Intergenerational Improv - OLLI at University of California, Irvine
A Region's Successful Collaboration - OLLIs at Universities of Cincinnatti, Dayton & Kentucky
Dr. Bill Thomas Speaks on Ageism - Osher Institute at University of Richmond
Active Learning: Restoring a WWII Airplane - OLLI at Western Michigan University
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Greetings from the NRC    Jul 2018 15
Trying new things is often what Osher Institutes do best. OLLIs seek and find pathways to learning by experimenting. As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, "Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow". This month, we have articles showing how OLLIs explore and create new experiences to keep that learning growth alive.
From an OLLI group joining with undergraduate students to learn the art of improvising in Irvine, CA, to others restoring a recovered WWII airplane in Kalamazoo, MI, members are putting their learning into action. From three separate OLLIs in Lexington, KY, Dayton and Cincinnati, OH getting together to share leadership practices, to inviting a trailblazer on the future of aging to present in Richmond, VA, OLLIs are welcoming innovation and new thought all across the country.
These institutes prove that experimenting with inventive ideas is invigorating and fun. We hope you have some fun reading about your fellow Osher members who are stretching and growing outside of their routines, too.
Here's wishing you a summer full of fun new learning experiences at your OLLI,

Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at University of California, Irvine
Intergenerational Improv
What do you get when you pair undergrads with grandparents? You get Intergenerational Improv! Intergenerational Improv was launched in April as an experiment at UCI's Claire Trevor School of the Arts. A series of nine classes culminated in a performance at the annual COUP de COMEDY Festival in the Little Theatre on campus.
Improvisation has been described as a liberating experience enhancing the concept of being present. The group had to observe and learn about each other, build trust, and follow through with mutual support. As the root of all comedy, improvisation creates the element of surprise. Improv requires heightened communication, relying on an actor's ability to engage completely with their fellow performers as well as their own character. Each person accepted situations with personal skill they didn't know they had, adapting and filling in with their own words. Age did not matter.
The group demonstrated how easily Improv could be adapted as a tool in many areas of life, whether a business, classroom or social setting. It plays well anywhere; it does not have to be on a stage.
OLLI at UCI hopes to continue its association with the School of the Arts and its Intergenerational Improv. We continue to learn and expand our horizons, as true lifelong learners.
Submitted by : Jessie Tromberg, member, OLLI at University of California, Irvine

OLLIs at Universities of Cincinnati, Dayton and Kentucky
A Region's Successful Collaboration
This Spring, the Advisory Boards and Staffs of the OLLIs at Universities of Cincinnati, Dayton and Kentucky came together at the University of Cincinnati (UC) to share ideas, experiences, programs and procedures.  The morning began with a Welcome, Meet and Greet, followed by program presentations.  Committee chairs were able to network over lunch, drilling down into the details of curriculum, fundraising, promotion, travel, etc.  After a tour of OLLI at UC's classrooms, lecture halls and office space, everyone came back together for continued Q and A.  Planning has begun for the next regional meeting with a list of questions, and anticipation is growing for another great day of learning. 
Submitted by : Diane Lockridge, OLLI at University of Kentucky, Julie Mitchell, OLLI at University of Dayton and Cate O'Hara, OLLI at University of Cincinnati

Osher Institute at University of Richmond
Dr. Bill Thomas Speaks on Ageism
When my volunteer leader, Charlie Huffstetler, and I heard Dr. Bill Thomas at last year's Osher Institutes National Conference, we immediately realized that we wanted to bring him to the University of Richmond. We made this happen just about a year later, and it was well worth our while.
Osher Program Assistant Barbara Apostle took the lead for this event. She successfully solicited financial backing from the Genworth Foundation, which became a great partner in the event. In addition, we had Regirer Foundation funding, which was used to host a luncheon for Dr. Thomas and invited guests. The funding also addressed facility and staff costs.
Our Osher Institute promoted this lecture on ageism to our members, the university faculty and staff, and the larger Richmond community, making this available free of charge and drawing approximately 350 attendees.
Dr. Bill did not disappoint! He entertained, informed, cajoled, challenged, warmed our hearts, and made us think. He noted that his talk would not be filled with facts and statistics, though he was quick to say he could back up his comments with research. Rather, he offered wonderful take-aways that our members are still quoting weeks later. He touched on the physical, intellectual, mental, spiritual, and emotional aspects of aging and helped us see that we may suffer from the stigma of "ageism" and yet continue to promote it ourselves. And so, when someone offers you the offhand compliment of, "Wow, you look great for your age," instead of thank you, your new response might be, "And just what should someone my age look like?"
Submitted by : Peggy Watson, director, Osher Institute at University of Richmond

  OLLI at Western Michigan University 
Active Learning: Restoring a WWII Airplane
On February 18th, 1944 a Douglas SBD-2P Dauntless military airplane crash landed into Lake Michigan while on training exercises. Although this particular SBD Dauntless flew in the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea, its resting place became the bottom of Lake Michigan. That was until 2016, when the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor, HI, commissioned the recovery and restoration of the Dauntless. The Air Zoo, a unique hands-on Aerospace and Science museum located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was selected for the restoration project. Also located in Kalamazoo is Western Michigan University (WMU) and through WMU's connection with the Air Zoo, OLLI is able to partner with the Air Zoo on classes.
OLLI classes at the Air Zoo are popular among members. Classes like "Air Zoo - History of the Air Zoo" fill up fast. However, the Air Zoo restoration projects offer a different hands-on opportunity. In the class "Air Zoo-Working Renovation of American Aircraft" members experience "a hands-on opportunity to work on the WWII Wildcat airplane". Member's comments demonstrate their excitement: "...the knowledge and enthusiasm of the speakers, the fact the planes are there and actually being restored...it is fun hands-on as well... My 3rd Air Zoo class." and "It was great to hear the men who actually do the restorations talk to us about their experiences.  It was fun to drive a rivet...", and "I enjoyed it so much that I am now volunteering to help with the restorations". 
Restoration of airplanes is a time intensive process for the Air Zoo. Thankfully, a portion of the restoration is done by volunteers. Local groups, including the Boy Scouts, middle through college students, and yes, OLLI at WMU members, provide hours of assistance. Currently, the Dauntless has 85 active volunteers. In just the first three months of 2018, OLLI members logged 53 hours in restoration activities. It is estimated that the Dauntless restoration will take another two years to complete. On completion, the aircraft will be sent to the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor for display as part of the permanent collection. 

If you are interested in classes or day trips to the Air Zoo, information can be found on their website.
For more information, contact : Shirley Swanson, director, OLLI at Western Michigan University

Osher NRC 2017-18 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the next webinar on July 18, 2018 beginning at 2pm Eastern/1pm Central/noon Mountain/11am Pacific/10am in Alaska and 9am in Hawaii. Register for the webinar here.

Cultivating Successful Membership Committees
More than 2/3 of Osher Institutes have established standing Membership Committees, with the primary goal of growing their OLLI's membership roster. An Institute's annual attrition is often more than 20%, so member recruitment is an important ongoing function. While many of these committees focus on marketing, others concentrate on engaging and retaining existing members. Regardless of how an Osher Institute defines this committee's role, membership committees call for a certain kind of volunteer leader - one who can work collaboratively with OLLI staff members to be productive and efficient.
Hear the stories of three directors from geographically and operationally diverse OLLIs as they compare the practices of their Membership Committees. Learn about ways you might improve your membership committees, leading to even more growth and success.

Sue Anderson
OLLI @ California State University San Bernardino
Josh Raney
OLLI @ University of Arkansas
Josette Valenza
OLLI @ Florida Atlantic University

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

  Scottsdale, AZ - October 2018
We're happy to announce that the Keynote Speaker for the 2018 Osher Institutes National Conference is Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn. Dr. Blackburn won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving genetic information, and for co-discovering telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomere ends. Both telomeres and telomerase are thought to play central roles in aging and diseases such as cancer, and her work helped launch entire new fields of research in these areas.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Blackburn has received nearly every major award in science, including the Lasker, Gruber and Gairdner prizes. She was named to the TIME 100 in 2007, the magazine's yearly list of the most influential people in the world. She is a member of numerous prestigious scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the Royal Society of London.
Blackburn has shown an abiding commitment to public service in the scientific, academic and public policy arenas. She has served as president of both the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society for Cell Biology, and has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including the influential journals Cell and Science.
Helping to guide public science policy, she was a member of the Stem Cell Research Advisory Panel for the California State Legislature and a member of the President's Council of Bioethics, an advisory committee to the President of the United States. In 2017, Blackburn joined the board of directors of the Biden Cancer Initiative.
From 2001 to 2015, Blackburn served as a Salk Non-Resident Fellow, one of a group of leading scientists that advise the Institute's leadership and play key decision-making roles in the appointment and promotion of Salk professors. She served as President of the Salk Institute from 2015 to 2018.
Blackburn was born in the small city of Hobart in Tasmania, Australia, to a family of doctors and scientists. Her parents were both family physicians and her grandfather and great-grandfather were geologists. Inspired by her fascination with animals and a biography of the iconic French scientist Marie Curie, Blackburn chose to also pursue a career in science.
She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in biochemistry from the University of Melbourne, and received her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Cambridge in England in 1975. She conducted postdoctoral research at Yale University from 1975 to 1977. Blackburn joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley in 1978. She moved to the University of California, San Francisco in 1990 and chaired the Department of Microbiology and Immunology from 1993 to 1999.
What hastens the unwelcome aspects of aging - notably, our increased susceptibilities to diseases? Dr. Blackburn will tell us of her groundbreaking discoveries of not only how the protective caps (telomeres) at our chromosome ends wear down and contribute to our cells' and bodies' aging, but also of what we have learned that can counteract this underlying mechanism of aging - and that we might have more control over aging than we think. 

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
We would like to bring three people to the upcoming Osher National Conference. Would this be possible?
~Not Crashin'
Dear Not Crashin',
The Osher Institutes National Conference is generously funded by The Bernard Osher Foundation and coordinated by the Osher NRC. The intent is that one staff member and one volunteer leader be chosen to represent each local OLLI program. The spirit is to celebrate both a volunteer and a staff member who contribute to the Institute's success. The Foundation and NRC work to keep the National Conference as personal and intimate as possible (not easy given around 250 guests). Program quality and staying within a budget becomes hard to maintain with more than two participants per OLLI. Beyond costs, hotel capacity becomes stretched because commitments of specific quantities of rooms are made about a year before the event. The hope is that each Osher Institute will honor the spirit of the invitation and name just two representatives.

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
OLLI at Granite State College
Eastern Europe to the Black Sea
Experience Eastern Europe via a River Cruise from Bucharest, Romania to Budapest Hungary. Enjoy two nights at a hotel in Bucharest before embarking on a Grand Circle river ship for 10 nights. Stops include Ruse, Bulgaria, Vidin, Bulgaria; Belgrade, Serbia; Novi Sad, Serbia; and Vukovar, Croatia.   Learn more about this trip to Eastern Europe.
Dates : May 21 - June 3, 2019

OLLI at University of Denver
World View Mexico: 20th Century Art & Social Revolution in Mexico
Explore the National Museum of Anthropology and learn about pre-Columbian Mexican history and culture. Take a day tour to Teotihuacan pyramids and visit the museum of the Teotihuacan culture. Visit the historic National Palace of Mexico and the National School of Agronomy in Chapingo and admire the famous murals of Diego Rivera. Attend a performance of the famed Ballet Folkloric of Mexico at the famous Palacio de Bellas Artes. Learn more about this trip to Mexico.
Dates : August 25 - September 2, 2018

OLLI at Florida Atlantic University
Romantic Blue Danube: Prague to Budapest
Begin the tour with two days in Prague with an optional folk show and dinner. Board the ship with stops at Cesky, Krumlov, Linz, Krems, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest with many tours offered in these cities along the way. This trip is offered in partnership with Grand Circle travel. Learn more about this trip along the Blue Danube. Learn more about this trip to Europe.
Dates : June 25 - July 5, 2019

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Bring a Friend to OLLI
The Osher Institute at University of California, Davis is trying something new this year with empty seats in the classroom. Before the start of each term, a group email is sent to registrants for the course with a coupon attached to bring a friend who is new to OLLI. The friend must call to reserve a seat and that allows the Institute to capture contact information for marketing purposes. This is also a nice way to thank paying members, by allowing them to bring a friend, while at the same time exposing OLLI to potential new members and making for a livelier classroom.

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

Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

North Pinellas County Program Coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Audio Visual/Auditorium Associate, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Office Specialist, Senior - OLLI

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