A chance meeting, in early 2007, of three women – the late Charmaine Kissinger, Olive Paddon and the late Gussie Petron – each of whom was over seventy, and bored, sowed the seeds that bloomed into what is now OLLI at Penn State York. The women, who called themselves a cog (Charmaine, Olive and Gussie) in the wheel of learning, started discussing retirement, and they all agreed that retirement was fine, except for the boredom. They realized they needed intellectual and cultural stimulation, and new learning opportunities. They also realized there were no lifelong learning programs available in York County at the time.
The ladies decided to research lifelong learning programs on the internet. An important finding from their research was that to be successful, a lifelong learning program must be associated with a college or university. So, in the words of Olive Padden, “…we made some contacts and Penn State York seemed to be the place to start this adventure.”
Since 2007, we have grown and evolved, with membership close to 700. Our mission has stayed the same, to enhance the quality of life for mature adults who love to learn. Our desire is that OLLI members find OLLI at Penn State York a place where they make new friends, get involved in OLLI committees and each time they leave, they do so with a positive feeling and an increased understanding of something learned.