February 9, 2016

Notable OLLI Dates

February 2 - 26: Oscar Contest via OLLI newsletter
March 18: Last day to register for Italy trip
April 2, 6pm: Great Gatsby Silver Screen
at Peoria Riverfront Museum; tickets available soon

March 19, 6pm: Bonnie and Clyde Silver Screen at Peoria Riverfront Museum; tickets available soonApril 7 and 21, 2pm: Study Group Committee Meetings at Peoria NEXT Innovation Center

March 23, 12pm: OLLI Spring 2016 Kickoff Luncheon; free with OLLI Classes, $20 for Luncheon onlyApril 8, 9am: Learning Trip Committee Meeting in Michel Student Center Executive Suite

March 29, 7pm: OLLI-sponsored Lecture: Big Data, Geometry, and Algebra
in Westlake 116; free
April 15, 9am: Cinema
 Committee Meeting in Michel Student Center Room 203

April 16, 6pm: The Untouchables Silver Screen at Peoria Riverfront Museum; tickets available soon
Spring Classes are Almost Here!

Have you registered for OLLI Spring Classes yet?  April will be here before you know it!

The Spring Kickoff Luncheon is included in your class fee, which will be held on Wednesday, March 23.  Those who cannot attend classes are welcome at the Kickoff Luncheon for $20.  

Why take OLLI Classes?  Here are some highlights that class participants can enjoy:

- Four stimulating classes on Wednesdays in April
- Free door-to-door shuttle service
- Delicious hearty and healthy buffet lunches available to purchase
- Complimentary refreshments during class breaks
- Plenty of time to socialize with friendly OLLI fellows

To register for Spring Classes, click here to utilize our new online registration system, or call Bonnie at 309-677-3900.

Help a Bradley Speech Student 

Last fall, Laura Bruns, a Bradley University Speech Communication Lecturer, brought her students to OLLI class breaks so they could meet OLLI members and practice their conversational skills.

We will repeat this activity during Spring Class breaks, but are working to further develop the relationship between OLLI members and undergraduate students.  

As such, we would like to offer you the chance to be paired with an honors Communication 103 student who will write a "tribute speech" about you.

Tribute speeches are short talks about a person's life, accomplishments, and advice.  Once you've been matched, an honors student would meet with you at a mutually convenient time, talk about your career, hobbies, family, goals, etc., then write a speech about what they've learned about you. You will be invited to attend class with the student and listen to his or her completed speech, but attendance is not required.

If you would like to participate in this great inter-generational activity, please email Michelle Riggio ( by February 12

Thank you in advance for helping our Bradley students further develop their communication skills!

2nd Annual Oscar Contest 

During the month of February, you can participate in our 2nd Annual Oscar Contest, in which you select the nominations you think will be awarded in the following ten different categories:

Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Documentary Feature, Best Original Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Foreign Language Film.

Anyone on the OLLI newsletter email list can play by clicking on the link above to take the online survey any time during the month.  After the trophies are awarded on Oscar night on Sunday, February 28, we will announce the top three OLLI members who guessed most accurately in our newsletter on Tuesday, March 1.  

1st place: Free Dinner & A Movie cinema trip to the Chillicothe Town Theatre, May 9
2nd place: 4 movie ticket vouchers to Landmark Cinemas
3rd place: 2 DVDs from past Cinema Events: A Separation and Putin's Kiss

To check out the 2015 nominees, click here.  Best of luck!

A Watershed Year at the Oscars, Part One

A Watershed Year at the Oscars: 1967
by Randy Wilson, Cinema Committee member

The current controversy over a lack of diversity in this year's Academy Award nominations, and the Academy's proposed response, has the potential be another watershed moment in film history.

In light of this controversy, it might be fun to revisit another watershed year in Oscar annals: 1967. Mark Harris chronicles this magical year in Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. His book highlights the behind-the-scenes efforts that went into the making of the five films nominated for a Best Picture award in 1967 and how all five films changed Hollywood in some way.

The five films were: Bonnie and Clyde; The Graduate; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner; In the Heat of the Night; and Dr. Doolittle.

Bonnie and Clyde divided critics and studio executives alike. The country's leading film critic was so vituperative in his savage attacks on the film that the New York Times gently reassigned him, replacing him with a critic more in touch with the zeitgeist. And it wasn't until it's multiple Oscar nominations that Warner Brothers studio finally gave the film a "wide release." The film's "immense box office success flabbergasted Warner Brothers" and "made Warren Beatty wealthy beyond his wildest dreams." The film launched the careers of New Hollywood nobility, like director Arthur Penn, producer/actor Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Gene Hackman. And, it accomplished something no Parisian designer ever could: It popularized the female beret.

The Graduate was equally divisive. It was the first major film of the sixties to explore the generation gap. Many older film goers felt attacked and belittled. But, their children and grandkids made it an unexpected, breakout hit (Of course, Hollywood quickly responded in its usual way by developing more films marketed to younger audiences; a trend that continues to this day). The film cemented Director Mike Nichols's reputation and propelled his  decidedly unglamorous star, Dustin Hoffman, to stardom. By the way, Nichols is featured in a recent PBS "American Masters" series (Fun factoid: When Nichols was asked what eventually happens to the film's main characters, Benjamin and Elaine, he replied: "They become their parents." How true!).

Both In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner dealt with racial relations in the same year that saw the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Check back next week for Part Two, when we will go over these and Dr. Dolittle!

Tour Italy with OLLI

Registration is open for our trip with Road Scholar to Italy in September 2016, and we are still looking for a few more adventurous OLLI members to join us!

We will spend 14 days and 13 nights experiencing the beauty of three historic cities of Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance acclaim: Rome, Florence and Venice.  Local experts will lead us on a journey as we explore the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Borghese and Vatican museums, and "David"-- a Renaissance period masterpiece in Florence-- and a gondola ride through the canals of Venice.

For additional information, including trip dates, pricing, and brief trip itinerary, click here.

To reserve a spot and pay the $250 deposit, you can either call 309-677-3900, or stop by the Continuing Education office on the corner of Main and University Streets.
Study Group Spotlight

Those attending OLLI Study Groups this winter have been enjoying some great conversations and presentations.  Check out what's been going on in a few groups below!

In the Berlin Air Lift Study Group, Col. Robertson from the Illinois Air National Guard visited to provide his unique perspective.

In TED Talks #5, facilitator Greg Peine led his group in a discussion about the "dark net" (unseen portion of the internet) and the "light net" and whether the free flow of innovative ideas online justifies the negatively perceived dark net.

The Study Group on Self-Publishing recently wrapped up their discussion on the hands-on process of publishing one's own work.

To see a list of Study Groups offered this spring, click here.  Register online via our new online system by clicking here, or sign up over the phone by calling Bonnie at 309-677-3900.

Hilltop Happenings
America Divided

America Divided: Political Partisanship and US Foreign Policy in the Lead-up to the 2016 Election
Wednesday, February 10
7:00 p.m.
Marty Theatre, Bradley University

Each year, the Chicago Council on
 Global Affairs conducts a major public opinion survey on US foreign policy.  Their 2015 survey, released in September, demonstrates that while Americans support US engagement in the world, their opinions on how to best achieve US interests divide sharply along partisan lines.

Lead survey authors from the Chicago Council, Dina Smeltz (Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy) and Craig Kafura (Research Associate) will discuss the survey and its implications for the upcoming 2016 election.

This event, sponsored by  the International Affairs Organization, Student Senate "Burst the Bubble", and multiple co-sponsors, is free and open to the public.  Parking on campus is available after 6:00 p.m.

For more information and a summary of the 2015 survey, please click here.

Author Sharon Flake to Speak at Bradley

Guest Speaker, Author Sharon Flake
Sponsored by Intellectual and Cultural Activities at Bradley University
Wednesday, February 17
7:30 p.m.
Peplow Pavilion, Alumni Center, Bradley University
Free to Public

Sharon Flake, winner of three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, is known for her ability to communicate that reading matters, all readers matter, and that books are for each and every one of us. According to Scholastic, "Many of Sharon's novels have received ALA Notable and Best Books for Young Adults citations from the American Library Association. Her writing has been applauded for its on-point narrative that explores issues affecting teens from all walks of life."

Flake describes her mission: "I write about hope in hard places, about young people who encounter challenges but through perseverance, the help of good friends and the love of family and caring adults, learn just how wonderfully gifted, determined and capable they are."

Beyond the Hilltop
Art Exhibit: Two Men Who Made a Difference

Between February 1 - 27, you are invited to view a special exhibit at the Peoria Public Library Main Branch on art preservation service.

Two Men Who Made a Difference: Leslie Kenyon and Dr. George Kottemann

The exhibit was curated by OLLI class instructor Bennett Johnson.  It can be found on the lower level of the library.

Korea: A Nation Divided

Peoria Area World Affairs Council presents: "Korea: A Nation Divided"
Thursday, February 18
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
Westlake Hall, room 116, Bradley University

The Peoria Area World Affairs Council (PAWAC) presents "Korea: A Nation Divided" with Los Angeles-based photographer Mark Edward Harris.

To better understand North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), one must travel back at least two centuries.  It is in the history of the entire Korean Peninsula, not just the land above the mid-20th-century division, where an integral part of the bigger picture reveals itself.  Mark Edward Harris has traveled to North Korea 10 times and South Korea 8 times to document the divided peninsula.  He will share his photographs and stories from his journeys. 

Reservations for dinner must be made in advance no later than Monday, February 15, via the online forms found on the PAWAC website:  Advance notice for those only attending the presentation is appreciated via

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