $1 million endowment fund to provide for the continued operational support of the programs.

Through remaining active in education and in their communities, participants will hopefully live happier, healthier and longer lives, said Louise Cummins, advisory board chairwoman of Texas Tech’s program.

"This is great news for us," Cummins said. "In the fall of ’03, we had 225 members and we started out with a small offering of classes. Now, we have dinner and drama, field trips and more than 500 members. This program really meets a need and hits a nichein our community. And now, it can continue."

Now that Texas Tech’s institute has met Osher standards and received the endowment, the institute can continue it’s goal to enrich the lives of those who participate in the program, said Birgit Green, director of Outreach Services.

"We deeply appreciate the generous financial assistance provided by The Bernard Osher Foundation and look forward to expanding our course offerings to lifelong learners on the South Plains," she said.

CONTACT: Birgit Green, director, Outreach Services, Texas Tech University, (806)
742-7200 ext. 237, or birgit.green@ttu.edu.