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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 15, 2006

Grant Establishes Osher Lifelong Learning Institute At UI

The University of Iowa Center on Aging has received a grant that will help provide more learning opportunities for older Iowans.

The center has received a one-year, $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation (www.osherfoundation.org/) to establish the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UI. The UI was one of 20 institutions around the country selected this year to receive Osher Foundation grants to start or strengthen existing programs in lifelong learning at colleges and universities. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network now includes 93 institutes in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia.

"The Center on Aging's mission includes improving the health and well-being of older people," said Julie Bobitt, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UI. "This is an exciting opportunity to share the resources of the University of Iowa and the Center on Aging with older Iowans locally and throughout the state."

The Osher Foundation grant to the UI Center on Aging may be renewable each year for up to three years. The Osher Foundation also offers funded institutions the opportunity to qualify for a $1 million endowment grant; currently, 11 institutions have received endowment funding.

During the first year of the award, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UI will partner with existing university and community outreach programs to develop aging-related programs and content. These include:

-- The UI Alumni Association's "Lifelong Learning" series, events held in cities across Iowa each year where UI faculty and staff share their knowledge and experience with alumni and friends of the university.

-- The UI Carver College of Medicine's "Mini Medical School," which offers popular courses on medicine and health topics for communities across Iowa, and a four-session program held each spring on the UI campus.

-- The Iowa City-Johnson County Senior Center, which offers local classes on a variety of topics taught by community instructors and current and retired UI faculty.

Additionally, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UI will develop a senior leadership program open to older adults across the state. The program will offer an active learning environment in which participants can enhance their leadership skills, expand their personal and community networks, and learn about current issues while discovering new opportunities for lifelong learning and community involvement.

The UI Center on Aging fosters and supports interdisciplinary research, education and service throughout the campus and state to improve understanding of the aging process and the health and well-being of older people. For more information, visit www.centeronaging.uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5143 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

PROGRAM CONTACT: Lori Benz, 319-335-6546, lori-benz@uiowa.edu. (After Aug. 28, contact Julie Bobitt, 319-384-4222, julie-bobitt@uiowa.edu.)

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660 becky-soglin@uiowa.edu. Writer: David Pedersen

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