Berkshire Community College (BCC) has named Megan Whilden the executive director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at BCC, an organization that provides a distinctive array of non-credit courses and activities specifically developed by and for adults aged 50 or older who are interested in learning for the joy of learning. OLLI at BCC has over 900 members and provides over 80 courses, talks and special events each year. It is one of four Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes in Massachusetts, and 119 across the United States, all affiliated with colleges and universities.
Whilden comes to BCC from City of Pittsfield where she served as the director of cultural development. Prior to that, she was marketing director at IS183 Art School, a non-profit community art school located in Stockbridge, Mass. that encourages people of all ages, means and skill levels to enrich their lives through hands-on experience in the visual arts.“Megan has a formidable set of skills that will surely lead OLLI to grow onward and upward,” said Sandra Rubin, president of OLLI’s Board of Directors.
Whilden, an active member of numerous community organizations in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Berkshire Creative, and 1Berkshire, an independent not-for-profit corporation charged with strengthening and growing the Berkshire economy using an innovative collaborative approach among the region’s business, tourism, economic and creative development efforts.
She has garnered awards including: the Community Stewardship Award from Multicultural BRIDGE, an organization dedicated to promoting cultural competence and integration of diverse groups in western Massachusetts, a Berkshire Trendsetter Award for inspiring a community in 2011 by the Berkshire Visitors Bureau, and the Creative Community Commonwealth Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2009. A former editor of Artful Mind, she has written articles and columns for the Boston Globe, Parabola Magazine, the Berkshire Eagle, and other media outlets.
Originally from California, Whilden currently resides in Pittsfield. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University. Both her mother and aunt are OLLI instructors in California.
OLLI at BCC partners with other area higher education institutions including Williams College, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. In addition, OLLI has over 30 cultural partners in the greater Berkshire region. For more information, visit www.berkshireolli.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413.236.2190.