January 12, 2016

Spring Registration Opens Tomorrow!

Starting tomorrow, you can register for OLLI Spring 2016 programs!  Please read below about each way to register, along with a few reminders.

Registration Open House, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., Michel Student Center Ballrooms:  Come in person to receive one-on-one assistance from Continuing Education staff, enjoy coffee and scones, and spend some time catching up with your fellow OLLI members.  
Doors will open at 8:40 a.m.; we highly recommend not arriving before 8:30.

Parking Reminder:
  On-campus parking will be available during the Open House.  You may park in any of the white- or blue-lined spaces on campus and walk to the Michel Student Center.  Click here to view a campus map. 

Online Registration, 2:00 p.m.:  Register online at 2:00 by visiting the OLLI homepage ( and clicking on the registration link that will be available.  For instructions to help walk you through the new online system, click on one of the links below:
Brief, basic instructions 

Mail-in Registration:  Mail in your registration form and payment at any time.

Phone Registration:  If you need personalized assistance with your registration, you may call our office after 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 14 at 309-677-3900.

See you at OLLI!
Thank You, Randy Saxon

Last week at Winter Classes, one of OLLI's most popular instructors, Randy Saxon, announced his retirement from teaching at OLLI.  Over the past several years, Randy has taught, facilitated, and hosted over 50 OLLI events, and is best known for his extensive knowledge of Lincoln, the Civil War, and the Holocaust.  In addition to his expertise, Randy has been a beloved instructor for his welcoming, kindhearted, and inquisitive nature.

Randy Saxon embodies OLLI's spirit of lifelong learning, and we look forward to seeing him among OLLI students in the future!

In his last class, "Lincoln and Literature," he shared a book list containing titles about one of our country's greatest presidents that he thought others would enjoy.  If you would like to view a copy of this list, please click here.

Thank you, Randy, for all your contributions to lifelong learning and OLLI at Bradley!
Space Still Available on Popular Local Trips

J.K. Williams Distilling (Activity Level 2)
Monday, January 18
11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
On this day, we'll visit J.K. Williams Distilling, a distillery formed to bring craft whiskey- and bourbon-making back to the Peoria area.  During our tour of the facility in East Peoria, we'll learn how J.K. Williams was a man ahead of his time, stubbornly refusing to sacrifice quality when crafting his bootleg whiskey.  We'll also learn (and taste) how the family recipe is being revived four generations later, using local grain to produce whiskey and bourbon.
$29 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, tasting, and shuttle transportation

Wheel Art Pottery (Activity Level 1)
Monday, February 1
8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Back by popular demand, a trip to Wheel Art Pottery is on our February schedule.  We'll meet Jacob Grant, Bradley University alum and owner of two businesses: Wheel Art Pottery Studios, which emphasizes instruction, and Jacob Grand Ceramics, a studio through which he sells his artwork.  Jacob's pottery has been on display at Disney World and The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.  On this trip, we'll get hands-on by doing our own wheel throwing and hand-building.  Be prepared to get messy and have fun!
$37 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, materials and firing fees, and shuttle transportation

Peoria County Coroner's Office (Activity Level 1)
Thursday, February 4
11:30 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.
On this day, we'll meet Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll, an elected official charged with investigating sudden, unusual, and traumatic deaths and assuring those bodies are examined, identified, and if necessary, autopsied.  Our visit is expected to include an observation of a jury inquest, which is held weekly to determine the manner of some deaths in Peoria County.  We may also have an opportunity to see the on-site autopsy room and morgue.
$25 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, and shuttle transportation

To register online for any of our Winter learning trips, please click here.

I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Cinema Conversations: I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
Wednesdays, February 3 - 17, 2016
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Viewing: February 3, at Peoria Public North Branch
Discussions: February 10 and 17 at Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
Cost: $29

This heartwarming doc chronicles the life of Caroll Spinney, the man who has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.

For over 4 decades, Caroll's characters have been cherished by generations of children.  At 81 years old, the tenacious and enthusiastic performer has no intention of slowing down.  I am Big Bird features incredible footage of Spinney's earliest collaborations with Jim Henson as it traces Caroll's journey from bullied child to celebrated performer.  This loving portrait peels away the instances that inspired his creation of Big Bird and as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart. 

The discussion leaders for this event will be Jan Deissler, retired educator and founder of the Child Development Program at Illinois Central College and the Child Care Connection, and Marjorie Getz, Associate Professor at Methodist College and frequent OLLI class instructor and study group facilitator.

To register online for this group, please click here.

Beyond the Hilltop
Britain at the Crossroads: The Future of British Politics

Peoria Area World Affairs Council presents:
"Britain at the Crossroads: The Future of British Politics"
Thursday, January 21 
5:30 p.m., optional dinner; $35 for public, $30 for PAWAC members
7:00 p.m., presentation; $15 for public, $10 for PAWAC members, free for students
Michel Student Center Ballrooms, Bradley University

The Peoria Area World Affairs Council (PAWAC) presents "Britain at the Crossroads: The Future of British Politics" with Dr. Paul Nixon of the Academy of European Studies and Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands.  

How is the British political landscape changing? Are the recent elections a blip or are we witnessing a redrawing of the politics of Britain? In his lecture, Dr. Nixon will discuss the recent United Kingdom elections and the subsequent political shifts. He will examine the Scottish and European questions, and the Labour leadership contest. What might this mean in the near future? Dr. Nixon will also offer predictions of future trends, and explain the importance of politics in Britain as they relate to the United States.

Dinner reservations must be made in advance no later than Monday, January 18.  Registration forms and links to online ordering are available on the PAWAC website:  Advance notice for those only attending the presentation is appreciated via

For additional information, visit or call 309-677-2454.
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