For the first 19 years of our existence, we were known as The Athenaeum at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Athenaeum name was in honor of RIT’s own history—the university was founded in 1891 when the Rochester Athenaeum (focused on liberal arts) merged with the Rochester Mechanics Institute (focused on engineering). From our first days in 1987, we were intent on creating a member-led learning organization.
The Athenaeum Becomes Osher
In 2006, we became an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, joining a growing national network of 120+ university-based centers for older learners. Our name change from The Athenaeum to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT marked this important national affiliation, a relationship that includes significant funding for efforts to help us grow. Read more about The Bernard Osher Foundation.