Friendship Force International Club - OLLI at Florida State University
The November Election - OLLI at University of California Los Angeles
Classes Enriched by Personal Experiences and Hands-on History - OLLI at University of Delaware
Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Grand Style - OLLI at George Mason University
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Greetings from the NRC    Dec 2016 15
The holiday season brings a sense of hope and gratitude to us at the Osher NRC. It's something we crave even more this year after the divisiveness of the elections, and is a joy we look forward to as your official National Resource Center for Osher Institutes.
Throughout the year we have the privilege of interacting with many of you. We enjoy hearing your stories of success, and of members and staffs whose lives are changed for the better through their involvement with OLLI. The words, "OLLI has been a lifesaver!" are repeated more than you might imagine - sometimes literally when folks are challenged with health issues or loss. Those who are recently retired find Osher colleagues and activities to be just what they need to engage their intellect and fill new social gaps, and long term members have taken sustained joy from sharing their knowledge and expertise with Osher friends for many years. Undoubtedly, there will be many more who will discover the pleasures of sharing their love of learning as new members in the year to come.
Thank you for sharing your stories with us. You allow us to spread good news and creative ideas to friends at 119 Institutes all across the country.  You make us proud to be associated with this network of engaged lifelong learners who are generous with their time and active with their minds.
From your team at the Osher NRC, our warmest wishes throughout the upcoming H olliday season!
Steve, Stacey & Diane

OLLI at Florida State University
Friendship Force International Club
Friendship Force International (FFI) programs bring diverse people together to share one-of-a-kind experiences not available to regular tourists.  FFI provides opportunities to travel or host and explore new countries and cultures by bringing people together at the personal level. The Osher Institute at Florida State University has a Friendship Force International Club and recently had the opportunity to host nine British visitors in their homes.
Through the signature program of home hospitality, hosts welcome international visitors into their homes and culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region. OLLI members have had the joy of discovering that as a FFI local host, you can explore the world without leaving home by extending the hand of friendship to guests. It's a rewarding experience to give your guests an up-close, insider's view of your community, either through overnight home hospitality, dinners or daytime cultural activities. Through these personal encounters, strangers become friends - and if we can build a world of friends, we can build a world of peace. Our members are ordinary people just like you, who travel or are a local host in the name of global friendship.
Check out the OLLI Facebook page, Friendship Force Tallahassee, Florida (OLLI/FSU) to learn about their past visitors from the Ukraine and Britain and also, trips OLLI members have taken or plan to take this year. There is also a short interview on the page that gives you an overview of the FFI.
Submitted by: Debra Herman, director, OLLI at Florida State University

OLLI at University of California Los Angeles
The November Election
The Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning at UCLA offered a course from September through November entitled The November Election, which explored local initiatives, California ballot measures and races, election reforms, financing, and the presidential election.
Led by Robert Stern,
JD, co-director, Center for Governmental Studies, The November Election , featured experts and political strategists sharing insights on the numerous decisions facing voters on November 8th. Distinguished guest speakers included Mikey Kantor, former Bill Clinton cabinet secretary of commerce and Clinton campaign chairman; Joel Fox, co-publisher and editor of the Fox & House Daily and former president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association; Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, NBC political analyst  and professor of the Practice of Public Policy Communication, USC Price School of Public Policy; State Senator Ben Allen , chairman of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee; and Fred Woocher , campaign finance attorney who was named one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
The weekly discussions were made available to the public via podcasts on Facebook and Twitter and at Expert Insights on iTunes U .
Submitted by : MaryAnn Wilson, program representative, OLLI at University of California Los Angeles

Osher Institute at University of Delaware
Classes Enriched by Personal Experiences and Hands-on History  
For members and instructors in the University of Delaware's OLLI program based in Lewes, recent classes featured a heritage tour and shared personal histories.  

Family letters tell Civil War story
OLLI instructor Bill Hicks is a retired teacher and history buff whose love of history motivated his extensive family research, tracing back to the Civil War era and uncovering the family of James and Ellen Blackburn and their six sons from Philadelphia. Through original letters, documents, pictures and artifacts, Hicks shared the Blackburns' story in his OLLI course The Civil War Through the Eyes of One Family, covering McClellan's Peninsula Campaign of 1862 and the very personal story of how the Blackburns were affected. Four Blackburn sons enlisted in the Union Army; one was rejected because of age, one was injured, one served only 90 days, and one was killed in battle.

Diaries, Letters and Artifacts Illustrate Peace Corps Experience
Just a few months after graduation from Haverford College, OLLI instructor Philip Fretz was living in a small, remote West African city amid insect invasions, deadly snakes and coups. He had become an early recruit to the Peace Corps and was the first volunteer teaching English at the Kenema Technical Institute in Sierra Leone. Sharing his diaries, letters and artifacts, Phil took the OLLI class along on his Peace Corps journey, including the hardships of traveling in a country with few roads, the challenging culinary experiences, the hot, humid climate, and the pain he felt watching his students struggle amid poverty and tribalism.

Trolley Tour of Bethany Beach Heritage Trail
Led by OLLI instructors Maureen Sherlock and Agnes Brien, the Discover Slower Lower Delaware walking-tour class recently participated in the first-ever trolley tour of the Bethany Beach Heritage Trail. Hosted by Carol Olmstead of the Bethany Beach Cultural and Historic Affairs Committee, the class learned about the historic cottages with facades unchanged from their pre-1930s construction, some still occupied by descendants of the original families. The tour included the Loop Canal's terminus, built in 1910 so that canal boats could offload passengers and supplies to the then-isolated town of Bethany Beach and continue to the Assawoman Canal for its return trip to Dewey, Rehoboth, and Lewes.

Submitted by: Anna Moshier, manager,  OLLI at University of Delaware, Lewes

  OLLI at George Mason University 
Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Grand Style
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University rolled out the red carpet for its VIP 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Country Club of Fairfax on October 14.  Policymakers, founding members, and George Mason University directors all paid homage to a quarter century of OLLI Mason excellence in inspiring the hearts, minds and souls of active and intellectually curious older adults.
Mason Provost David Wu hailed OLLI as a "gift" to the community and a key part of the University's strategic plan to extend its learning mission into the neighborhoods of Northern Virginia. OLLI's success over 25 years mirrors that of George Mason, he said; in many ways, "we grew up together." 
Provost Wu joined OLLI officials and university representatives in presenting the 25th OLLI Anniversary Gift of $26,650 to the George Mason University Office of Military Services (OMS).  OMS Director Jennifer Connors raved about OLLI's generosity, revealing that she will use the gift to set up an emergency scholarship for student veterans to afford basic necessities like rent while attending school.  She surprised OLLI at George Mason University with the OMS "Spirit of Hope" trophy for enduring dedication.
Showcased at the event were eight commemorations, ranging from resolutions from the VA General Assembly, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties and the City of Fairfax, to statements of support from Members of the U.S. Congress.  Government officials heaped praise on OLLI programming and the extraordinary dedication of the membership to lifelong learning and volunteerism.  U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly quipped that when he decides to "hang it up" he too will join OLLI. 
Submitted by: Alice Slayton Clark, communications associate/registrar, OLLI at George Mason University

Osher NRC 2016 Webinar Series

This webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, 2016 to avoid holiday scheduling conflicts.  The webinar is one hour beginning at 2:00pm Eastern/1:00pm Central/noon Mountain/11:00am Pacific/10:00am in Alaska and 9:00am in Hawaii. Register for the webinar here.

Products and Services of the National Resource Center for Osher Institutes
Since relocating to Northwestern University in early 2015, The National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (Osher NRC) has carefully reorganized in specific ways. With access to the greater capacity of Northwestern University - in marketing, information technology and digital assets - the NRC has expanded the "products and services" offered to Osher Institutes. What has not changed, is the unit's continuing commitment to help OLLIs thrive. Fostering communication in the Osher Network, convening collaborations with and between Institutes, and cheering on the staff and volunteer leaders of local OLLIs remains central to the mission of the NRC.

Join Steve Thaxton, executive director, Stacey Hart, manager of operations, and Diane Venzera, assistant director of adult learning, for this final webinar of the 2016 series. They will detail the growing tools and assets developed by the NRC, including explanations on how they can be accessed, why and how they have been developed, and how these resources can be valuable to a local Institute's success. The Q&A portion of the webinar will allow time for specific questions regarding the upcoming 2017 Osher Institutes National Conference, as well.

  Irving, TX - April 2017
conferenceNational Conference Dining, Dress & Weather
Our aim is to provide well-balanced and nutritious meals and snacks during the meeting, as well as enough variety to accommodate attendees with special eating preferences. If you have any special dietary needs, please let us know when you fill out the appropriate area on your registration form. Registration will open in early January.
For those attendees who need to leave the conference early on Wednesday, April 5th due to flight departure times, a boxed lunch will be available. Please try to schedule your flights so that you can stay until 2pm for the closing session and lunch.
Conference dress is business casual. Dress in layers so that you are comfortable in both the air-conditioned meeting rooms as well as outdoors where it may be warmer. Monday night's dinner is planned at an outside venue so please plan to wear your school colors and logo-wear to show your institutional pride. There will also be opportunities for outdoor walks so consider bringing comfortable shoes and warmer clothing in case it is cooler outdoors in the mornings. We strongly suggest that you check the weather forecast before leaving for the conference and pack appropriately.
Irving is located in northern Texas just outside of Dallas. April is a coveted time of year by the locals, with a break from the summer heat. Weather in the spring is typically comfortable with highs in the low 70's and lows in the 50's.  Although it is not the rainy season, it can happen and it is best to come prepared with an umbrella or light raincoat.

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
I am a member of an Osher Institute in the north, but I often travel south for a good portion of the winter. Why isn't there a national membership so that I can stay engaged in courses when I winter elsewhere...or for those who summer up north?
Dear Snowbird,
It is easy to forget that each Osher Institute is an independent program of its host university or college. The Osher Foundation and the Osher NRC are not governing bodies so each OLLI sets its own fees and membership pricing; each observes different semesters or terms; and, each tailors programming to serve the needs of their unique program, membership group and community. This localism and autonomy is one of the greatest strengths of the Osher Network. Beyond navigating pricing and timing differences, some OLLIs wrestle with capacity, sometimes running wait lists or limiting attendance just to serve their own longtime members.
That being said, some Institutes welcome visitors on limited occasions. If you are in the community of another Osher Institute and are interested in sampling a course, get in touch with them directly to see if they offer that opportunity. The "Find an Osher Institute Near You Map" on the Osher NRC website shows you all 119 locations. By expanding the map and clicking on the location pin, you can find the local Institute website to guide you.

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

Educational Travel Ideas from the Osher Institute Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at University of Minnesota
The Best of Brazil
Join OLLI of Minnesota on a cultural and culinary journey through the "Best of Brazil," May 14-27, 2017.  The journey begins in the colonial city of Salvador, Bahia where Brazilian and African culture blend in music, dance, food and folklore.  From there we will travel to its capital, Brasilia, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1960 and then on to Rio with its historic districts and famous landmarks.  São Paulo, Brazil's largest city and financial center, is the next stop.  We will end our journey in Porto Alegre, the southern-most state where you will get a close-up look at the Gaucho (Brazilian cowboy) and their traditional music, lore, dances and cuisine. Learn more about this trip to Brazil.
Dates: May 14 - 28, 2017

OLLI at Saginaw Valley State University
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre at the Detroit Opera House
Considered cultural ambassadors to the world and beloved by Detroit audiences, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre brings its masterful artistry and expansive repertory, including their signature work Revelations, to the Detroit Opera House. The Metro Theatre Arts wrote, "It is imperative you see these works as they will open doors to thought-provoking emotions through the artistry of dance." Join us and experience some of the best-loved work by the man who forever changed the face of modern dance. Our day begins with lunch at the amazing Motor City Casino, followed by the 2:30 p.m. dance performance. Our package includes lunch, excellent main floor tickets to the performance, and motorcoach transportation from SVSU. Learn more about this trip to the theatre.
Date: April 22, 2017

OLLI at California State University Fullerton
Guatemala with CSUF, Xela Aid
OLLI is traveling with CSUF College of Humanities and Social Services. Journey through Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture, the bustling market of Chichicastenango and see how the distinctive culture blends Spanish elements with the native Mayan civilization. Learn more about this trip to Guatemala.
Dates: January 5-18, 2017

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Give the Gift of Membership



The holidays can be a great time to encourage members not only to donate financially to your Osher Institute, but also to bring in new members. Many OLLIs offer the purchase of gift cards that can be used towards membership, courses, or even wearables from their Osher Institute gift shop. The OLLI at Casper College used this ad in an online newspaper to encourage their members to consider giving the gift of membership to their friends and family in the holiday season.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Program Administrator, OLLI
Dominican University of California 

Program Coordinator, The Osher Institute
Boise State University 

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