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Osher Institute Receives $1 Million Endowment

By: Sherry Squires   Published 3:42 pm / May 11, 2016

Photo of Osher Institute members in a research labBoise State University has announced a $1 million endowment gift from the Osher Foundation. This personal gift from Bernard Osher supports the operation and growth of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, a membership-based lifelong learning program for adults over 50 years of age.

The Osher Foundation supports 119 Lifelong Learning Institutes throughout the nation; Boise State’s is the only one in Idaho.

“This incredible gift from the Osher Foundation affirms the strength of the institute’s leadership and faculty members, and is a statement of its value within the community it serves,” said Boise State President Bob Kustra. “Education is a lifelong endeavor and this funding will ensure continued growth and diversity in the institute’s quality intellectual programming.”

This is the second $1 million endowment for the program. At the time of the prior gift in 2010 the institute had 500 members. Today, the institute serves more than 1,300 members and offers more than 100 educational activities per year. The gift was announced today at the annual Osher Institute spring social at Boise State.

“The Osher Institute at Boise State enriches the lives of hundreds of seasoned adults in our community. We are profoundly grateful to Mr. Osher and the Osher Foundation for the continued encouragement of our work through this generous and transformative gift,” said Director Rosemary Reinhardt.

The institute evolved from its inception in 2002 as the Renaissance Institute to become the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in 2006 upon receiving grant funding from the Osher Foundation. Through robust annual fundraising, and Photo of two Osher Institute members during a classmembership and programming growth, the institute met the strict guidelines required for applicants of the Osher Foundation endowment. In addition to funding for the institute, the Osher Foundation has also supported Boise State scholarships for adult learners who are are re-entering college.

Mary Bitterman, president of the Osher Foundation, acknowledged the ever-increasing demand for the institute’s enriching educational programs and recognized the institute’s outstanding service to seasoned adults in Boise and beyond.

“We congratulate you and your colleagues on your many accomplishments,” she said.

Photo of Osher Institute membersThe institute is endowed by the Bernard Osher Foundation and operates through Boise State University’s Division of Extended Studies.