Members & Leadership
Who Belongs to OLLI?
All adults, who wish to pursue academic interests are encouraged to join. Our membership has included high school drop-outs and college presidents, native North Carolinians and newcomers, professionals and homemakers. Uniting such a rich and diverse mix of backgrounds and interests is the common goal of deepening our understanding of the world around us through study and discussion.
The fact that our students are members of OLLI underscores that this is a cooperative venture, relying on the contributions and participation, both in class and out, of each member. Believing that learning is dependent on active involvement, members teach classes, coordinate lecture series, lead small-group discussions, serve on the Board of Advisors and committees, act as class assistants, help with record-keeping and administration, make coffee, and volunteer for many other tasks, both large and small.
OLLI at Duke, headquartered in The Bishop’s House on Duke’s East Campus, is an organization where lifelong learners can enjoy daytime courses, good conversation, and the companionship of peers. In this relaxed and congenial atmosphere, OLLI at Duke affords an opportunity to rekindle former interests and pursue new ones in classes without papers or tests, where members have in common a passion for learning and all the benefits that come from keeping mind and body healthy, active, and engaged. In addition to the programming available exclusively to our members, being part of the Duke community provides access to a wealth of intellectual and cultural activities.
Classes are held in a variety of locations throughout the area: The Bishop’s House on Duke’s East Campus, the Judea Reform Congregation Education Building near the intersection of Highway 15-501 and Cornwallis Road in Durham, Smith Warehouse Computer Lab near the intersection of Main and Buchanan in Durham, area retirement communities, and a variety of sites both on and off Duke’s campus.
Founded in 1977 as a joint venture of Duke University Continuing Education and the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, DILR/OLLI has grown from its 42 original members to over 1600 each year, with a curriculum of over 100 classes each semester.