Gardening Blind - OLLI at North Carolina State University
New Home for OLLI Office - OLLI at Auburn University
Collaboration with Communication Undergrads - OLLI at Bradley University
Southern Regional Conference for Learning in Retirement a Success - OLLI at the University of Alabama
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Greetings from the NRC    Sep 2016 15
As summer winds down your Osher NRC is hearing of numerous institutes experiencing record registration numbers for the upcoming fall semester. Members are raring to go; many plan to take more courses, attend more lectures and participate in more discussion groups than in past terms. What a great sign that curriculum committees and OLLI directors are programming topics of high interest. Both long standing members and new ones are attracted to the fresh content our leaders have worked long and hard to develop. To use an apt seasonal metaphor, our curriculum harvest is bringing a bounty of exciting new offerings.
In this month's newsletter, we have an intriguing collection of items that should help energize your work: an inspiring member profile from North Carolina State; the announcement of an exciting new home for OLLI at Auburn University; a rewarding multi-generational initiative at Bradley University and the recounting of a terrific conference organized by OLLI at University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Enjoy all these stories. While you read them, consider sharing your own program's news for future newsletters - our monthly mission is to spark ideas and appreciation for innovation throughout the Osher Institute Network.
Enjoy your upcoming Labor Day weekend and the days of late summer,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at North Carolina State University
Gardening Blind
Staff and members of the Osher Institute at North Carolina State University were privileged to hear this recent radio interview with one of their longtime members, Mary Flanagan, who has been blind for a large part of her adult life. Mary has been an OLLI at NC State member for over 5 years. Her dog Navaro accompanies Mary to class and sits with her at the front. Although Mary cannot see the screen during presentations she uses a special device to type notes.

Outside of OLLI, Mary has been a keen gardener for most of her life and does not let her lack of vision hamper her enthusiasm for gardening. She connected with her interviewer, Lise Jenkins, in an OLLI gardening themed class. Lise is an OLLI member and volunteer instructor and has her own gardening radio show - Triangle Gardener. Whether or not you are a gardener yourself you will marvel at Mary's talents and achievements.

Submitted by : Joan Hardman-Cobb, special programs coordinator, OLLI at NC State University

OLLI at Auburn University
New Home for OLLI Office
There are exciting things happening at the OLLI at Auburn! The OLLI offices will be moving to a beautiful new location called Sunny Slope. This historic property sits on the edge of campus, near the university's art museum and across the street from the university's performing arts center scheduled to open in 2019. 
The property, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is being donated by an Auburn University donor. 
Although the gift of the home, barn, and almost five acres of land has been donated to Auburn University, the OLLI at Auburn program is designated as the primary tenant of the space. 
The agreement specifically states, "The structures and grounds ("Property") as the offices and teaching location for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and for other academic and administrative purposes."
In the very near future, once phone/data arrangements are secured, the OLLI staff will relocate.  It is their hope to begin offering some OLLI courses and activities at Sunny Slope by January for start of the Winter Term 2017.
Submitted by: Linda Shook, director, OLLI at Auburn University

OLLI at Bradley University
Collaboration with Communication Undergrads  
Earlier this year, OLLI members and Bradley University undergraduate honor students began a collaborative effort to improve students' communication skills. During breaks in OLLI's Wednesday classes, participating students took time to visit OLLI members to practice their conversational skills. 
Both students and OLLI members reported they greatly enjoyed these sessions. More important, participants said that they were effective in achieving desired improvement. With this success, the collaboration grew to another level. During the spring semester, OLLI members completed personal inventories, which were used to match them with undergraduate students in Laura Bruns' Communication 103 class.
Students were responsible for contacting their OLLI counterparts, conducting interviews, and writing a speech about their lives, loves, careers, and hobbies. OLLI members were then invited to attend class and listen to the speeches.  In the spring semester, members Cornell Carr and Ralph Dalton visited Bradley's Global Communication Center to hear speeches by students Hannah Snidman and Bonnie Vigland.
Snidman's speech described Cornell's "life story."  In her talk, she mentioned his two-year, cross-country hitchhiking trip, brief stint as a member of the University of Illinois men's basketball team, and love of traveling with wife Louise. "Cornell will tell you that he has never been happier in his life than he is now," Hannah said. "He says that life is too short, so always remember to stop and play!"
Dalton's student presented her speech as a faux Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) "exceptional retiree award" announcement. Bonnie reviewed Ralph's 37-year career at IDOT, his 57-year marriage to wife Joyce, whom he met as a 20-year-old at a drive-in restaurant in Peoria, and his love of OLLI. 

"The collaboration with OLLI not only helps my Bradley students practice communication skills with a new audience, but also provides important mentoring and networking for them," said Bruns, a communication lecturer with Bradley University. "My students enjoy the opportunity to learn from the wisdom and experience of the OLLI participants."
Because of the mutual benefits of the collaboration, OLLI is working to make it an ongoing effort. This fall, students will visit OLLI members during class breaks in October, develop tribute speeches about a new group of OLLI volunteers, and brainstorm ways to connect their new Osher friends to the campus community.

Submitted By : Michelle Riggio, associate director, OLLI at Bradley University

  OLLI at The University of Alabama 
Southern Regional Conference for Learning in Retirement a Success
The 2016 Southern Regional Conference hosted by the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa had 130 participants, six sponsors and four exhibitors. Many attendees were from Osher Institutes and some of the lifelong learning programs were able to bring groups of both volunteer leaders and staff members. For those attendees who were new to their institutes, the conference was an excellent orientation to the field and operations of lifelong learning institutes. A number of experienced Osher directors generously shared stories of their hard-earned successes with OLLIs and other independent institutes alike. Again this year, participants were cheering "Roll Tide" in gratitude for OLLI at U of A's  southern
hospitality along with their expertise in producing fantastic regional conferences.

The 2017 Southern Regional Conference will be a joint effort by the Osher Institutes at Eckerd College and the University of South Florida, to be held in St. Petersburg, Florida, July 30 - August 1, 2017.

Osher NRC 2016 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the next webinar on September 21, 2016 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.

Top Secrets of Success from Retiring Osher Directors
While the field of lifelong learning is a relatively new one, a number of Osher Institutes benefit from the wisdom of highly experienced staff directors - some of whom are retiring this year after decades on the job. In this webinar, three experienced OLLI directors with combined Osher tenure of more than 40 years have agreed to share their top secrets of success. These are the lessons learned that most influenced their thriving programs - along with some personal stories of how they remained inspired and motivated to lead their terrific institutes in growth and change.

Share a victory lap with Osher Institute executive director Katy Crapo from the University of Georgia in Athens (retiring in December); retired executive director Mike Smith from the University of Kentucky in Lexington (retired in June); and executive director Vonnie Wheeler from the University of Denver (retiring just days prior to this webinar). Learn from them and help celebrate their hard work and many contributions to the Osher Network.

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

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
I've heard about the monthly webinars that the NRC hosts. Are they open to those who aren't on an Osher Institute staff?

Dear Interested,
Indeed, the monthly webinars are open to anyone in the Osher Network - meaning members, volunteer leaders, university or OLLI program staff. The only requirement is that you have an Osher affiliation through your own membership, volunteering, or staff work. Topics are geared to leadership and staff, but are often of interest to a broader group of members. During 2016, the webinars are held the third Wednesday of each month for one hour at 2pm Eastern; 1pm Central; noon Mountain; 11am Pacific; 8am in Hawaii and 10am in Alaska. A link to the recording of each webinar is also sent to those who registered and can be a good resource to review in committee meetings in order to share ideas from other programs across the Osher network.

Registration is required. Details on the topic and links to register come in each one of these newsletters, in an email to each Osher director, and through the NRC's social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

See above for the September webinar description and join us!

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 North Carolina State University
Discover Croatia, Slovenia and the Adriatic Coast
Join us for this 12 day trip to a beautiful, less visited part of Europe. Ancient cities, medieval architecture, rolling hills and stunning coastal scenery await. Highlights include Plitvice Lakes National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), dining within the walls of Ljubljana Castle, and three nights in the grand old city of Dubrovnik founded in the 7th century. Visit Europe's oldest pharmacy in a Franciscan Monastery, stroll through the famous Diocletian's Palace and prepare to be overwhelmed by the beauty of the area's natural features, mountains, waterfalls, a glacial lake, picturesque islands and coastlines. Enjoy time outside of the set itinerary to explore on your own or take advantage of the optional tours. This trip is offered in partnership with Collette and is open to OLLI members nationwide.   Learn more about this trip to Europe.
Dates : May 27-June 7, 2017

OLLI at The University of Georgia
Geology of National Parks & Monuments on the Colorado Plateau: Arizona and Utah
The excursion will begin in Phoenix, Arizona and terminate in Salt Lake City, Utah. The excursion will visit six National Parks (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonland) and three National Monuments (Sunset Crater, Vermillion Cliffs, and Grand Staircase-Escalante). A variety of historical sites will also be included. Field stops will examine overlooks and roadside exposures and will require minimal walking. Transportation will be in six-passenger mini-vans. Learn more about this National Parks trip.
Dates: September 12-21, 2016

OLLI at Hampton University
Cultural Cuba: Havana to Cayo Santa Maria
Make your way from Havana, Cuba's vibrant capital, through the Spanish colonial city of Sancti Spíritus to the beautiful coastline of Cayo Santa María. Local artists, musicians, historians, naturalists and students will show you their country from an insider's perspective as you go, opening up this lively island nation cut off from much of the western world for decades. Learn more about this trip to Cuba.
Dates: May 21-29, 2017

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Recognizing Donors


Recognition of members who donate to your program is important in order to properly acknowledge, thank and honor an individual's contribution, as well as encourage future donations. One way to recognize these individuals is the creation of a banner that lists anyone who has given money to the Institute through the fundraising campaign. The banner can be updated yearly and is a great portable tool that can remain on display in the OLLI office, but can also travel to both private and public events hosted by an Institute. See photo to the right for an example that has been created by the OLLI at Northwestern University.  

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Executive Director, OLLI

Classroom and Facilities Coordinator, OLLI

Tech Support/Administrative Assistant

OLLI Coordinator/Bartlesville - Temporary

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