CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — “It was just fascinating to just be able to walk into a class and for eight weeks find out something about something you’ve also been curious about,” Frank Chadwick of Rantoul said.
Frank Chadwick, who teaches and takes classes is just one of about 600 people enrolled at Olli.
The program offers a variety of classes such as art, literature, music, film, history, politics and science to those 50 or older.
Chadwick has been involved in the program for more than a decade.
“This is a community where everybody you see in this place is curious and that’s the main appeal, I mean at first it was yeah the course content but really it’s the community itself that’s kept me involved,” Chadwick said.
Kathryn Williams, who joined Olli as its newest director last summer is happy to see in person learning resume.
“We’ve got a lounge and we’ve got a library as well as classrooms, so to have those filled up again with people, busting about and talking and drinking coffee, between classes and things like that is quite lovely,” Williams said.
The program also offers study groups and interest groups, led by members, but it is more than just the classes that keeps Chadwick coming back.
“It feels good to be sitting in a classroom and there’s no attendance and no grades, ya know,” Chadwick said.
Williams also says members build friendships and she’s hoping to carry that to more people in central Illinois.
Just ask Chadwick.
“I literally live in this area because of Olli,” Chadwick said.
For more information, visit https://olli.illinois.edu/index.html.