OLLI at Bradley Meets OLLI at UMass in the Strangest of Places - OLLI at Bradley University
OLLI at Auburn Partners with DAR to Donate Clothing to Veterans - OLLI at Auburn University
A Day of Mindfulness, The Tenderness of Life: Aging and Change - OLLI at the University of California, Riverside
Author WOWs Book Club with Historical Fiction Novel about the Port Royal Experiment - OLLI at University of North Florida
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Greetings from the NRC    Jan 201615
The speed of the calendar makes me dizzy this time of year. It is amazing that we are entering the 16th (!) year of the new millennium. The words of author Roald Dahl remind me: "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it."
Indeed, most of us in the Osher Institute Network know we have so much to do, to see and to learn. Thankfully, we have found a group of like-minded and curious friends who share that love of learning. We have hundreds of opportunities ahead this year to discover topics that might be new to us, or those we know but want to explore deeper. For many, now is time to choose those courses, discussion or special interest groups from among a list of options during the upcoming term. But what if something that we've long felt interesting is not included in our OLLI listings? That signals it is time to propose a course and do some work to bring that topic forward for consideration by the Institute's curriculum team. Maybe it's time for you to lead a group or teach a course.
At OLLI, we share an enduring and timeless curiosity. We share a belief in the mission of lifelong learning for the joy of it. These are laudable and guiding qualities for our collective activities - and for our personal lives - throughout 2016.
Happy New Year!
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director
NRC for Osher Institutes 

OLLI at Bradley University
OLLI at Bradley Meets OLLI at UMass in the Strangest of Places
Dr. Macdonald standing in front of Melk crematorium, part of the last remaining building on site.
Dr. Richard Macdonald, a frequent OLLI instructor, recently returned from a Vienna Amsterdam cruise where he was doing research for his upcoming World War II class for our Winter 2016 session. 
One of the stops on the cruise was Melk, Austria, to visit the 1,000-year-old Melk Abbey, which also happened to be the location of a concentration camp during WWII.   Dr. Macdonald took a cab to the remains of the camp, which consists of the crematory building with autopsy room and cremation oven.
Upon returning to the boat, word spread quickly that Dr. Macdonald had visited an unknown concentration camp.  Due to his book and upcoming class at Bradley, Dr. Macdonald was approached by a group of 15 OLLI members from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, to give a talk on one of the bus trips.
"Many thanks to Dr. Macdonald for sharing his unique story with the UMA OLLI group.   It was a tremendous asset for us to have Dr. Macdonald present on our trip!   His input was very much appreciated by all of us! We love learning!!!" - Patricia Flynn, Chairperson, UMA Boston OLLI Board.
After giving a brief summary on the bus of Dr. Macdonald's upcoming lecture, he was approached by three Bradley graduates: Barbara & Richard Sterling, Class of 1958, and their nephew, Bruce Rolfe, Class of 1896. 
As Dr. Macdonald said, "One never knows the outreach of OLLI and Bradley when one is enjoying a leisure cruise on the Danube & Rhine."
Bradley is fortunate to have Dr. Macdonald as one of the accomplished instructors for our OLLI programs.

Submitted by: Michelle Riggio, Director, OLLI at Bradley University

OLLI at Auburn University
OLLI at Auburn Partners with DAR to Donate Clothing to Veterans

The Osher Life Long Learning Institute at Auburn University (OLLI at Auburn) recently assisted in collecting coats, clothes, and shoes for needy veterans at the Veterans Administration Facility in Tuskegee, AL. OLLI at Auburn partnered with the Martha Wayles Jefferson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to collect donations from OLLI at Auburn members for the DAR clothing drive.
The Martha Wayles Jefferson Chapter of the DAR based in Opelika, Alabama, collects these types of items and distributes them at the hospital in Tuskegee. Linda Shabo of the DAR coordinates the program. OLLI at Auburn member and Alabama Society, Sons of the American Revolution member Felton Mitchell learned of the DAR program from Ms. Shabo and contacted Linda Shook, Director of OLLI at Auburn, to see if OLLI would be interested in assisting the DAR with their efforts.
OLLI at Auburn members were asked for donations. As can be seen from the picture, the response was tremendous. The OLLI members donated approximately twenty-five bags and three large packing boxes of material to the needy veterans.
Submitted by: Linda Shook, Director, OLLI at Auburn University

OLLI at the University of California, Riverside
A Day of Mindfulness, The Tenderness of Life: Aging and Change  
Mindfulness, which has its roots in Buddhist meditation, focuses on living in the moment and has been shown to have numerous physical and mental benefits. OLLI at the University of California, Riverside hosted a day-long retreat focused on how mindfulness allows individuals to be tender with all stages of life, including the aging process. The day's agenda covered the changing nature of the body and mind. Dr. Larry Yang, a mindfulness instructor who led the retreat noted that, "As we pay attention to ourselves we are actually offering ourselves that sense of love and belonging that often we seek externally, this is where the unconditional regard for ourselves in order to offer that kind of unconditional regard to others is so valuable."
Sandra Richards, Director of the Osher Institute at UC Riverside notes that "The topic of Mindfulness is relatively new to our Osher demographic and the community at large, so we created an Osher course on Mindfulness that we offer on Saturday mornings and it was as a result of the positive response to the schedule and the topic, that led us to create the one-day retreat events. The first was last spring with A Day of Mindfulness:  Cultivating Openness, Curiosity, and Kindness to Present-Moment Experience.  We had an average of 75 attending each of the one-day retreats."

Response to the retreat was very positive and member comments included:
  • I have knowledge of aging, but I wanted to apply the experience of this stage in life using mindful ways.
  • I can practice Mindfulness anywhere, including while I walk.
  • I learned methods to return to breath awareness when thoughts come to mind.
  • To be kind to myself. Gratitude.
Submitted by: Sandra Richards, Director, OLLI at University of California, Riverside

 OLLI at University of North Florida 
Author WOWs Book Club with Historical Fiction Novel about the Port Royal Experiment
Author Gracie L. Chandler (front left) with Grateful OLLI at UNF Readers
Set in South Carolina's Sea Islands, Gracie L. Chandler's "Free to Be" chronicles the story of Crecie, a fourth generation slave who struggled to realize her freedom in the years following the Civil War. She worked the land abandoned by plantation owners under what is known today as the Port Royal Experiment. Living and working under a new form of white authority, the freed slaves like the fictional character of Crecie could become self-sustaining through crop cultivation, fishing and hunting. Sales of surplus crops supported their land purchases. In Chandler's book, Crecie learns to negotiate life choices as a wage earner, free laborer, provider and protector. Most importantly, Crecie learns to remove the shackles of her mind and find her true power.
At press time, Chandler is preparing an OLLI course about her book (available at Amazon) for Fall 2016. Special thanks to Chandler's friend Alice Venson (second row center) for inviting her to OLLI's Book Club meeting on December 11th.
Submitted by: Jeanette M. Toohey, Director, OLLI at University of North Florida

NRC Updates

Osher NRC 2016 Webinar Series

Monthly webinar series begins on Wednesday, January 20th!
What to Expect
On the third Wednesday of each month, a live webinar will be offered, complimentary to anyone in the OLLI Network (staff, volunteer or member). These webinars will be presented using Adobe Connect, the NRC's choice for interactive, online meetings. Each webinar will be one hour beginning at 2:00pm eastern/1:00pm central/noon mountain/11:00am pacific/10:00am in Alaska and 9:00am in Hawaii. Webinar topics will cover a variety of areas of interest indicated by Osher Institute directors and volunteers in the 2015 national conference feedback survey. Presenters will be OLLI program experts recruited from the Osher Network. Each webinar will provide the opportunity for participants to view notes and slides, ask questions, make comments, and view the presenter live. Webinars will be recorded and available in the secure area of Osher.net via log-on credentials provided to each Institute director.
Topics include:
  • Fundraising
  • Planning
  • Managing Growth
  • Branding and Marketing
  • Curriculum Development
  • Managing Conflict
  • Developing Volunteer Resources
  • Promoting Diversity
Each webinar will be designed with a specific angle on the topic, reflecting the presenter's experience. Descriptions will be posted on Osher.net and in the monthly OLLI Newsletter. The first webinar will be held Wednesday, January 20th on the topic of Diversity. The varied experiences of three Institutes will be recounted by staff directors or volunteer leaders from each program.
Consider hosting a meeting to share these webinars with interested groups of OLLI leaders and members at your Osher Institute. Individuals and groups must register for the webinar no later than 5pm central time the day prior to the webinar in order to receive the login credentials the morning of the webinar. Click here to register for the January 20th webinar.
If you have interest in being a presenter on any of the above topics, or have ideas for other topics, please contact Diane Venzera (diane.venzera@northwestern.edu). 

The OLLI Insider

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
The membership at our Osher Institute is growing, but I learned from a friend in another city that her OLLI has experienced losses in their membership count. What's going on out there across the country?
~Keeping Count

Dear Keeping,
Operationally, OLLI's are unique in many ways. One of the wonderful things about the Osher Institute model is that each is encouraged to find the distinct methods in which their program can thrive. Generally speaking, OLLIs are growing. The national membership total is pacing for an overall annual growth rate of about 5%. But that is made up of some institutes with growth and some showing modest decreases. While membership growth is usually the desire and focus, occasionally an Osher Institute hits their capacity limit. That being said, the Osher Network is at an all-time high with more than 151,000 total members nationwide at the most recent tally.

Have a question for Olli? Please send it in care of Stacey Hart at the NRC:Stacey.Hart@Northwestern.edu 

Educational Travel Ideas from In and Outside the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at the University of Utah
Greece: Islands of the Gods
Set sail with us on an Aegean odyssey exploring Greece's iconic islands! From the shadow of the Acropolis to the windmills of whitewashed Mykonos we'll enjoy pristine scenic beauty, explore world-famous archeological sites, savor the Mediterranean's rich flavors, and delve deep into the cradle of Western culture. With the expertise of Associate Professor Randall Stewart (Ph.D., Classical Philology) and Assistant Dean for Humanities Taunya Dressler (M.A.T.), we'll journey through some of the most important areas of Greece: ancient Athens, charming Crete, stunning Santorini and photogenic Mykonos. Our journey will take us sailing to quaint fishing villages, hiking the majestic narrows of the Samaria Gorge, uncovering the mysteries of the Minotaur of Knossos, savoring the vine of Santorini, and soaking in the crystal waters of the Mediterranean. Through our journey we'll learn why the Greek isles are truly divine. Click here for more information.
Dates: June 13-25, 2016

OLLI at the University of Georgia
The Heart of Scotland and More
Spend 13 days in Scotland discovering Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Pitlochry, St. Andrews, Inverness, and the Orkney Islands. Enjoy private tours, an afternoon tea at the Willow Tea Room in Glasgow, a joint event with Edinburgh University's lifelong learning group, and guest lectures by faculty from the University of Glasgow and the University of St. Andrews. Click here for more information.
Dates: July 16-29, 2016

OLLI at the University of North Florida
Signature City New Orleans: An Unforgettable City of Mystery and Intrigue
Dubbed affectionately by some as the northernmost Caribbean city, New Orleans revels in its giddy blend of European refinement and carefree effervescence, a place where virtue and vice are celebrated in equal measure. Surrender to the intoxicating charms of "the Crescent City" that have long fascinated artists, writers, musicians and scholars. Experience live New Orleans jazz, take field trips inside and outside the French Quarter and Garden District, get perspectives on architectural and literary landmarks and enjoy unique culinary adventures. Offered in partnership with Road Scholar. Click here for more information.
Dates: December 7-12, 2015

Interesting Facts to Know and Talk About
didyouknowDid You Know...?

 Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Program Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Curriculum Coordinator, OLLI
University of California Berkeley

Administrative Assistant, OLLI
Granite State College 

Program Assistant II
Iowa State University 

Administrative Assistant

Is there a staff opening at your Osher Institute? Please send it to us at oshernrc@northwestern.edu