History of OLLI Boca at FAU

1980-2020…Celebrating 40 Years of Exceptional Programming

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.

1984

Harold Wayne appointed as SOS first Executive Director.

1985

SOS renamed the Lifelong Learning Society (LLS).

1989

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.

1991

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.

1994

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

Harold Wayne retires.

1995

Ely Meyerson appointed as the Executive Director in August.

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

1997

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.

1998

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.

2000

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

2003

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

2005

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.

2006

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

2008

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.

2009

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

2010

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.

2017

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).

2018

Construction plans are started to expand the OLLI Boca space.

2019

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, PhD retires.

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

2020

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.