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102 year old Palm Desert resident proves it’s never too late to learn


For the past 15 years, 102-year-old Sam Schwartz has been taking classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus (CSUSB).

"I love it here," Schwartz told Eye on the Desert's Caitlin Thropay. "I enjoy all the classes here and I look forward to it every semester," he added. 

Schwartz, who was born in 1917 in Montreal, Canada, moved to Los Angeles with his parents at five years old. He got his engineering degree at USC and worked as an aerospace engineer. He loved his job so much, he didn’t retire until he was 82 years old. That’s when he moved to Palm Desert. 

Today, he continues his love for learning by attending classes five days a week. His favorite class topics are politics, world religions, history, art, and film. 

"This is my dilemma right now at the moment, deciding which courses to take," he said.

Director of OLLI, Sue Anderson, tells us who the programs are geared towards. 

"The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a place for people 50 and over who just love to learn for the joy of it," Anderson said. "There are no tests, no grades, no homework, it’s just for people who love to learn," she added.

"I don’t understand why older people don’t do what I'm doing," Schwartz exclaimed. "You’re never too old to learn new things," he added.

Schwartz's positive attitude has rubbed off on others, making him a class favorite. 

"We love Sam," Anderson said. "Sam’s a great example of lifelong learning at its best. He’s just such a joyful man, he embraces learning, all different types of topics, so we really appreciate the example that he provides not only for other OLLI members but also for our traditional college students who see a lot of people who are retired who are learning every day here on our campus," Anderson said.

You can learn more about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on their website:

Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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