Greetings from the Osher NRC................September 2023

Does your kitchen window ledge, counter, or refrigerator look like the above? Ours does. Not because of my own gardening prowess – it is nearly impossible to grow anything edible on the north and east facing side of a high-rise balcony in downtown Chicago. But between my relative’s bountiful garden and the weekly Farmers Market across the street, we’re set for caprese salads over the next few weeks.

September is not only the time of abundant gardens. It is filled with tempting Osher courses and activities throughout the country. And like a delicious salad, we have a tasty sample of OLLI courses and trip suggestions for you to munch on this month. There are tempting ideas from El Paso, Channel Islands, Delaware and South Carolina that all could be adapted and dressed up for your own local OLLI tables. While some might seem exotic or specific to one area of the country, don’t forget that adapting ideas to your varied location or sized Institute is highly encouraged. Consider that all the things you read in these newsletters are adaptable and scalable in some way. Doing so is to be applauded and celebrated throughout the Osher Institute Network.

The Osher NRC team wishes you a bountiful and beautiful September,


NRC Staff

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Unique OLLI Class Draws on Members' New York City Experiences

One of the most popular newer courses at the OLLI at University of Delaware (UD) has been “New York City: 10 Unique Views.” Offered for the first time last fall, this online course is now presented jointly by OLLI instructors from all three of Delaware’s counties, a first for UD’s Osher Institute.

The idea started when two of UD’s Wilmington-based OLLI members, Tom Powderly and Sharon Rosen, discovered they were both born in the same hospital in the Bronx. They both knew other OLLI members with NYC connections and were able to weave their combined contributions into an OLLI course. Topics included New York’s engineering marvels, the city’s oldest restaurants and pubs, Brooklyn, the Bronx and uptown Manhattan, the Shubert Theatre and, New York in the Roaring Twenties.

The course’s popularity went far beyond expectations and was the most requested class of the fall semester. Class discussions were filled with personal anecdotes from the members.

Due to the course’s long waitlist, a recorded “on-demand” course was made available to OLLI members the following semester. Almost 250 members registered for the recorded version, with one member reporting that he “binge-watched” all 10 sessions during one weekend.

The collaboration continues and the following semester’s course was also recorded for member viewing, with topics like Central Park, Rockefeller Center, New York skyscrapers, the New York Yankees, and the Ed Sullivan Show. Volume three is planned for the upcoming semester with all new Big Apple views. “We’ll probably neither run out of interesting views of New York City nor OLLI members who want to learn about them any time soon,” said Rosen. To read the full article, visit

Submitted by: Sally Cole, Manager, OLLI at the University of Delaware in Kent and Sussex Counties and Jenna Cole, Coordinator, OLLI online programming.


Visiting the Land of Fire and Ice

OLLI at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) hosts a local and international travel program. This July, 25 members of OLLI at CSUCI traveled internationally on a breathtaking and adventure-filled trip to Iceland. While there, they witnessed many of the natural wonders of the country.


Travelers saw the beauty of majestic water falls like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss with their cascading waters. They explored black sand beaches and experienced the coastal areas. They traveled to the Icelandic glaciers like Vatnajökull and Solhemajokull and experienced the ever-changing landscape due to these receding glaciers. Members visited both dormant and active volcano sites. At one location, they observed (from a distance) the smoky plume of the recently erupted active volcano in Litli Hruthur in Reykjanes peninsula. They also visited a 300-megawatt geothermal power plant, which produces enough electricity to support the entire population of the nation. Finally, they tasted the Icelandic cuisine including local cheeses, dried meats and fish, and fermented shark, a local delicacy!


The boat tours of Iceland’s waterways were the highlights of the trip. These boat rides took the OLLI members offshore and showcased the nesting bird populations, including rare Puffins. Additionally, travelers took a ride in a duck boat on a glacial lake to observe the calved floating icebergs. Overall, the trip was a huge success. The OLLI members of CSUCI saw, experienced, and tasted the full range of Icelandic culture!


Submitted by: Daniel Banyai, Director, OLLI at California State University Channel Islands


Curriculum Corner

Osher Institute at University of Texas at El Paso

The Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Course Length: Three Weeks (three sessions)

Course Instructor: Leanne von Mittenwald, Peer Instructor with over 30 years of experience teaching theatrical arts and education.

Course Delivery: Film screening, in person at Satellite location, followed by discussion.


Alfred Hitchcock is still considered to be one of the greatest filmmakers and storytellers of all time. Join us to view and explore the "Hitchcock Method" through three masterpiece films and find out why he is called "The Master of Suspense." One film will be shown and discussed during each class period. Classics screened in this series will include “Rebecca” (1940); “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943); and “North by Northwest” (1959). This is a 3-week course with classes on 9/5, 9/12 and 9/19.


Of Note: OLLI at UTEP holds multiple film courses and launched the “OLLI Film Fest” this term to attract members from different areas of the community. This particular series is held in an eastern area of El Paso, at the well-equipped Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) Adult Learning Center. This facility is recognized as one of the top community education centers in Texas. 


Quick Tip - Partner with Local Realtors

A great way to get information about your OLLI to people who are new to the community is through realtors. As the OLLI at University of South Carolina Beaufort has done, try a realtor campaign. Ask your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of realtors in the area and reach out to make connections. Realtors want people to move into the area and OLLI can be a draw. Find realtors who want to talk to their clients about OLLI and ask them to hand out your business card or flyer. Consider providing a voucher to sit in on a class with the materials distributed by the realtors to give new community members an incentive to stop by your OLLI to try it out. Offer realtors a membership discount voucher to include in their client gifts, too.


Job Board

Director, OLLI

Aquinas College

Operations Coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

University of Massachusetts, Boston

PT Assistant II, OLLI

Yavapai College

Is there a staff opening at your Osher Institute? Please send it to us at

National Resource Center for Osher Institutes, Northwestern University

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