CLEMSON — Julie Vidotto is the new director of Clemson University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a 1,000-member continuing education program for adults age 50 and older.

Julie Vidotto

Julie Vidotto

Vidotto comes to Clemson after a 20-year career in museum and public garden education program administration, serving as director of education for the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, N.C., and director of visitor education/services at the Chicago Botanic Garden. She held positions at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C., and the Callaway Gardens/Ida Cason Callaway Foundation in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Vidotto holds a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Western Carolina University, a Master of Arts in teaching degree from George Washington University and an undergraduate degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of Maryland.  Her professional interests lie in understanding how organizations support complex partnership endeavors, with her most recent research exploring successful multi-agency collaborations in community colleges.

Part of the university’s parks, recreation and tourism management department, OLLI at Clemson is a continuing education program and membership organization for adults age 50 and older. The institute offers lectures, courses, excursions and social events, as well as access to Clemson events and resources.

Since its start in 2000, the program has grown from 85 to more than 1,000 members. The institute holds approximately 215 classes each year in interest areas that include technology, fine arts, culture, travel, nature and fitness, among others. The program is housed in the Charles K. Cheezem Education Center at Patrick Square in Clemson.

OLLI at Clemson is supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization founded by businessman and community leader Bernard Osher that seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. The foundation supports 117 OLLI organizations in the United States, all of which are associated with a major college.

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