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Learning institute shoots for 1,000 students

Southern Oregon University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is now enrolling members for the 2009-10 academic year.

A $100 enrollment fee gives members access to as many of the institute's continuing-education classes as they want each academic quarter September through June, as well as social events, lectures and forums.

This fall the institute plans 74 courses on the Ashland campus and 19 courses at the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center in downtown Medford. Members can attend classes at either or both locations.

Anne Bellegia, a volunteer spokeswoman for the all-ages adult learning program, noted that the number of classes offered in Medford is growing and the organization wants to attract new members from Medford and the north end of the Rogue Valley.

The institute ended the past academic year with 970 members and is aiming to serve 1,000 people. With 1,000 members, it qualifies to apply for a $1 million endowment that would help its long-term financial stability.

The continuing-education program got $100,000 grants from The Bernard Osher Foundation in San Francisco in 2007 and 2008, then a $1 million endowment this year.

Enrollment can happen anytime prior to the start of courses, but to get the best choice of classes, interested students should sign up by Aug. 5, OLLI officials said.

Visit www.sou.edu/olli for the fall course catalog, member application and class request forms or call 552-6048 to request the information by mail.