History of OLLI Boca at FAU

Celebrating Exceptional Programming Since 1980


Fla. Gov. Daniel Graham signs Older American’s Act allowing residents 60+ to audit classes at state universities. FAU responds by forming the Society for Older Students (SOS). Fifty participants sign up, led by Sol Kolodny. Office space was in the basement of the Kenneth R. Williams Administration building.


Harold Wayne appointed as SOS first Executive Director.


SOS renamed the Lifelong Learning Society (LLS).


Sculptor, and LLS attendee Alfred Richman, donates his “Water Ballet” sculpture which was originally part of a fountain. Previous SOS members donated the granite base it sits on.

All membership data is computerized for mailings.


LLS moves to the Social Science building, room 108, and a group is formed to raise $3.5M for an LLS building on the FAU Boca Raton campus.


Barry and Florence Friedberg donate funds to help construct the auditorium which was named in their honor.

Harold Wayne retires.


Ely Meyerson appointed as the Executive Director in August.

More than 140 volunteers assist LLS as class monitors, greeters, office staff and committee members.


December  11, groundbreaking ceremony held for the Barry and Florence Friedberg Lifelong Learning Center.

LLS expands by establishing an LLS program on the John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter.


The first classes are held in the new auditorium.

LLS partners with the FAU Department of Continuing Education to build a hall adjacent to the Friedberg Center.


December 7 – LLS celebrates it’s 2Oth anniversary titled, “A Gala Affair” at Pete’s restaurant with keynote speaker Govenor Michael Dukakis.


The Green Room is designed and furnished by Anne Sckolnik and Virginia Huntzinger.


January 20 – FAU 5th President Frank Brogan and his wife Courtney host the 25th LLS anniversary celebration at the Baldwin House.

LLS awards a $250,000 endowed professorship in Current Affairs to the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters − Jeffrey S. Morton, PhD, political science professor, is the first recipient.


LLS contributes $250,000 to the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters to establish an LLS Professorship in Arts and Humanities.


2008 Presidential Debate uses the Friedberg Auditorium for student and guest participation via cable.

Ely Meyerson passed away on July 15. Virginia Huntzinger serves as the Interim Assistant Provost.


Herbert E. Shapiro, Ph.D. is appointed to the Assistant Provost’s position on September 21.


FAU 6th President Mary Jane Saunders hosts the 30th Anniversary at the Baldwin House.

October 26 marks the dedication of the new hall named the Ely Meyerson Continuing Education Hall (CEH).

Online registration is initiated for LLS patrons.


LLS becomes part of the Osher Network, receiving an endowment of $4M over 2 years shared with the Jupiter and Fort Lauderdale sites. LLS is renamed the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).


Construction plans are started to expand the OLLI Boca space.


Construction is completed on the CEH to accommodate smaller classrooms and additional courses.

Spring 2019 OLLI Fort Lauderdale is created and begins offering programs at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Herbert E. Shapiro, Ph.D. retires.

Benjamin Joella, M.M. is promoted to the Associate Executive Director of OLLI Boca.


Video Catch-up is introduced – a new option for patrons who would like to see a program but may have a conflict in their schedule or are out of town. Patrons unable to make it to OLLI Boca are able to view programs for which they have registered in a video format online from their patron account anytime, anywhere, for up to two weeks after the program date.

FAU OLLI Boca celebrates it’s 40th anniversary as a leading provider of adult education in the United States, presenting events, lectures and special programs to more than 27,000 annual attendees.

OLLI Boca live performances shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.