UCSD’s Osher Institute to mark 40th anniversary at dinner gala

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a by-invitation dinner Wednesday, April 30 in the Great Hall at UCSD’s International Center.

The event is expected to attract more than 200 Osher Institute members, as well as instructors and supporters.

Founded in 1974 as the Institute for Retired Professionals, Osher Institute had modest beginnings with a handful of classes held at off-campus sites and members’ homes.

Forty years later, The Osher Institute has its own on-campus building where it provides a wide range of course offerings and special events for its membership of 700 retirees and semi-retirees over age 50. These lifelong students include retired diplomats, professors, engineers, doctors, lawyers and others who desire to continue their intellectual and social growth.

Dean of UCSD San Diego Extension Mary Walshok, who was among the leaders who helped establish The Osher Institute, will provide the event’s welcoming remarks.

The gala’s scheduled keynote speaker will be Mary G.F. Bitterman, president of the Bernard Osher Foundation.

The San Francisco-based foundation is named for Bernard Osher, a philanthropist who supports 117 campus-based learning institutes in his name around the country. UCSD’s Osher Institute took its name in 2006, when Osher added it to a growing list of universities to which he committed financial support for higher education, with an arts emphasis. Following an initial $350,000 gift, the Bernard Osher Foundation has established a sustaining $1 million endowment at UCSD.

“This is a milestone that deserves to be recognized beyond our doors,” said Osher Institute President Jim Wyrtzen. “We’ve never been more proud of the high level of intellectually stimulating programs, topics and events we provide for our members.”

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