Courtesy of Auburn University

Auburn University joined The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama in Huntsville for a virtual celebration of OLLI Day Alabama on Aug. 20. They also announced OLLI Alabama Shares, a program for sharing virtual classes among the three campuses.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, or OLLIs offers member-centered courses, volunteer opportunities and social interaction for people over 50. OLLI is founded on the belief that lifelong learning enhances one’s quality of life. There are over 120 OLLIs in the US, with at least one in every state. There are three OLLI campuses in Alabama, each with satellite campuses in their area.

To highlight all that OLLI has to offer Alabamians, Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed Aug. 20 OLLI Day in the state. A virtual information session was held Aug. 20 highlighting OLLI programs across the state and outlining the new OLLI Alabama Shares program that will continue even after the pandemic has ended and classes begin to meet in person again.

“When Covid-19 arrived in Alabama three weeks before the beginning of OLLI’s Spring term, we marshalled our technology committee, dedicated staff and stalwart membership to Zoom ahead into this brave new world of online classes,” said Scott Bishop, director of OLLI at Auburn University.

There has been something of a learning curve for everyone, but the outcome has been that many OLLI members have become much more technologically savvy in order to maintain their connections to family, community and to their lifelong learning classes.

“In this trying time of home confinement, I am grateful to OLLI for providing online sources of intellectual stimulation, as well as a continuing sense of community and contact with people I could not see by any other means,” said Larry Gerber, co-chair of OLLI at Auburn’s Curriculum Committee.

Auburn University’s OLLI is not unique in pivoting to take classes online, and since all three OLLIs in Alabama – Auburn University, The University of Alabama, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville – have online class offerings this fall, the three campuses are each sharing three classes with the others.

“The six classes offered to us from our sister OLLIs across the state have strengthened and diversified our already robust fall class offerings,” said Barbara Daron, program coordinator for OLLI at Auburn. “We look forward to future collaborations. We have learned that OLLI members are indeed lifelong learners, and now that we have embraced Zoom classes, the possibilities are endless.”

Registration for OLLI at Auburn plus the collaborative classes from UA, UAH and AUM is open now through Wednesday, Sept. 9. Register online at or call our registration line at (334) 844-3135. Fall 2020 classes are held from Sept. 14 – Nov. 6, all via ZOOM. Join for another way to learn.

OLLI at Auburn is a program of the Office of the Vice President for University Outreach at Auburn University. OLLI administrative offices and select classes are located at the historic Sunny Slope property, 1031 South College Street, Auburn, AL.

For more information regarding this event or to learn about becoming a Volunteer Faculty Member, Volunteer Service Assistant or Sponsor, please contact Shawnee McKee, OLLI Administrative Support, at 334-844-3146,, or visit our website at