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Rhody Collectible Appraisal Show highlights fall offerings from OLLI

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute unveils full slate of courses, events for members

KINGSTON, R.I. – July 24, 2009 – Wondering the value of that antique vase that brings character to your living room? Recently found an old painting that was tucked away in the basement for years? Find out what your treasures are worth at the Rhody Collectible Appraisal Show hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Rhode Island.

The show, open to OLLI members and guests, is slated for Saturday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. in the Surge Building on the University of Rhode Island campus. It is just one of the many courses and events being offered to members this fall. The Lifelong Learning Institute was started in early 2009 through a one-year $100,000 grant awarded to URI’s Program in Gerontology by the San Francisco-based Bernard Osher Foundation.

The program – which is geared toward adults aged 50 years and older – features courses, lectures, field trips and special events including music and theatre performances. Among the offerings this fall are courses on the history and culture of the Narragansett Indians; a mythology class featuring readings of the Iliad by Derek Jacobi; and a course that will explore the marine habitats of Point Judith Pond.

Special events include the Rhody Collectible Appraisal Show, a walking tour featuring the artistic offerings of Providence and a tour focused on the land assault on Fort Adams in Newport.

“Our membership has grown quickly and there is great enthusiasm among our members in sharing their time, talents and friendships,” said Carolyn Popovic, interim project coordinator for the Institute.

Popovic and Project Assistant Kathleen Meringolo have worked closely with Philip Clark, professor and director of URI’s Program in Gerontology, to develop the programming for OLLI. In just a few months, there are already more than 80 members. The grant from the Osher Foundation is renewable annually for up to four years, provided the program can secure certain levels of dues-paying members each year. The goal by the end of the first year is to have 100 members.

If by the end of the fourth year the program has 500 members or more, URI will be eligible to receive a $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation. An additional $1 million endowment is available if more than 1,000 members join.

“Our goal is to capture a sense of enthusiasm for learning among older adults,” said Clark, who along with developing programming is an OLLI member. “This program is really about learning for the fun of it. We want to create a sense of excitement with adults learning together.”

There is an inaugural fee of $50 to become a member, which provides several benefits, including:

• Free events, seminars and lectures for members (some programs have additional costs);
• Programs designed for members;
• Discounts on tickets for URI Theatre and Music performances;
• Discount for URI Recreational Services;
• Special member parking pass;
• Free tickets to specific athletic events.

To learn more about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and its offerings, visit www.uri.edu/olli or contact either Carolyn Popovic at 401.874.4194 or Kathleen Meringolo at 401.874.4197.