A Celebration of Community and Creativity - OLLI at Arizona State University
Bridging the Political and Generational Divide - OLLI at University of Pittsburgh
Community Forum: "Building Equity in a Segregated City - OLLI at Northwestern University
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NRC New Year Greetings, Jan 2019
It is mind boggling to realize we have entered the final year of the 2010s. How will we colloquially refer to this fast-closing decade? The twenty-tens? The tweenies? The twenty-teens? All have been used but none definitively dubbed. Perhaps this naming needs to come at the very end of the decade rather than early or mid-term.
In the meantime, this newsletter boasts OLLI contributions from three time zones: OLLI at Arizona State University celebrates an inaugural anthology publication; OLLI at Northwestern University partners with other prominent organizations to discuss building equity in urban Chicago; and OLLI at the University of Pittsburgh delights in a daughter-father teaching collaboration which informs political discussion.
Also this month, we begin a new regular feature we hope will prove interesting throughout 2019: "Spaces and Places of OLLI" will highlight one Osher Institute's facility with details on why it is notable and how it came to be the primary location for that particular Institute. We will look to focus on a variety of types of program facilities - both on and off campuses. Some might be historic; some might be modern. All will be distinct in their communities and be known to serve the unique members from the featured OLLI well. If you would like to see your own distinctive "Space or Place" in this newsletter, please let us know with an email.
Welcome to the last year of the decade. Our best wishes for a delightful end to the 2010s, no matter what you might eventually call it. 
With gratitude,

Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at Arizona State University
On Nov. 10, 2018, more than 100 Osher Institute members, friends, and family gathered in The Commons at Changing Hands Bookstore in downtown Phoenix to celebrate the inaugural OLLI at ASU anthology, entitled  Our Community: A Collection of Writing and Art

This standing-room only event was one of the most attended in Changing Hands Bookstore's history. Members and their guests were able to purchase books, mingle with the contributors, and view five of the selected art pieces from the book. A celebration of community and creativity ensued as the co-Editors-in-Chief gave brief statements about purpose and process, followed by 18 contributors reading excerpts from their published written works.

Our Community: A Collection of Writing and Art includes 50 different contributions of writing (poetry, prose, memoir, fiction, and travel), photography, and art. Additionally, it features three profiles of members of the OLLI at ASU community and several quotes about the power of lifelong learning and OLLI at ASU. 

The following is an excerpt from the introduction letter in the book, written by co-Editor-in-Chief and Poet Laureate of Phoenix Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski:

"This journal...brings together the voices of our lifelong learners from across all five OLLI at ASU sites located throughout the greater Phoenix area. And though this may seem like a simple act of collating (rather than a solution to the geographical sprawl that separates us), it is both a tangible and metaphorical example of the kind of community-building we need in education. It is a literal weaving together of stories, a container that simultaneously encapsulates and gives flight to the voices within our OLLI at ASU community. It is a gathering place."

Thanks to Abby Baker, OLLI at ASU's Program Specialist, a potential delay in the digital sales of the anthology was resolved. A solution was implemented through OLLI at ASU's online registration system to accept online orders . The book is now available for purchase online for $20 (plus sales tax and shipping). Click here to purchase.

OLLI at University of Pittsburgh
Bridging the Political and Generational Divide
University of Pittsburgh faculty member and OLLI instructor Kris Kanthak has made discussing politics a little easier to navigate among families - with the help of someone familiar. Kris and her father, Dave Kanthak, a retired school administrator, collaborated to teach an OLLI class at the University of Pittsburgh called "Talking Politics Across Generations." Kris Kanthak is an associate professor of political science in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and an expert in American politics.

Talking Politics Across Generations ran from October 15th to November 17th,  2018. By sharing data about partisanship and ideology, Kris and Dave Kanthak aimed to inform how politics operate, as well as how others, especially different generations in the same family, develop their  viewpoints. The course focused on the nature of those differences; in particular, the effects parents have (and do not have) on the political views of their children and the effect of particular political events on individuals' political views throughout their lives.

"I think one of the things that is special about when families argue about politics is that no matter how mean and nasty politics in the real world gets, you're talking with someone you love and respect," she said.

Not only was this the first teaching collaboration between Kris and her father, this was his first class in about 30 years. During his career, Dave worked at the U.S. Department of Education for a six-year span during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. Kris's introduction to teaching and politics was at an early age; her parents were educators and her family, especially her maternal grandparents, supported discussion of political topics.

During one class session, Kris spoke on the topic of political polarization and power of group identities. One class attendee asked whether Kris thought that the feeling of having to belong to a group is innate. In response, Kris emphasized that, although membership in a group makes people feel safe, moving beyond these conceptions of "good guys" and "bad guys" is critical to a more civil political discourse.

"It has to be about understanding the other person and not about defeating them," she said.

Dave Kanthak agreed. "You could be totally opposite. You should be able to talk about it and not hate the other person," he said.

Submitted by:  Sharon Gretz, Director, OLLI at University of Pittsburgh

OLLI at Northwestern University
Community Forum: "Building Equity in a Segregated City"
Chicago is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the U.S., yet also one of the most segregated and divided. OLLI at Northwestern recently presented a
Community Forum to examine how segregation affects Chicago's community as  a whole: its economics, its   
Kirsty Montgomery speaking at Building Equity in a Segregated City
education, and its health. Titled, "Building Equity in a Segregated City," the Forum was co-hosted with Leadership Greater Chicago, a prominent Chicago civic leadership development organization. More than 200  OLLI members and diverse community leaders were in attendance. Discussion focused on the interconnectedness of these issues, the endemic inequity in the city, and the inevitable, far-reaching consequences of ignoring the challenges.
Speakers and Panelists included two published authors: Marisa Novara, Vice President of the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council and author of Cost of Segregation and Our Equitable Future: A Roadmap for the Chicago Region; and David Ansell, MD, Senior Vice President of Community Health Equity at Rush University Medical, author of The Death Gap. Also joining them were Darlene Hightower, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Practice at Rush University Medical; and Richard Townsell, Executive Director of Lawndale Christian Development Corporation.
The Panel was moderated by retired educator Bill Gerstein. Panelists discussed how community members and organizations can work together to build stronger and more equitable communities through interrelated challenges; such as housing, health, education, business, and neighborhood development. Exciting new initiatives on Chicago's west side were also highlighted.
The Community Forum was a community outreach effort by OLLI at Northwestern's Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The goals of the Forum were to build stronger and more meaningful ties with Chicago's diverse communities and to expand OLLI awareness about Chicago's civic challenges. OLLI members came away enriched by the community interaction and inspired by opportunities for positive change.

Submitted by : Janet LangVolunteer LeaderOLLI at Northwestern University

Osher 2019 Webinar Series NRCUpdate
Mark your calendar for the February webinar! On February 20th (Wednesday)
beginning at 2pm Eastern/1pm Central/noon Mountain/11am Pacific/10am in Alaska and 9am in Hawaii, the NRC will present: 
Floods, Fires, and Hurricanes: Are We Prepared for Disaster?
Unfortunately, there are some Osher Institutes that have been sideswiped by an unanticipated crisis or natural disaster. Join three OLLI Directors who have managed successful recoveries from a hurricane, wild fires, floods, and displaced members due to natural disasters. These directors will describe their experiences, allowing participants to learn about disaster preparation, management, and recovery. What are common practices to prepare for any type of crisis or emergency? How can OLLI staff manage through a crisis and what university or community resources are  available to help? 
Registration is open now, click here  to reserve your spot! Please plan on joining us!
The January webinar, "2018 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Member Benchmarking Data", will be presented on January 16th (1:00pm Central) by the NRC staff. There is still plenty of time to register, click here !

If you have interest in being a presenter or have ideas for other topics, please contact Kevin Connaughton (kevin.connaughton@northwestern.edu). 

The Bernard Osher Foundation
Mary Bitterman and David Blazevich packing it up and moving it out
Late last month our colleagues at The Bernard Osher Foundation mad e an office  move. While just across the street and up a few floors, please note their new address if sending anything in the mail or by delivery services:

The Bernard Osher Foundation
One Market Plaza
Spear Tower, Suite 4025
San Francisco, CA 94105

Spaces and Places of OLLI SpacesAndPlaces
Furman University

The Osher Institute at Furman University is located on campus at the Herring Center for Continuing Education in Greenville, SC. Completed in August 2012, this $6.4 million,
23,000-square-foot facility is two stories and serves over 4,000 members of the  community annually. In addition to housing OLLI, the Herring Center for Continuing Education also includes offices and classroom space for some other programs: Center for Corporate and Professional Development, Graduate Studies, and Undergraduate Evening Studies. The Center has nine classroom spaces; including a computer lab, arts and crafts rooms, the Crabtree lecture hall, the Lindemann demonstration kitchen, and ample parking right in front of the building.

The Center was named for Furman graduates Sarah and Gordon Herring of Greenville, who have been longtime donors of the university. Other donors include local foundations, alumni, and friends. OLLI members were the driving force behind the effort and contributed more than $3 million to the project.

OLLI at Furman University director Nancy Kennedy notes, "We were thrilled to leave behind our 'temporary' six-wide trailer and classroom spaces all over campus and move into the beautiful Herring Center. Having everything under
one roof has greatly increased
social engagement among our members and gives us many opportunities for special events that we did not have before. It
has also greatly increased traffic in our office, but our front desk volunteers are a wonderful help in this area. I am by default the building manager, which can be a challenge. However, we are very fortunate to be fully supported by Furman's facilities department, and they quickly take care of all preventive maintenance and repairs."

OLLI at Furman was founded in 1993 as Furman University Learning in Retirement (FULIR) and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. It currently offers approximately 360 courses, 120 bonus events, and numerous travel opportunities and enrichment events annually. Enrollment has grown every year with the 2018-2019 enrollment expected to be about 2500 members.

Want to see your own distinctive "Space or Place" in this newsletter? Please send it to oshernrc@northwestern.edu.

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolli Dear Olli
Dear Olli,

Recently, I heard one of my fellow advisory board members refer to the Osher Institutes as a "national organization of affiliates that runs programs on college campuses". She went on to refer to the NRC as "OLLI National". But these references contradict my understanding of the structure of our program here locally. Isn't every Osher Institute a distinct and separate entity?


Dear Puzzled,

You are definitely putting the pieces together more precisely than your associates. Words do matter. In this case, they could alter the accurate understanding of how an Institute operates leading to problems. 
OLLIs are not part of a franchise or chain. There is no national organization that owns or operates them.  Rather, each Osher Institute is a program of its host university or college and is encouraged to develop a curriculum and structure that is best suited to meet the needs and interests of its local community. Both the Osher NRC and The Bernard Osher Foundation recognize that local autonomy, ingenuity, and inventiveness are the keys to thriving and dynamic lifelong learning programs. Each OLLI therefore succeeds by taking advantage of the unique assets of its local community and determining its own perfect mix of programs, activities, pricing, and policies. The NRC and the Osher Foundation are non-prescriptive. However, that doesn't mean either is so hands-off as to not offer counsel and resources to help OLLIs flourish.
Our unity originates from some key things: support from the Osher Foundation and a common name which has come to be known for quality lifelong learning programs in all 50 states; the invaluable opportunity to share ideas, solve problems, and compare effective practices between our network of lifelong learning institute colleagues; and the connecting resources provided by the National Resource Center for Osher Institutes (the Osher NRC). 
While some might say this is semantics, we all must acknowledge the responsibility and the credit for each Osher Institutes success goes to the amazing, creative, and hard work of each local program.


Have a question for Olli? Please send it in care of Kevin Connaughton (kevin.connaughton@northwestern.edu).

Educational Travel Ideas from the OLLI Network OlliTraveler
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at Clemson University
Band of Brothers:  D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of France
Along the coast of Normandy, the influence of WWII can still be felt. As you visit memorials, trenches, and museums, you'll learn about the important role American forces played in the outcome of D-Day. Explore the locations that were the backdrops for pivotal battles and take time to honor the sacrifices made by the Allied soldiers Learn more about this trip to France .
Dates: April 23 - May 2, 2019

OLLI at California State University - Dominguez Hills
South Coast Botanical Gardens
Unique from the start, South Coast Botanical Gardens is one of the world's first botanical gardens to be developed over a sanitary landfill. Referred to as "The Jewel of the Peninsula", it is located on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. This 87-acre botanic garden has more than 2,500 different species of plants from as far away as Australia, the Mediterranean, and South Africa. It is situated in Sunset Magazine's Zone 23, one of the most favored growing areas in the world, and has about 100 trees and shrubs that are rare mature specimens, infrequently seen elsewhere. The wide variety of plant life provides food and shelter to an abundant wildlife and bird population, with over 200 species of birds sighted annually.   Learn more about this day trip .
Date: March 14, 2019

OLLI at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
New York City Tour: Best of Broadway
Visit the theater capital of America on a four-day adventure with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Executive Director, Kim Beck. Fly nonstop to New York City, see four top Broadway shows, stay in the heart of the Theater District at the Hilton Garden Inn and experience some of the Big Apple's most famous cultural sites.  Learn more about this trip to New York City .
Date: November 7-9, 2019

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - OLLI Bookmarks
Have you needed to take a break from reading an engrossing book, but cringe at the thought of dog-earing the page? Consider saving your place with an OLLI bookmark.  These fun reading placeholders are perfect give-away items for voracious OLLI readers, particularly those involved in a book club SIG. These bookmarks are also perfect for advertising your OLLI for very little upfront cost. To reduce the cost of production even further, you can print these bookmarks alongside other OLLI promotional materials, such as folders or stickers, in the margins of those print jobs. These bookmarks are a great way to show off your OLLI pride with every book you read!

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
Job Board jobboard

Administrative Specialist II, Bluffton Campus

Administrative Support Associate

Coordinator, Administrative Program

OLLI Assistant

Program Administrator, Hilton Head Location 

Program Assistant, Glaser Center 

Project Coordinator, Academic Programs

Program Coordinator I

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