University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Press Release

Bernard Osher Foundation gives UWM $1 million for lifelong learning

To date, the foundation has contributed nearly $3.7 million to the university.

By - Jun 13th, 2016 09:05 am

MILWAUKEE _ Chancellor Mark Mone announced today that The Bernard Osher Foundation, a private foundation based in San Francisco, has awarded an additional $1 million to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a program of UWM’s School of Continuing Education. To date, the foundation has contributed nearly $3.7 million to the university, the majority of which has gone to the institute, which offers socially interactive, engaging and intellectually stimulating experiences for adults 50 and above.

“We are grateful to the foundation for their longtime support that has allowed us to offer this valuable program to the community,” Chancellor Mone said. “The institute at UWM has seen tremendous growth since receiving its initial funding in 2008, both in terms of doubling its membership and tripling its program offerings in recent years.”

Each year, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM provides its 1,400 members with more than 250 courses and programs that range from foreign language and literature to travel excursions, both local and abroad. For many mature learners, the institute offers a chance to explore something new that wasn’t part of their careers or daily lives.

“We salute the university’s leadership and staff as well as the institute’s remarkable volunteers for developing an outstanding program of great variety,” Osher Foundation president Mary Bitterman said. “The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM consistently provides older adults in the Milwaukee area with a broad array of meaningful and enriching educational opportunities. We are delighted to provide this additional support.”

The foundation supports 119 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes around the country, and each is connected to a prominent institution of higher education. While UW-Milwaukee’s is the only Osher program in Wisconsin, others in the region include those hosted by Northwestern University, the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan.

UWM has been fortunate to receive multiple gifts from the foundation thanks to the success of its program. “We are grateful to Bernard Osher and the foundation for helping this program grow and meet a need in the community,” said Kim Beck, executive director of the institute. “The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM is a true gem in Milwaukee.”

For more information about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UWM, visit 

About The Bernard Osher Foundation

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts and supports a national lifelong learning network for seasoned adults. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of 119 institutions of higher education from Maine to Hawaii and Alaska, have a National Resource Center at Northwestern University. The Foundation also supports scholarships, integrative medicine, performing arts organizations and museums.

About UWM

Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to more than 27,000 students from 81 countries. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. With a budget of $667 million, UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2016 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews.

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