About the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Drake University

Drake University's lifelong learning program. 

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Drake University, also known as OLLI at Drake University, is a volunteer-supported program dedicated to all persons who seek opportunities for lifelong learning to enrich their lives in a collegial environment of sharing and fellowship. The society provides opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural stimulation and growth.

Non-credit educational opportunities are offered in the Fall and Spring semester to a growing membership of lifelong learners. Instruction is provided by volunteers from Drake University faculty and the community at large. Events and socials for members are offered regularly and add to the social fabric of the society.

Prior college experience is not required, and courses taken within the program are not for college credit. OLLI at Drake membership is required prior to course registration.

Previously known as The RaySociety

In July 2021 Drake University’s lifelong learning organization previously known as the RaySociety received a $100,000 grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation to strengthen and expand its programming. With enthusiastic support from Billie Ray, the organization is now the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Drake University. The name change signifies its inclusion as one of 125 lifelong learning institutes on university and college campuses across the country supported by the Osher Foundation.

The RaySociety was established at Drake in 2004 and named after Governor Robert D. Ray, who served as Iowa’s 38th governor and later in his career as the 11th president of Drake University, and his wife Billie Ray, a former teacher and first lady of Iowa. The organization has evolved into a respected lifelong learning program offering more than 60 non-credit courses and 10 lectures each year taught by Drake faculty and community leaders.

Remembering Robert D. Ray: Governor Ray proudly served as Iowa’s 38th governor and, later in his career, as the 11th president of Drake University, from April 1998 to May 1999. He received his B.A. in business from Drake in 1952, and his juris doctorate from Drake Law School in 1954.

Biography of Governor Robert D. Ray


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