New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies ( will launch New York City’s first Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to expand and enhance the School’s academic programming for adults 50 years and up.

Supported in part with a $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at NYU ( starts in September 2005 with a series of noncredit daytime courses, lectures with NYU faculty and prominent journalists, career seminars and social and networking events specially designed for members. There is now a network of 72 other Osher Institutes across the United States funded by the Foundation since 2002 specifically to provide educational and social programming for seniors.

“New York University is proud to be a recipient of this grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation and to be the first New York home of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute,” said President John Sexton of New York University. “Drawing upon the unique convergence of intellectual and cultural resources here in New York City and at NYU, this new Institute aims to satisfy the vibrant curiosity and active lives of Americans over 50 as our Baby Boomers explore this new phase of their lives.”

“The Foundation is delighted to have found such a promising grantee in New York University. As we at the Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco read of the programs and activities planned by NYU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, we wish we were geographically closer so we could take advantage of the splendid offerings,” said Mary Bitterman, president of the Osher Foundation.

Founded in 1934, NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies serves the distinct needs of adult students, offering 2,500 credit and noncredit courses annually in a range of over 150 subjects for career enhancement and personal enrichment. At present, approximately 14 percent of SCPS’s overall non-credit enrollments attract students 56 years and older, with the proportion topping 50 percent in such areas as the arts, humanities and international affairs.

These trends are expected to continue as older adults use continuing education to explore second careers or personal intellectual interests, explains Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at NYU’s Director Dean Williamson. New York City alone is home to over 1.3 million people over the age of 60, and the oldest members of Baby Boom generation turn 60 in 2006.

“Despite these large numbers, many seniors lack social networks,” says Williamson. “Census data shows that 44 percent of Manhattan’s older residents live alone, compared to 9.2 percent nationally. These numbers suggest, and our experience confirms, that older adults want access to more opportunities to network and socialize with like-minded peers and NYU’s Osher Institute programs will address this important need as well.”

The Bernard Osher Foundation was established in 1977 to benefit a wide range of educational and cultural activities. A native of Maine who now makes his home in San Francisco, Bernard Osher is a successful businessman, community leader, and a patron of the arts and education. His wife, the Honorable Barbro Osher, is consul general of Sweden in San Francisco and serves as chair of the Foundation.

For 70 years, NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies at New York University [] has been a recognized leader in the education of adult learners, enrolling more than 50,000 students annually. Each semester the School offers over 1,500 courses, seminars and conferences that span more than 125 fields. Further, busy professionals have a choice of 13 masters degree programs, 21 bachelors programs, six associates degrees and seven graduate and over 160 other professional certificate programs to educate them for leadership in New York City’s key business sectors.

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