NRC OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute

National Resource Center

for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes Newsletter

June 2013
In This Issue
Greetings from Kali
OLLIs -- Toot Your Horns!
Osher Instructor Turns Author
OLLI at UNLV: Life@50+
"Because You Asked!"
"Ghosts' of Gettysburg
The 2013 Southern Regional Conference, July 24-26
Collaboration Opportunity with Smithsonian Art Museum
OLLI NRC Facebook Page
Join Our Mailing List!
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Greetings from Kali 

Proofreading is not usually a very exciting activity, but I must say, doing a final read-through of this month's newsletter was actually fun.  There is much in here to catch your eye and tickle your fancy:  authors, and lectures, and trips, oh my!  And take some note of our new connection with the Smithsonian -- how cool is that?! -- the Southern conference next month, and our newly active Facebook presences.  All good. 

Happy almost summer,

OLLIs -- Toot Your Horns!

US Naval training
"Getting em up" at U.S.Naval Training Camp, Seattle, Washington. 

Toot your horn! Does your OLLI have news that you are proud of and would like to share with the network? The NRC newsletter is looking for articles about those special happenings that you know will inspire and excite others. So, keep the network newsletter in mind as a place to "toot your horn!"

If you have a story to share, please send it (with photos if possible) to Fran or Anne at the National Resource Center.

Osher Instructor Turns Author
Ron Robertson Author
 Ron Robertson displays the book inspired by his Osher lifelong learning course.
Volunteering as an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute instructor can be fulfilling, enjoyable and lead to unexpected events. Many instructors find the appreciation of their students very gratifying and that appreciation keeps them coming back to teach again. Yet, there are sometimes unexpected benefits... such as students encouraging their instructor to write a book based on the course. That is exactly what happened to one instructor at Osher at the University of Delaware in Wilmington - Ron Robertson.

Ron has taught "America in a Changing World" and a sequel course for the past two years. Both courses focus on worldwide economic trends based on extensive research data that Ron has compiled, and both impart a large dose of optimism for the future of America. After several semesters of students encouraging Ron to "write it all down," he finally took the plunge and tackled the daunting task of writing the book, Optimism for a Changing America. Ron's book became available at the end of May. For more information contact Ron or see his book listing on the OLLI National website OLLI Authors Non-Fiction page. Congratulations, Ron!

Submitted by - Carol Bernard. OLLI at the University of Delaware
OLLI at UNLV Represent their program and the National OLLI Network at the AARP's Life@50+ conference
Mary and Vickie AARP
OLLI at UNLV Volunteers Mary and Vickie 

Volunteers from OLLI at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas recently spent their weekend representing both their program and OLLI National Network at AARP's Life@50+ conference, which was held May 30th-June 1st.  The conference drew over 8,000 participants from New York and Virginia, down to Texas and New Orleans, and throughout California.  In addition to chatting up locals about the benefits of the OLLI at UNLV experience, they also encouraged hundreds of visitors that stopped by the table to contact their respective local OLLI office.  Maps with each OLLI represented and bookmarks with the National Resource Center website will hopefully steer a few prospective members your way!  OLLI at UNLV would like to thank the national office for allowing us to represent our amazing network and for all their support coordinating our AARP experience.

Submitted byRichard Easter, OLLI at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
"Because You Asked!" 
CSU Chico and Butte County Library Launch Speaker Series


CSU Chico


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU, Chico is partnering with the Butte County Library in an engaging summer speaker series called "Because You Asked!" This unique educational program is made possible by a generous grant from the California State Library and will showcase local subject experts at five library branches each month from June to August.

This project will bring experienced presenters to areas where accessibility to services and special educational programming can be limited. Melanie Lightbody, Butte County Librarian and Director of Libraries, says "'Because You Asked!' will bring subject experts to our rural residents and those who may have low literacy or for whom learning by reading is not optimal." The sessions, which begin on June 18, are based on reference questions most frequently asked at the library branches. Members of OLLI, who lead classes during the academic year, have volunteered to present on gardening, local history and geology, media trends, creative writing, and health and wellness-all topics selected by Butte County residents in a recent survey of frequently asked questions.
CSU Chico Rock
One of the summer speakers will be Stewart Monroe. The photo above shows Stewart's OLLI class moving a few rocks for his class titled "California's Magnificent Geology."
Ann Nikolai, Director of OLLI at CSU, Chico, chose to partner with the Butte County Library as part of the organization's commitment to lifelong learning and the program's recent expansion. "Bringing educational opportunities to communities in Butte County, and throughout the North State, is part of OLLI's mission," says Nikolai. "This partnership utilizes the best resources of both OLLI and the Butte County Library. Library branches serve as a hub for learning in many small communities and our peer leaders are excited to share their passion, expertise, and love of learning with the broadest possible audience."
OLLI at RIT offers a "Ghosts' of Gettysburg tour this October

Old photo
Black and white photograph of the Town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
( about the time of the Civil War battle).
Chuck Sparnecht recently led an OLLI at RIT course on the American Civil War, focusing on reconstruction and the battlefields. Of particular interest were the "ghosts" of Gettysburg. Chuck will be leading an Osher tour in October to see the battlefield and perhaps find a ghost. Download the pdf  "Civil War Class and More' to read the background to Chuck's ghost story and view preliminary details for this tour.

Submitted by - Laura Yellin, OLLI at RIT

The 2013 Southern Regional Conference, July 24-26
The 2013 Southern Regional Conference for Institutes of Learning in Retirement is being hosted by the OLLI at the University of Georgia, Athens, from July 24-26. Built on the theme "Engaged Minds, Enriched Lives," the conference will focus on techniques for improving lifelong learning programs, which provide educational, social and recreational opportunities for mature adults. Registration information is available online.


An OLLI Opportunity to Collaborate with the Smithsonian Art Museum


The OLLI NRC was recently contacted by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with a very intriguing offer to participate in a collaboration which would offer OLLIs the opportunity to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum from the comfort of their OLLI classrooms via real-time videoconferences.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the nation's first collection of American art, home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. As part of a larger American history course or a stand-alone session, you can join their live corps of presenters as they explore images from the museum's permanent collection and discuss art that celebrates the aspirations, character and imagination of the American people throughout three centuries, with the following topics:


To See is To Think: OLLI members will learn the language of art and consider the many choices artists make when creating their works.  


Contemporary Clay: Whether traditional or cutting edge, artists employ skill and creativity where executing their works.  


American History Through Art: OLLI members will examine the history of our country in three sessions, each focused on a separate era: Young America, Lure of the West, and the Civil War. 

Free, interactive videoconferences are available to all OLLIs outside the DC area from 9:00AM to 5:00PM (Eastern), Tuesday through Thursday. In order to participate in a videoconference with American Art, your OLLI site will need access to H.323 protocol videoconferencing equipment and must have completed a successful test call. The Museum will accept requests from OLLIs on a first-come, first-served basis for events between July 1 and October 1. To request additional details and sign up for a videoconference, please contact Becky Fulcher at or call 202-633-8537.  


Please click here for more detailed program information.


OLLI National Resource Center's Facebook Page
olli nrc facebook  
As you may have seen our national website's home page features a Facebook feed and everyone at the NRC office is participating in OLLI NRC Facebook maintenance! We are scouring Google Alerts and watching your OLLI Facebook feeds for stories of interest to the national network.
Please visit to see our new banner image which features a wonderful group of smiling OLLI at Duke members. If you have a Facebook page we invite you to friend us and help us connect with you! 

Jottings heading
News From Here and There . . .
Wikimedia Commons Picture Credits
  • toot"Getting em up" at U.S.Naval Training Camp, Seattle, Washington. Webster & Stevens.(ca. 1917 - ca. 1918). Created for the War Department. (1789 - 09/18/1947). 
    Courtesy of 
    Wikimedia Commons   
  • gettysburgBlack and white photograph of Town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, about the time of the Civil War battle. Source: Carl Schurz, 
    Reminiscences, Volume Three, McClure Publishing Co., 1907. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons