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BULLI makes learning, friendship a lifelong endeavor
Registration for Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute begins soon
Barb Vlasz uses round stickers to seal the latest edition of the Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute BULLI-tin Thursday afternoon as the newsletters get mailed announcing upcoming BULLI classes offered in Gainesville and in Braselton.

BULLI - Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute

Registration for fall quarter classes:

6 p.m. Aug. 16 for Braselton location at the Higher Grounds Coffee House, 6700 Highway 53.

Registration will continue through Aug. 26 at the Braselton Town Hall. Call 706-654-5720 for more information.

4 p.m. Aug. 18 for Gainesville location at the Brenau Downtown Center, 301 Main St.

Registration will continue through Aug. 26 at the BULLI House, 406 Academy St. Call 770-538-4705 for more information.

For a list of courses and to download a registration form, visit

The membership fee is $135 for the 2016-17 academic year.

Sure, most of the 250 members of the Brenau University Learning and Leisure Institute, or BULLI, are retired and enjoying their golden years.

But Diane Rooks, a BULLI veteran, wants you to know that “anybody can take these classes.”

From book clubs to hiking groups, art instruction and classes on religion or world affairs, BULLI offers interested members a seemingly endless supply of unique courses taught by experts.

“We don’t do basket weaving,” Executive Director Kathy Amos said with a chuckle. 

And then there’s the friendships made.

“The friendships created there lead to other ways to socialize and stay active in every way,” Rooks said.

Founded in 1994 as a joint venture between Brenau and community leaders desiring a local lifelong learning program, BULLI has become something of a second home to many members.

Virginia Hale said it’s the “stimulation of being with other like-minded people” that keeps bringing her back.

“I feel really good when I’m part of a community,” she added.

According to its mission, “With BULLI, there is no educational requirement, no credit given and no homework required.” 

It’s all about the joy of learning. The “students” inform the curriculum committee’s choices, and new offerings are made each year. 

Plus, the benefits of membership extend beyond camaraderie and learning.

“Our members get to use all of the facilities at Brenau like the library, gym and pool,” Rooks said. “In addition, the members promote and contribute in numerous ways to Brenau. Many donate money or set up scholarships, and volunteer as docents at the history center and the art museums, as well as attend the cultural events.”

BULLI members also give back so much to the community. They participate in research studies on aging, for example.

And the Wisdom project emerged as a partnership between BULLI and the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce to create a national model of finding productive ways for seniors to use their skills, experience and wisdom to enhance the local area.

“As a result, the community is enriched in countless ways,” Rooks said.

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