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The Bernard Osher Foundation

Bernard Osher and Barbro Osher

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 The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Connecticut, Waterbury, CT

“Bernard Osher, a patron of education and the arts, created the Bernard Osher Foundation in 1977. The Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and the State of Maine through post-secondary student scholarships (now provided to nearly 30 institutions of higher education) and arts and humanities grants. It also supports selected programs in integrative medicine as well as a national network of lifelong learning institutes for older adults. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, operating on the campuses of over 100 colleges and universities from Maine to Hawaii, have a National Resource Center at the University of Southern Maine.

A native of Biddeford, Maine and a graduate of Bowdoin College, Osher has pursued a successful career in business, beginning with the management of his family’s hardware and plumbing supplies store in Maine and continuing with work at Oppenheimer & Company in New York before moving to California. There he became a founding director of World Savings, one of the largest savings institutions in the United States. In 1970, Osher purchased the fine art auction house of Butterfield & Butterfield and oversaw its growth to become the fourth largest auction house in the world. In 1999, he sold the company to eBay. Barbro Osher is Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco, having served in the same capacity in Los Angeles from 1995-1998. She also is owner and publisher of Vestkusten, a Swedish-American newspaper in the United States, established in 1886 and providing news from Sweden on politics, business, and sports as well as information on the active Swedish-American community in the West.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden and a graduate of Stockholm University with a degree in languages and political science, Osher pursued a career in advertising and publishing in Sweden before returning to the United States in the early 1980s. Her first visit to America in 1962 was to Maine where she participated as a student in the Experiment in International Living program. Over the years, she has represented both the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Swedish Tourist Board.

Barbro Osher is one of the founders of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association (SWEA) and is president of Positive Sweden/America, an organization furthering the image of Sweden through educational activities in the United States. Among numerous recognitions, including several honorary degrees, Osher received the Eliason Award from the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles in 1999 and was named “Woman of the Year” by the SWEA last year in Stockholm. She also was a recipient of His Majesty the King’s Medal in 2002.

Barbro Osher is Chairman of both The Bernard Osher Foundation and The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. The Pro Suecia Foundation supports Swedish-related cultural and educational projects in North America and Sweden.” -Excerpted from www.osherfoundation.org

For more information on The Bernard Osher Foundation click here.