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Celebrating the 2018 Osher Institutes National Conference

The 2018 Osher Institutes National Conference; held in Scottsdale, Arizona from October 22nd to October 24th; has just come to a close. We were fortunate to have wonderful Arizona weather and wonderful presenters. The conference provided ample opportunities to network, learn, and celebrate the mission of lifelong learning. Osher Institute directors, staff, and member leaders from all over the country attended. Each of the 122 Osher Institutes sent two representatives: one staff member and one volunteer leader. This year, we saw more than 270 attendees; including participants, guests, and speakers. Programming for 2018 included a keynote session, four plenary sessions, three breakout sessions, and facilitated discussions. Additionally, there were numerous opportunities for networking, collaborations, and informal conversations. The Arizona weather afforded morning walks, outdoor meals, and even relaxing by the pool.

Plenary sessions included a presentation on fundraising by author and consultant Kim Klein of Klein and Roth, and a presentation on diversity and inclusion from Dr. Destiny Peery from Northwestern University. The keynote address was presented by noted Nobel Prize winning author Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn. She presented on her research into Telomeres and the effect these compound structures have on aging and health. The numerous breakout workshops included content on instructional methods, aging, course content, fundraising, working with your school or university, leadership, volunteerism, recruitment, marketing, and technology. Attendees repeatedly expressed their gratitude to The Bernard Osher Foundation for their generous support of the National Conference. Overall, 2018 provided another great conference; the topics were all relevant, the food was fantastic, and it was great to network and hear from others. A special thanks goes to the volunteers and assistance from Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and Yavapai College.

The Osher Institutes National Conference is a sesquiannual, multi-day meeting that has been held at intentionally varied locations throughout the country since 2003. The Conference is fully funded by The Bernard Osher Foundation, and produced by the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Northwestern University in collaboration with leaders throughout the Osher Network of Lifelong Learning Institutes.

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