Corporate & Foundation Relations

Partnership Helps Support Lifelong Learning and Re-Entry Students

Bernard Osher Foundation Donation Creates Endowment Fund and Scholarship Fund

A $1 million gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation will provide a permanent and stable source of support for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks . The eight-year old institute serves the Interior's older adult population through classes ranging from art, computer technology, current events, to health, history, literature, and more. Students meet for classes or study groups, but there are no tests or grades.

“In addition to offering 100 courses a year and a lecture series, we offer educational travel excursions during the summer months to other areas of Alaska such as Katmai National Park , Kotzebue and McCarthy," says Barbara Lando, Director of OLLI. “I am proud of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UAF, which serves a thriving population,” said UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers. “The endowment will provide our OLLI with funding in perpetuity. It is indeed an honor to be supported through the Osher Foundation with funds to endow our program.”

In addition, the Bernard Osher Foundation also supported a new scholarship funded through a $50,000 donation.  The Osher Reentry Scholarship Program at UAF provides support to baccalaureate-degree-seeking students whose educations have been interrupted by five years or more.

Credit: UAF Photograph

13 baccalaureate-degree-seeking students returning to the UAF for the 2008-2009 academic year, all of whom demonstrated academic promise and a commitment to obtaining a degree through inspiring essays submitted with their applications, received an average of almost $1,900 . 

UAF is proud of this additional step forward in reducing debt obligations for UAF students, which is a high-priority focus of the institution.  Recognizing that students returning to the university may face particular challenges, the Osher Foundation selects institutions that have established services to address their needs.  The foundation currently funds re-entry programs at 59 universities in more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia.