A Great OLLI Program in Honor of a Great OLLI Member - OLLI at Berkshire Community College
Cultivating Interest in Sustainability - OLLI at North Carolina State University
Reflection on the US Civil Rights Movement - OLLI at University of North Carolina at Asheville
Supporting End-of-Life Planning - OLLI at Temple University
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Hello from the NRC         July 2017 15
As summer moves into full swing, Osher Institutes often resist kicking back and relaxing. There are many OLLIs doing special programming, taking advantage of the weather to explore their communities and engage in their shared curiosity about just about anything.
This month's newsletter offers more examples of curiosity in action: speakers offering their deep experiences and heartfelt wisdom, respect for the environment expressed in study and deed, and, thoughtful consideration of end-of-life decisions that can help to make life more meaningful.
It is the abundant curiosity for the world that unites all 160,000+ Osher members across the country. We love exploring ideas and the world with like-minded friends. In doing this, we recognize the value of curiosity in and of itself. As expressed in the genius of Albert Einstein, " The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing". And a genius of adverting, Leo Burnett observed, "Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people."
May your summer be endlessly full of exploration, creativity and curiosity!
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at Berkshire Community College
A Great OLLI Program in Honor
of a Great OLLI Member
Mona Sherman was a lifelong learning powerhouse. She served as OLLI at Berkshire Community College's (BCC) board president where she founded a speaker series and was instrumental in connecting the Institute with The Bernard Osher Foundation. When she passed away suddenly nine years ago, her family honored her memory by establishing the annual Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture.
The 9th annual Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture, held on May 24th featured news analyst and bestselling author Cokie Roberts, speaking on "Putting the HER into HIStory." Previous speakers, also booked by Lisa Sharkey, Mona's daughter, a vice president at Harper Collins, have included TIME columnist and author Joe Klein, MSNBC's Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, columnist and commentator Mike Barnicle, and others.
This annual event is free and open to the public and prior to any advertising this year, tickets were completely sold out. In order to accommodate the hundreds of people who wanted to attend, OLLI at BCC decided to livestream the lecture on Facebook. Turns out it's pretty easy to do, and a great way to get the word out about OLLI programs and share events. The Facebook livestream of Cokie's lecture was viewed by almost 1,500 people - more than were watching live!
Click here to check out the Facebook live-stream: or here to watch a higher quality video of her talk by the local community television station. The station broadcasts the Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture a number of times, ensuring even more people are able to enjoy Cokie's thoughtful talk on women's essential role in American history.
Next year is the tenth anniversary of the Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture, and while the speaker has not been chosen, the Institute is getting ready by launching a fundraiser to raise funds to endow the lecture series in perpetuity. Mona would be proud and honored to see the impact her legacy has made.
Submitted by: Megan Whilden, executive director, OLLI at Berkshire Community College

OLLI at North Carolina State University
Cultivating Interest in Sustainability  
The members of OLLI at North Carolina State University in Raleigh have a high interest in sustainability issues, with broad participation in both classes and related activities. Recent sustainability-related classes have explored North Carolina's smart cities, climate change, ecology, water quality, public transit, recycling and
food systems. 
In March, the wind and cold air didn't deter dozens of OLLI members from gathering in NC State's Schenck Forest to pack nearly 1,000 tree seedlings in preparation for Arbor Day, when the seedlings were given away at the State Farmer's Market in Raleigh.
"Everyone is concerned about the environment," said Helga Gutmann as she carefully cut informational cards to accompany the seedlings. "This is a nice outing with good company, and this is something you wouldn't think about every day."  Speaking of the many sustainability related courses, she noted that "if our classes are full, it says we're interested." OLLI member Linda Shell added, "People are interested in the environment. Our members are aware, concerned and want to give back and get connected."
In addition to lectures and classes, the Institute has offered study trips to venues such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina's state parks, and the Bayer Bee Care Center.

"The programs we offer are because our members want them," says OLLI Assistant Director Joan Hardman-Cobb, who has been planning OLLI programs for nearly a decade. "Our members care deeply about the community in which they live."
Submitted by: Joan Hardman-Cobb, assistant director, OLLI at North Carolina State University

OLLI at University of North Carolina at Asheville
Reflection on the US Civil Rights Movement
How better to tell the story of the US Civil Rights movement than through the lenses of six individuals who lived, studied, and taught about it? A recent OLLI at UNC Asheville course, "A Change is Gonna Come," attracted more than 120 members who were moved by first-person accounts of highly-respected instructors and community members. Among their comments:
"This was one of the best classes..., showcasing two of OLLI's greatest strengths - amazing life experiences of members and their willingness to share their knowledge and experiences."
Retired history professor Jim Lenburg offered an historical overview of the period. Joe Sasfy, a retired musicologist, examined the protest music, providing rare audio of music sung by marchers before crucial demonstrations. Larry Griswold, retired Sports Illustrated executive, described the impact race had on sports and how certain sports figures helped advance the cause. Catherine Frank, OLLI UNC at Asheville director and a literature scholar, explored novels, poetry, essays, and plays that both helped spawn the movement and reflected diverse aspects of it.
In one especially riveting class, Marvin Chambers, Asheville native and alumnus of an all-black high school, with retired attorney Carol Rogoff Hallstrom told deeply personal stories of their participation in critical events. As a high schooler, Chambers, inspired by sit-ins in 1960s Greensboro, then led similar activities in Asheville with some of his classmates. As a college student, Hallstrom joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), participating in the 1964 Mississippi voter registration drive. Several colleagues were murdered and dozens more arrested and physically assaulted. Both Chambers and Hallstrom spent careers devoted to civil rights causes.

The course received rave reviews as well as pleas for a repeat.
Submitted by: Judy LaMée and Jim Lenburg, members and instructor, OLLI at University of North Carolina at Asheville

  OLLI at Temple University 
Supporting End-of-Life Planning
A 2010 New York Times article about a dying man's family losing control of his medical care was the impetus for retired psychologist Mark Peterson EdD to begin a passionate odyssey into exploring decision making regarding end-of-life issues. Recognizing the need to complete end-of-life documents and discuss choices with family, medical proxy, and doctor, Peterson went on to develop a ten hour course entitled "End of Life Planning: Having Your Voice to the End of Your Life". 
Peterson then approached Temple OLLI director Adam Bruner, PhD who, with some hesitation, gave the go-ahead for Peterson to offer the course. Six years later, the ten-hour course continues to maintain full enrollment and enthusiastic reviews. Peterson has also created a website, www.havingyourvoice.com, which allows students, past and present, to receive newly published material. He believes that people deserve to have a good end-of-life, but that it is less likely to happen if one has not reflected on the choices, made decisions, and then communicated them. He's also discovered that the decisions that confront others at a time of medical crisis can be so intense that it requires continued preparation to make the best decisions.
Peterson recently published an e-book based on the course entitled: Your Life, Your Death, Your Choice: How to Have Your Voice to the End of Your Life. It includes videos, newscasts, podcasts, articles, and documents and provides strategic suggestions for "having the conversation" about one's choices.
Submitted by: Adam Brunner, PhD, director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Temple University

Osher NRC 2017-18 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the first webinar of the 2017-18 series on July 19, 2017 beginning at 2:00pm Eastern/1:00pm Central/noon Mountain/11:00am Pacific/10:00am in Alaska and 8:00am in Hawaii. Register for the webinar here.

Fundraising Fundamentals: Developing a Successful Annual Giving Program

A robust annual giving program provides a solid foundation for fundraising success on many levels. For those with little fundraising experience, getting started can be intimidating. Join this webinar for an introduction to essential fundraising concepts and techniques, and how to apply them to an Osher Institute's annual giving program. This webinar is designed for Osher staff and volunteer leaders who are launching annual member giving programs or are new to fundraising. Content will focus on definitions, specific tools, and key lessons from experienced fundraisers. It will help in efforts to engage members in developing a case for charitable support, in establishing critical administrative procedures with a host university/college, and in showing appreciation to donors.
David Blazevich, Senior Program Director
The Bernard Osher Foundation
Shelby Crews, Program Director
OLLI @ Texas Tech University
Elizabeth Lach, Director of Development
School of Professional Studies at Northwestern University

If you have interest in being a presenter or have ideas for other topics, please contact Diane Venzera ( diane.venzera@northwestern.edu ). 

conferenceInternational Interest in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Model
When OLLI at Northwestern University director Kirsty Montgomery received an inquiry from two Norwegians with interest in forming an LLI at their university, she approached the Osher NRC for assistance in encouraging these ambitious
academics. Kirsty and Osher NRC executive director Steve Thaxton joined forces to offer an overview of the OLLI model and enlisted Rick Knopf, director of OLLI at Arizona State University for added context and support. Rick has an ASU faculty appointment and recently completed a sabbatical, focusing his research on international models of lifelong learning practices. He offered unique perspectives to these new-found Scandinavian friends.
Dr. Morten Skjorshammer, former CEO of Diakonhjemmet Hospital and his colleague, emeritus professor Dr. Liv Wergeleand Sorbye are leading the project to investigate the formation of an LLI at VID Specialized University in Oslo.
VID is a merger of five Norwegian academies:  Diakonhjemmet University College, Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Betanien University College and School of Mission and Theology. This new university has 3,500 students and 340 employees with campuses in Bergen, Oslo, Sandnes and Stavanger. And, it has a budding interest in the lifelong learning movement to both serve and utilize the deep skills of its combined emeritus faculty, staff and communities.
The project investigators asked if they might pay a visit to Chicago, to observe an Osher program in action and meet with the Osher NRC, OLLI staff and volunteer leaders. Liv and Morten were fascinated by the Osher model (a bit overwhelmed, even) and with the enthusiasm and methods that have developed at Northwestern, ASU and the Osher network at large. As they approach recommendations and potential formation of an LLI in the Oslo area, they left Chicago not only impressed, but with many resources to help them in their community organizing.

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
Our Institute began online registration more than a year ago. Some of my fellow members still resist registering online. They say they don't trust the system and others say they don't have email accounts. These are the same folks who say their choice courses are filled before they can get in! What can we do to assist these people who won't come to the new digital party?
Dear Baffled,
There's no doubt that the new digital world we live in can be difficult to navigate. But our world has proven to be round...and digital technology has proven to be integral to our daily functioning.
The key that many OLLIs have found is in training. As much as online system designers say "it's just like online shopping" - it can be more complex than expected. To best prepare, Osher programs can assemble a committee of technology-fearless members to learn the systems fully, and then act as individual trainers for other members. Some have set up computer lab hours, special training classes, and even dedicated computers in the OLLI office for members use to register. OLLIs have also had success in encouraging member participation in online registration by holding small contests between those who give it a try during initial training periods with incentive prizes.
Of course, the biggest incentive is that registrations are completed quickly and often result in much faster confirmation of getting into the course or activity that members seek. An even larger benefit is that after implementation, the OLLI staff work load is usually reduced. This frees up hours of labor for staff to spend on other initiatives and projects that can benefit the members. For those who are resisting creating an email account, the carrot is the benefit of instant communication from their OLLI program. Often this takes the form of e-newsletters that lead to being more in the know!
Hopefully, through training and individualized help, resistant members will see that the benefits of learning the system outweigh the learning curve.

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 OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
Osher Institute at University of Utah
Russia: History and Arts of an Empire
Russia: historical drama interwoven with mystery; an amazing story of power, intellect, and global influence. Join us this year as we venture into a world of castles, palaces and cathedrals in some of Russia's most iconic places. We'll experience this country's cultural riches, its colorful past, and above all, her beautiful, resilient people. Professor Emeritus Gene Fitzgerald has joined Go Learn to take a group of 20 lucky travelers to Moscow, The Golden Ring, and astonishingly beautiful St. Petersburg. We will explore Russia's unique architectural gems, her fascinating cities and pastoral countryside, and feel the Russian soul with Professor Fitzgerald to guide us. Learn more about this trip to Russia.
Dates: August 28 - September 8, 2017

OLLI at The University of Georgia
Solar Eclipse: Path of Totality
Day trip to northeast Georgia to view this event of a lifetime - a total eclipse of the sun. The week prior to the trip, Professor of Cosmology Loris Magnani of UGA's Physics Department will present a lecture about the phenomenon. We will have a reserved spot on the moon-sun path center line to witness this solar rarity. The cost of the trip will include a seat in the lecture.  Learn more about this trip to view the eclipse.
Date: August 21, 2017

OLLI at Bradley University
Illinois Shakespeare Festival's 40th Season!
Don't miss this imaginative interpretation of Shakespeare favorite, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Our trip will include an outdoor catered picnic dinner with wine, a behind-the-scenes tour with the festival staff prior to the performance, and plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of Ewing Manor.  Dr. Susan Hillabold, our Shakespeare expert, will accompany the group to provide insight throughout the trip. Learn more about this trip to the Shakespeare Festival.
Date: July 12 , 2017

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Keep Your Members Connected

Would you like your advisory board members to receive the Osher NRC monthly e-newsletter so that they can stay connected and find ideas from the larger Osher Network? There are a few options to get your members subscribed. Forward them this newsletter and they can click on the link to "Join Our Mailing List" or, send Stacey Hart (stacey.hart@northwestern.edu) an email and attach a spreadsheet that lists your board members names, role on the board and email address and we'll be happy to add them to the e-newsletter mailing list.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Program Manager, OLLI-UA

Registration Coordinator, OLLI

Administrative Assistant, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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