Positive Aging Retreat - OLLI at Boise State University
A Memoir Published: N.E.W. Was Never Old - OLLI at the University of California, Davis
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Greetings from the NRC    Oct 2015 15
Like so many of you, we at the Osher NRC kick into high gear as autumn approaches. Being located within the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies, we're energized as students return to campus - both the Osher Institute members and the graduate and undergraduate students, as well.

A highlight of this season was a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Osher, along with our esteemed colleagues from The Bernard Osher Foundation, President, Mary Bitterman and Senior Program Director, David Blazevich. While attending meetings for another Osher funded program at Northwestern, The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Mr. and Mrs. Osher toured our renovated National Resource Center offices. They met with University leaders and also found time to visit a few OLLI classes, greeting members and renewing friendships with some they've known for years. It was a wonderful treat to visit with them and a great reminder for us at the NRC of how honored we are with the trust the Foundation places in us. It is something we share with each Osher Institute - the remarkable trust placed in all of us through the Osher's support, along with their enduring personal interest and active involvement in our work.

In just days, we will see many of you in Charlotte, North Carolina at the 2015 Osher Institutes National Conference. Rest up and be ready for an engaging and motivating few days. And make sure to pack something wearable reflecting your OLLI's host university or college. We look forward to celebrating the considerable contributions each of our host institutions make to to our lifelong learning mission too.
Warm Regards,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director
NRC for Osher Institutes 

OLLI at Boise State University
Positive Aging Retreat

Group Photo at the Retreat
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State kicked off its fall semester early with its first ever Positive Aging Retreat on Aug. 12-14. The retreat was designed to promote wellness and well-being among Osher Institute members.

Fifty members signed up for the retreat, led by professor emeritus and former dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Dr. John Burt. The retreat was centered on Dr. Burt's four-part course, "A Greater Sense of the Possible at Any Age."

So what is "positive aging?" As defined by the retreat committee led by member Laura Wilson: "It is quality of life and enjoyment in living which are dependent upon attitude, spirit, resilience, accepting challenges and change, honoring one's capacities and responding with curiosity to new opportunities. It is celebrating who are are at this moment."

In addition to Dr. Burt's course, the retreat featured "Heart and Soul" breakout sessions designed to introduce participants to meaningful activities to inspire a healthy life at any age. The retreat setting allowed members to engage with the subject matter outside the classroom through the breakout sessions, and to connect socially over lunch and during breaks with their fellow retreat participants. The breakout sessions included Journaling; Open Movement/Dance; Meditation; Creativity; Tai Chi; and Mindful Walking.

Here's what some of our members had to say about the retreat:
"Having practiced medicine for 47 years, I could relate to Dr. Burt's examples in chemistry and biology of aging research; his assignment for applying our own rules for the third act of our life will help me in managing the realities of my life with more positivity." - Hap Meyers
"I really needed this retreat. I was feeling kind of old. You know, battling that strong feeling of pessimism that can creep in? I learned a lot and the retreat helped me refocus and energized me." - Susie Fisher

Retreat participants have expressed interest in regrouping in a few months to check in with each other and renew what they learned. Based on the success of the retreat, OLLI at Boise State hopes to organize another positive aging retreat in the future. 

Submitted by: Rosemary Reinhardt, OLLI at Boise State University 

  OLLI at University of California, Davis 
A Memoir Published: N.E.W. Was Never Old
Robert Warren, the youngest son of the late Chief Justice Earl Warren, is an active member of the Osher Institute at the University of California Davis. He is in the process of writing his memoirs, and one charming story about his mother was just published in the October issue of the nostalgia magazine, "Good Old Days."  An except begins below, and the full story is available on the OLLI at UC Davis website. 
My mother, Nina Elizabeth Warren (N.E.W.), spent most of her long life (100 years) helping her husband and bringing up six children. My father eventually became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, but Mom was the true Chief in our house.

Nina Elizabeth Warren was born in Sweden, March 9, 1893. She lived 100 years and one month doing what she knew best, caring for those she loved, helping where help was needed. She never asked for praise or sought a thank you for all that she did. She believed it was better to give than receive and that is how she lived her life. I have first-hand experience as the youngest in a clan of six.

During my childhood I cherished being near Mom. I often think about the songs she loved.....Onward Christian Soldiers; The Old Rugged Cross; Amazing Grace; and almost any song that Mahalia Jackson sang. Mom rarely sang but I often saw tears welling up in her beautiful brown eyes and wondered to myself, what was so sad, or maybe so happy to cause such emotion? I never asked but I wish I had. 
Dad's monthly salary in 1934 as District Attorney of Alameda County was $300.00. Three adults and five children filled the home at 88 Vernon Street, I was to arrive in January 1935 adding to the population of the City, County, State and Nation. A pretty impressive entrance. Mom provided a personal meal program for me for the first few months so I never felt like I was a burden on the budget. However, Mom had details to the penny. The monthly average for all expenditures was $316.54. A mortgage payment is included in that figure. The family ate well on less than $75.00 per month.

Times were different then. No cell phones, Blackberries, Kindles, computers, or television. Not knowing what I was missing when I reached the ripe old age of five, I chose to play soldiers, Tarzan, cowboys and Indians. After a hard morning in the yard I heard that sweet voice. "Lunch is ready, Bobby." Without hesitation I yelled, "OK, Mom!" I crossed my fingers and headed for the kitchen with thoughts of angel food cake and a cold glass of milk dancing in my mind. But first a lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich on white bread. WOW! One treat after another. That's how it always was with N.E.W. Read full article online here. 

Submitted by:  Marcella Lorfing,   OLLI at University of California, Davis

NRC Updates

The NRC Office Remodeling is Complete!

We are excited to share the news that after months of hard work, the remodel of the National Resource Center offices at Northwestern University is complete. We're looking forward to settling down in our new space after the conference. What a difference! Make sure to come visit us when you're in Chicago, we're ready for OLLI visitors.

  Charlotte, NC - October 2015
conferenceNational Conference Update

Conference time is here, we can't wait to see you all in Charlotte, North Carolina and join in three great days of learning!



The OLLI Insider

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli

Dear Olli,

At our Osher Institute, we sometimes have inquiries from members of other OLLIs who are interested in joining our group for a semester, or even a few weeks while they are visiting in our community. When we explain our fee structure, many are surprised, but in two different ways: some say our costs are far higher than their "home OLLI" and others say they are lower! How do you suggest we react to their surprise?

Sincerely, Sticker Shocked 

Dear Shocked,

As volunteer leaders and OLLI staffers, most of us know that one of the strengths of the Osher Institute model is a high degree of autonomy. In funding programs, the Osher Foundation puts priority on preserving and respecting localism. This is what makes each program successful - the latitude to run programs with sufficient freedom to balance individual budgets and offer courses, events and activities that best suit local communities and members. Of course, that means that some members pay higher, and some pay lower fees. OLLIs differ in fee structures to match their own needs and their local communities. 

Some programs have established a trial membership category that works well for visitors - both from afar, and for locals who want to "try out" OLLI before making a commitment. Some programs offer a one day course pass. But some programs are in such demand, they just cannot accommodate extra visitors. Again, autonomy rules: each program must set policy thoughtfully to balance their own local needs.

I recommend a short explanation on the phone or an email to prospective visitors that states, "Each Osher Institute is an independent program that sets member fees, course offerings and activities that reflect its own community and member needs. That respect for localism and autonomy is one of the reasons OLLIs thrive throughout all 119 programs nationally. Our policy here is that visitors..."

If your OLLI has not established a visitor policy, it might be good to carefully consider the situation and discuss one with your advisory groups and host college/university. You are sure to have a question or two in the future - especially if you are in the warm weather climates as snowbirds make their wintertime visits south!

With best wishes, Olli

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

Educational Travel Ideas from In and Outside the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at the University of Virginia
Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest
Poplar Forest was Thomas Jefferson's plantation and plantation house in what is now Forest, Bedford County, Virginia, near Lynchburg. He designed it and treated it as a private retreat, working on it from 1806 until his death 20 years later. Jefferson once wrote a correspondent saying, "It is the most valuable of my possessions." Skilled slave-labor was used in its construction. Jefferson built Poplar Forest as a place to escape the hordes of visitors at Monticello and seek the "solitude of a hermit." It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970. Archaeological studies have always been part of the restoration process, including the ornamental landscape. The archaeological activities have revealed artifacts of the enslaved African-American community, as well as the broader agricultural landscape that characterized the property through the American Civil War. In addition to the House Tour, Jack Gary, the Poplar Forest Director of Archaeology and Landscapes, will lead a "just for our group" Archaeology Tour.   Click here for more information.
Date: Oct 8, 2015

OLLI at the University of Georgia
The Heart of Scotland and More
Save the date for this exciting 13-day custom tour of Scotland! You'll discover Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Pitlochry, St. Andrews, Iverness, and the Orkney Islands during this Travel/Study adventure. This trip includes all ground transportation, lodging for 12 nights, entrance fees for all venues with private tours at some venues, 24 meals and afternoon tea at the Willow Tea Room in Glasgow, a joint event with Edinburgh University's lifelong learning group with a guest lecture by faculty from the University of Glasgow and the University of St. Andrews, and all tips and taxes and a group leader to handle all logistics, as well as your OLLI class fee.   Click here for more information.
Dates: Jul 16-29, 2016

OLLI at The University of California, Berkeley
Portrait of Italy
Join us for a literary, historical, and cultural tour of Italy led by OLLI instructor Beverly Allen. From the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to eternal Rome, through the gentle Umbrian and Tuscan countryside to timeless Venice, this leisurely tour showcases ancient sites, contemporary life, priceless art, and beautiful natural scenery. You'll appreciate the small size of your group as you stay in unique accommodations in the Tuscan countryside and a medieval village.  Click here for more information .
Dates: May 14-30, 2016

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board

Office Assistant for Osher Lifelong Learning Program

 University of Utah

Contact Stacey Hart at the NRC (stacey.hart@northwestern.edu) to let us know about any openings at your Osher Institute.