OLLIs IN THE NEWS
The Greening of Waterbury - OLLI at University of Connecticut
"Show Your O" Campaign - OLLI at University of Michigan
A Bully Good 10th Anniversary Celebration - OLLI at University of North Florida
The Story of OLLI - OLLI at George Mason University
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Greetings from the NRC    Jun 201615
Registration for OLLI summer programs are coming in along with the warmer temperatures of the season.  Adventures are ahead! For many OLLIs, summer sessions bring slightly different approaches toward physical and outdoor learning experiences. That's certainly the case at the Osher Institute's University of Connecticut Waterbury Campus. Their story below is an example of a community partnership that developed organically (pun intended) from the engagement of a creative instructor and dedicated members. You'll see other examples of how social engagement in the context of learning can mentally enrich while being delightful fun at the University of Michigan and University of North Florida Osher Institutes. It's a 25 year history of social and intellectual engagement that OLLI at George Mason University is chronicling with a commemorative account of their Institute as part of the celebrations. All four stories this month prove that good things come from being involved in an Osher Institute.
 
We hope you can help us make more good things come from this monthly newsletter. We've set up a short survey to collect your thoughts and ideas on how the NRC can bring you even better information, resources and inspiration. Won't you take just a few minutes to let us know what you think?
 
Our thanks to you with wishes for a thoroughly enjoyable June!
 
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director
NRC for Osher Institutes 

 
OLLI at University of Connecticut
The Greening of Waterbury
The Connecticut Community Foundation recently featured the OLLI at UConn's Gardening Project, as a part of their Pathways for Older Adults initiative.  The Gardening Project was initiated by master gardener and OLLI instructor,
Nunzio DeFilippis and was inspired by his deep desire to give back to the community.
 
The Greening of Waterbury is a tremendous collaborative food-growing effort that now produces nearly 10,000 pounds of fresh food annually. "Our farm is located at Fulton Park on City property. The nonprofit Brass City Harvest already had control of the land and provides seeds and soil while our OLLI team plants all of the seeds, cares for the plants and delivers the produce to area soup kitchens," explains DeFilippis. "Every year, we have about 15-20 volunteers who participate in the program. It is a significant time commitment since we work at least 3 days a week from March through October."

The Connecticut Community Foundation's Pathways for Older Adults funding is instrumental in supporting the needs of the program. "All of the soil in Waterbury is contaminated, so we need to use raised beds for all of our plantings."

The benefits of this project are countless for the community and the OLLI group. "Not only are the volunteers feeding the hungry, but they have a unique opportunity to engage socially with their peers, improve their physical health and interact with younger generations through partnerships with undergraduate students and the Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury's LACE program," remarks DeFilippis.

The Osher volunteers have completed hours and hours of hard work in sometimes unfavorable conditions, proving they are not afraid to "get their hands dirty."  This dedication has resulted in the production of thousands of pounds of fresh produce over the past few years and has developed innovative growing techniques for maximizing production.

OLLI Interim Director Jonathan Draper confirms their dedication. "OLLI and the UConn Waterbury campus could not be more proud of DeFilippis and all of the gardeners. Their commitment to improving their own lives, and the lives of the community around them is truly an inspiration." Click here for the full article on the OLLI gardening project.

Submitted by: Jonathan Draper, Interim Director, OLLI at University of Connecticut

OLLI at University of Michigan
"Show Your O" Campaign
Ann Arbor, Michigan, is almost always included in the lists of top 10 cities in which to retire, due in part to the hundreds of diverse activities offered every year.  In fact, U.S. News & World Report once stated, "If your idea of retirement is sitting in a rocking chair and watching the time go by, don't come to Ann Arbor". 
 
During last year's strategic planning session, the UMich OLLI Board identified two goals:  increasing social interaction of our members and increasing visibility of the local Osher Institute in the Ann Arbor community. The recently announced "Show Your O" program, highlighting members wearing buttons, promises to achieve a perfect blend of these two goals.
 
By wearing the button and attending local activities such as participating in a docent-led tour of the many museums and historical sites, gathering together to enjoy the yearly Art Fair and free outdoor summer concerts, or walking along the Huron River, members signify their affiliation with OLLI and advertise their presence at an event.
 
The marketing committee believes that current membership will benefit from enjoying more of what Ann Arbor has to offer, and new members will be able to recognize their OLLI friends at large-format activities.  As the OLLI buttons become visible around Ann Arbor, members and the Institute will also be more visible to the community.
 
The Marketing and Social Interaction Committees, headed by Wendy Mead and Maureen Stein, respectively, are busy adding events to the "Show Your O" calendar.  Future events will be announced in the monthly membership e-mail, on local activity websites, and through the Facebook page.
 
As the U.S. News & World Report article further noted, "Ann Arbor has so many concerts, lectures, sporting events, museums and other attractions, that it practically knocks on your door and begs you to come out."  Now, members can enjoy these activities with their OLLI friends.
 
Submitted by: Jean Leverich, Program Director, OLLI at University of Michigan

OLLI at University of North Florida
A Bully Good 10th Anniversary Celebration  
On April 4, President Teddy Roosevelt regaled 220 OLLI members and guests
with his life stories. He shared his passions for a vigorous life outdoors, natural resource management and conservation, progressive politics and the art of statecraft. Interpreter Joe Wiegand remained in character throughout the event as he greeted and had his picture taken with guests. Wiegand performed at the White House in 2008 at the invitation of President George W. Bush.
 
Member's feedback was overwhelmingly positive: "The gathering had everything I look for in OLLI - great educational value and a 
social aspect"; 
"Best OLLI social I've attended. Fun and educational from beginning to end." "TR's riveting performance was a unique and entertaining way to celebrate 10 years of our program's growth and success."
 
Submitted by: Jeanette M. Toohey, Director,  OLLI at the University of North Florida 

 OLLI at George Mason University 
The Story of OLLI
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University in Northern Virginia is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016. As part of a multi-faceted celebration, we are documenting the Institute's history. An OLLI history book project work group began with research and interviews in early 2015. Results
Committee members hard at work
are still underway, but they document a remarkable volunteer success story, from 41 courses and events in 1991 to nearly 500 in 2015, and from 100 to 1200 members.  The work group is producing:
 
  • A colorful and lively book, The Story of OLLI, with text, photos, and a chronology of milestones;
  • A "fun fact" from OLLI's history published each week in the Institute's OLLI E-News; and
  • A history section on the Institute's website, including sources used in The Story of OLLI and a large photo archive.
Through this project we developed a new appreciation for the work of the staff and of members who volunteer as historians, website experts, writers, editors and Board secretaries. They keep good records and have put almost all of them online.
 
This online treasure trove available on the olli.gmu.edu website includes:
  • An informal history of the first five years written by an early president and program chair;
  • An archive of OLLI Mason catalogs listing courses and events all the way back to 1991;
  • OLLI E-News issues and an archive of earlier Institute newsletters;
  • Official documents, such as Board minutes, agendas, committee reports, and executive director reports.
Some current members had joined in the early 90s and were able to help identify and locate founding and other pioneer members who were instrumental in OLLI Mason's early days. All are being invited to an open house at Tallwood (OLLI at Mason's park-like location) in June when further member stories will be shared and recorded.
 
Submitted by: Carol C. Henderson, Chair, OLLI history book project work group, OLLI at George Mason University 


NRC Updates


newstaff
Osher NRC 2016 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar and register online for the next NRC webinar on June 22, 2016 beginning at 2:00pm Eastern/1:00pm Central/noon Mountain/11:00am Pacific/10:00am in Alaska and 9:00am in Hawaii. It is entitled: Cultivating Successful Curriculum Committees.
 
Curriculum is at the heart of Osher Institute offerings. Whether your OLLI structure is study groups, courses, lectures, learning groups, etc., knowing how to successfully structure and empower a high functioning curriculum committee is essential to the development of quality programming.  Just as important is understanding when and how to evolve a curriculum committee to changing times.
 
Join us as Adam Brunner, Director, OLLI at Temple University, Judy Jameson, Program Coordinator, OLLI at University of North Florida and Rob Levrant, Director, OLLI at University of Nevada, Las Vegas explore ways their committees are responding to new needs and circumstances.
 
For more information, please contact Diane Venzera (diane.venzera@northwestern.edu)

 We Want to Hear From You!
conferenceOsher NRC Newsletter Survey
NRC staff would like your opinion to make sure that we're providing information that is interesting and useful to you in this monthly Newsletter. Please take a moment to complete this short four question survey. Thank you!


The OLLI Insider


An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
Recently, a prospective member asked about our "age requirement" as she is not quite as "seasoned" as our 50+ membership. What advice do you have for dealing with folks who want to become Osher members but haven't hit that milestone 50th birthday?
~Getting Wiser
 
Dear Wiser,
For many reasons, it is unadvisable for an Osher Institute to formally restrict or enforce membership by age. But the hope is that people will kindly honor the OLLI program's intent to create enriching, educational programs for older adults. The Bernard Osher Foundation's philanthropic intent is expressed in its funding agreements with universities which define Osher Institutes as "non-credit educational programs specifically designed for people who are age 50 or older."
All Osher programs offer important opportunities for social and intellectual engagement by older adults - in a supportive environment that is distinctively appropriate for their age group. Funding support for such programs is unfortunately rare, and institute resources are therefore limited.  Each program is independent and sets policy individually. But making the message and its intent clear usually achieves the objective well for everyone concerned.
~Olli

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

OlliTraveler
Educational Travel Ideas from In and Outside the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at University of Massachusettes 
The Lighthouse Brunch Cruise
Picture a superbly prepared brunch. Now imagine you're enjoying that splendid cuisine aboard a smartly appointed cruise boat. As you savor the menu and drink in the ocean views from three spacious decks, you also feast on many of Boston's treasured landmarks, including four of the area's historic lighthouses: Graves Light, Deer Island Light, Boston Light, and Long Island Light. Throughout this leisurely two-hour tour of Boston's Inner and Outer Harbor, local performer and raconteur, David Coffin, will share with you his unique take on Boston's rich and vibrant history. Sounds like a fun and relaxing way to spend your Sunday with our OLLI friends! Click here for more information.
Date: June 12, 2016

OLLI at University of Nebraska Lincoln
Gangsters to Baseball in Minneapolis-St. Paul
We have some great activities lined up to make it a perfect weekend in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area - great games, excellent food and lots of fun. We'll take a narrated gangster tour and spend one afternoon at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. You'll also have a reserved seat one evening at the world-famous Guthrie Theater for a production of "South Pacific." The opportunity to attend a major-league baseball game with a tour by Twin's management before the game, will include meeting up with OLLI at University of Minnesota members. Click here for more information.
Dates: August 11-14, 2016

OLLI at the University of Rhode Island
Italy's Magnificent Lakes & Switzerland
Discover some of the greatest treasures of northern Italy and Switzerland on this great European Adventure. Witness breathtaking mountain scenery, explore alpine villages, and cruise on spectacular lakes. Take a ride on the Bernina Express and experience one of the world's most scenic railway routes. Spend seven glorious nights on magical Lake Como and witness all the beauty at this world famous resort area. Offered in partnership with Conway Tours. Click here for more information
Dates: October 3 - 11, 2016

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

 Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Office Specialist, Senior (OLLI)

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator, OLLI

Director, Center for Training and Development, College of Extended and International Education

OLLI Coordinator/Bartlesville - Temporary

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

 

National Resource Center for Osher Institutes | Northwestern University | Weiboldt Hall, Sixth Floor | 339 East Chicago Avenue | Chicago | IL | 60611