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Osher Striving for $1 Million Grant

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Logo

Osher at JHU is trying to turn $50,000 into $1 million.

Membership in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University has been booming and last spring, reached a significant milestone: more than 1,000 members.

That achievement qualified Osher at JHU to be invited to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation. With only a few weeks to pull together an application, Osher staff and members prepared a proposal that showed how they can raise additional money.


“They stepped right up to the plate and helped make it happen in a very, very short amount of time,” said Mary Kay Shartle Galotto, JHU’s Osher director.  She credited fundraising committee co-chairs Jane Shure and Linda Graham for leading the member-driven initiative.

Osher at JHU recently got the good word: The Institute would receive a $50,000 bridge grant. And if Osher raises an additional $50,000 by next summer, Osher would be invited to apply for an additional $1 million.

“I feel confident if we raise the money, we’re going to get the million,” Shartle Galotto said.

“The Osher Foundation is quite concerned about the long-term health and financial support of the 123 Osher programs at universities and colleges across the country,” Shartle Galotto said. “The purpose of requiring a fundraising component as part of our application was to allow the program to present a strong case that a culture of caring and philanthropy existed among the membership.”

Tuition alone does not cover program costs.

Osher at JHU is hoping to secure individual gifts, pledges, corporate gifts and grants and legacy contributions. The program also hopes to plan events that would bring in dollars. Winning a $1 million grant would enable Osher at JHU to implement more social and academic activities and hire staff to support the programming.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at JHU offers educational opportunities for retired and semi-retired adults. The program formally was called the Evergreen Society but changed its name in 2007 when the Bernard Osher Foundation approached Johns Hopkins with an opportunity to become part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes.

Osher has more than 650 members in Montgomery County.

For information about making a contribution, contact Susan Howard at