Gifts from Foundations

The Bernard Osher Foundation has made a generous contribution to the University of Michigan Geriatrics Center to endow a community program for older adults.  This contribution will sustain the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, formerly known as the Learning in Retirement Program, which offers a variety of educational opportunities for area residents in or near retirement.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute was established in 1987 by a small group of Geriatric Center social workers and volunteers.  Today, this program has over 1,000 volunteers who work closely with the Geriatrics Center staff.  Offerings include more than 100 mini-courses, study groups and lectures, including the popular “Distinguished Lecture Series.”  Also offered in this program is an expanding Midwest travel program and occasional special events.

Created in 1977 by businessman Bernard Osher, the Bernard Osher Foundation sponsors lifelong learning institutes throughout the United States seeking to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts.  Director of the U-M Geriatrics Center Dr. Jeffrey Halter noted, “The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at U-M exemplifies the type of quality programming that can be accomplished with a dedicated group of community volunteers working with the support of the university.  This gift helps to ensure that educational offerings for retirement age adults will continue well into the future.”

The TUKTAWA (pronounced Tucked-Away) Foundation made a generous gift to support the new Alice Lohrman Andrews Research Professorship in Liver Disease.  The TUKTAWA Foundation is a family philanthropic foundation whose trustee, Charles J. Andrews, named the fund for the family’s cottage in northern Michigan.  Alice Lohrman Andrews was Mr. Andrews’ late wife who died of liver disease in 1996.  Mr. Andrews, known as Chuck, is also a Michigan alumnus, having graduated in 1960 with a degree in business.  He rose successfully through the executive ranks at Ford Motor Company and Alice taught school, taking an interest in children with special needs.  In later years she sold real estate in the Birmingham, Michigan area and was active as a national officer in her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.  Together they raised three children, Tracey of Denver, Colorado; Christopher of Baltimore, Maryland; and Jennifer A. Moilanen of Beverly Hills, Michigan.  When Alice was struck with liver disease they sought care from world renowned hepatologist Dr. Anna Lok in the Division of Gastroenterology.  While Alice lost her life to liver disease, the family philanthropic foundation was directed to make gifts to Dr. Lok’s research to work towards better treatments and eventually a cure.  In December 2007, the Foundation decided to support Dr. Lok’s lifesaving work by establishing the new Research Professorship in Alice’s name.  Although Chuck will admit a bias toward Michigan as a loyal alum, the family made this decision based on the world-class research in liver disease made possible by U-M’s renowned division of Gastroenterology and its Hepatology group under Dr. Lok’s leadership.  The Andrews family hopes this gift will pay tribute to Alice’s spirit and inspire researchers to mitigate suffering and ultimately cure diseases of the liver.