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50 Ways to Love OLLI - OLLI at North Carolina State University
Comprehensive Course on the Evolution of Civil Rights - OLLI at George Mason University
Experiencing the Richness of Chicago Diversity - OLLI at Northwestern University
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Greetings from the NRC    Feb 2017 15
February finds most OLLIs well into courses, discussion groups and special events. Tens of thousands of Osher Institute members are engaged in the process of "meaning-making" in its myriad forms. For some, this centers on trying to understand the ever-changing world through current events, politics, history, philosophy, religion, or economics. For others, it takes form in generating meaning by interpreting or creating in the arts and humanities. And for all of us, it means participating in our unique, local learning communities - socially and intellectually exploring the complex world and the complexities of ourselves. 
 
In this newsletter, we see meaning-making at George Mason University as members learn more about Civil Rights struggles through personal accounts and award winning curriculum materials. We hear about special events commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy and plans for Black History Month at Northwestern University. And, we read about the celebration of OLLI at North Carolina State's 25th Anniversary, with creative re-lyrics to a pop music classic from the '70s.
 
For participants in the upcoming Osher Institutes National Conference, meaning-making will soon involve tremendous amounts of idea sharing. The conference will include a noted keynote speaker (see below) and more than 25 sessions showcasing the wide spectrum of effective OLLI practices. If you are attending, you'll want to bring what you have learned to fellow members and staff back home. And if you aren't attending, you'll want to ask your OLLI's representatives to share some of those ideas with you.
 
In the meantime, the Osher NRC sends you warm winter wishes for a meaningful semester! 
 
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director


 
OLLI at North Carolina State University
50 Ways to Love OLLI
North Carolina State University OLLI celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016 with a variety of activities organized by the Anniversary Committee. Events included: quizzes at events with trivia questions on OLLI; a fall semester kick off led by a founding member and a professor who has taught at least one class in each of our 25 years; and a Red, Black and White dinner which was an outdoor dining event in school colors modeled on the Parisian "Diner en Blanc".

The highlight of the year-long event series came at December's OLLI Annual Seasonal Celebration.  Anniversary Committee members composed and performed "50 Ways to Love OLLI," which featured re-lyrics sung to the tune of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." Sample verses include:

OLLI Members Sing 50 Ways to Love OLLI
Get your brain on track, Jack
Take a new class, Cass
The kick-off's in fall, Paul
Just register quick
Hop on Joan's bus, Gus
Don't worry about tests, Bess
OLLI is the key, Lee
We're sure you'll agree
 
History is rad, Brad
Foreign films are slick, Nick
Politics is cool, Jewel
Check out new tech
Discover the dead, Fred
Keep your brain cells alive, Clive
Olli is the key, Bea
To set yourself free

Submitted byJoan Hardman-Cobb, assistant director, OLLI at North Carolina State University

OLLI at George Mason University
Comprehensive Course on the Evolution of Civil Rights in the United States
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University utilized resources provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to provide an outstanding series of classes during the fall term on the history and future of the civil rights movement in the United States. 
 
The class, "Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle," used NEH videos, materials, and guided discussions to reflect upon the ideals of freedom and equality and how they bridged racial and cultural divides in the U.S. over the decades.  Participants examined selected historical civil rights events from the Abolitionist movement to "Freedom Summer" as well discussed more contemporary civic and social issues.
 
George Mason University professors, an OLLI member, and a representative from the civil rights movement led the eight-session course. Of note, Freedom Rider and non-violent activist Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland shared reflections on her 1961 Freedom Ride from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jackson, Mississippi on the Illinois Central Railroad.  Presidents of the local chapters of the NAACP also offered views on the future direction of civil rights in the U.S. 
 
"Created Equal" was developed by the NEH to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.   For more information about the program, visit the NEH website: createdequal.neh.gov
 
Submitted by : Alice Slayton Clark, communications associate/registrar, OLLI at George Mason University

OLLI at Northwestern University
Experiencing the Richness of Chicago Diversity 
A committee of members at Northwestern University have created opportunities to celebrate and learn more about diversity through special programming initiatives in 2017. One of those opportunities was a January tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through a lecture and preview of the Auditorium Theatre's "Too Hot to Handel: The Music and Message of the Jazz-Gospel Messiah." This experience allowed members to hear soloists from the acclaimed performance prior to an actual concert the following week - offered at discounted prices. The crowd pleasing event featured legendary Chicago jazz and gospel musicians, along with a choir of more than 100 members, putting a contemporary spin on Handel's original.

To commemorate Black History Month, OLLI at Northwestern has planned a half-day event in February featuring noted policy makers, storytellers, poets, and musicians, including assembling talented speakers from the University. The celebration will honor both local and national achievements of African Americans and give OLLI members the chance to learn from some of Chicago's most revered leaders in diversity.

OLLI at Northwestern's Diversity committee was formed in 2016 and is chaired by a member who joined the Institute after attending an outreach event last year. The group is working on a Summer Film Institute program for the upcoming season and has partnered with a noted community organization which hosts conversations and civic dialogs over mealtime conversations throughout Chicagoland.

Submitted by: Kirsty Montgomery, director, OLLI at Northwestern University

  Irving, TX - April 2017
Dr. Bill Thomas
We're happy to announce that the Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Osher Institutes National Conference is Dr. Bill Thomas. Dr. Thomas is a noted leader in the field of Aging. He has been named one of the nation's "top 10 innovators" changing the future of retirement in America by the Wall Street Journal, as well as being named to the public media project, Next Avenue's "2015 Influencers in Aging" list, alongside Mr. Bernard Osher.  "Everything we know about aging is wrong," Thomas says. "With the accepted narrative of aging (as) one of decline, disease, and disability, it's difficult to look upon advancing years in a positive light."

After early career work in a nursing home, Thomas was led to defy the status quo about how the elderly are treated. Through activism, writing multiple books, and the founding of a website, ChangingAging.org, Dr. Thomas has created a platform for innovators in aging to share their ideas as he continues to confront negative stereotypes in hopes of changing that aging narrative. Dr. Thomas spent the past two years visiting cities around the country with a theater production called the Age of Disruption Tour. "One study after another has proven that how we perceive aging, to a very large degree, determines how we age," Thomas says. "It's the story that matters, how people interpret their experience goes a long way to determining their wellbeing. So I decided to go out into the world and start changing the story of aging."

Dr. Thomas brings this changing story to Irving, Texas, at the 2017 Osher Institutes National Conference. That story includes recognizing and appreciating the importance of community outreach in the areas of higher education and local affinity groups-the confluence of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. His unique perspective is certain to challenge, guide, and inspire OLLI staff and volunteer leaders in their lifelong learning work at Institutes throughout the country.

 basecamp Whose Woo-Hoo will You Choose?
Sharing effective practices and ideas at the Osher Institute National Conference is a perennial tradition. By relating stories of success, many ideas are spread with hopes for creative adaption and adoption by other Institutes. But what moved the previously named, "WOWs" to the newer "Woo-Hoo" level? Well, it is intended to pump up the excitement and add just a bit of good-spirited competition - with prizes!

The definition of woo-hoo (there really is a Merriam-Webster's definition) is "an exclamation of exuberant delight or approval". As established in 2015, Woo-Hoos will be presented by David Blazevich and Steve Thaxton, followed by a ballot for participants to vote for their favorite submission. There will be prizes awarded to the OLLI programs highest ranked by votes in each grouping.

What constitutes a Woo-Hoo? It is a quick (70 word) story about a practice, event, class, experience or highlight of your OLLI's year. The description explains what is it, why it has proven to be amazing, and is submitted with a single photo (size needs to be at least 1024 x 768 pixels). A maximum of one Woo-Hoo from each Institute is accepted.

Each OLLI is urged to send in their submission to Diane Venzera at the Osher NRC to be included in the presentations. The deadline for submission is February 15th. Share your successes and you will be cheered with the exuberant delight and approval of Woo-hoos, too!

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
We call our Institute "OLLI" but a friend that lives in another state only uses the name Osher Institute and doesn't even know what an OLLI is!? Is this intentional or just happenstance?
~The Abbreviator
 
Dear Abbreviator,
Hearing the word "OLLI" might lead a Swedish listener to translate it as "wool sweater" (thank you, Mrs. Osher!); a French listener to translate it as "skateboard"; or a Turkish listener to translate it as "hooray". But here in the United States, many Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes made the decision to be known by the acronym of OLLI, while others decided they would be known by the more formal Osher Institute. Either form is acceptable and commonly used in our network. Some Institutes welcome the acronym in addition to their formal name for purposes of memorability or in conversation. When an Institute shows preference for either naming convention, it is best to honor that preference.
~Olli

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

OlliTraveler
Educational Travel Ideas from the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler
OLLI at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Native American Culture of Northern New Mexico
Join us for the 2018 Week of Learning as we travel to Northern New Mexico for an exploration of New Mexico's incredible Native American Culture. It's a presence that dates back more than two millennia, when early ancestral tribes lived as hunter-gatherers throughout the Southwest. About 1,500 years ago, some of these groups joined together to establish permanent settlements, commonly known as pueblos. It's a way of life that continues to this very day among New Mexico's 22 tribes. Our journey begins with admission to Albuquerque's Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and then onto Bandolier National Monument.  Explore the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and walk through ruins of the Chaco Culture National Historic Park with its ancient monumental public and ceremonial buildings, engineering projects, astronomy, artistic achievements, and distinctive architecture.  Next, visit Window Rock, the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. Learn more about this trip to New Mexico.
Dates: May 6-12, 2018

OLLI at University of Rhode Island
Iceland
Join Conway Tours for an uncommon adventure to Iceland, filled with dramatic natural wonders. You'll discover thundering waterfalls, hot springs, steaming lava fields, massive glaciers, thermal springs and volcanic landscapes. This single hotel stay vacation is based in beautiful downtown Reykjavik, packed with of shops, restaurants and nightlife. From here you'll enjoy a fascinating journey exploring the spectacular highlights of this proud island nation. Read more about this trip to Iceland.
Dates: April 30 - May 5, 2017

OLLI at California State University San Marcos
Ecolife Conservation Excursion
Ecolife Conservation is a local nonprofit dedicated to a world where people and nature prosper together. The organization focuses on utilizing aquaponics, a sustainable method of food production combining aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) to inspire the next generation of farmers. In this circulating system, fish waste acts as a natural fertilizer for plants and then plants take up those nutrients and return clean water to the fish. Perfect harmony! Students will tour a solar-powered aquaponics farm, learn the basics of aquaponics, see numerous varieties of fish, pose questions to professionals in the industry and take home their own fresh head of lettuce or basil. Learn more about this agricultural trip.
Date: February 8, 2017

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Coordinate Ride Sharing
For many Osher Institutes, free parking on campus is not an option. Or if it is, there may not be enough spaces to go around. Having a volunteer or staff member who can help coordinate ridesharing can be a great way to assist members who cannot take public transportation, drive, or just want to share the cost of parking on campus. The Osher Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology has enlisted volunteer Kim Haynes to be their RideMatch Coordinator. When members j oin RideMatch their location is marked with an ID# on a map in the Institute's lounge. Once a member signs up, they can call the coordinator to obtain contact information on as many ID#'s on the map as they would like. Members contact each other to work out their own schedule, meetup location, and other details.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Osher Program Supervisor
University of New Mexico

Office Assistant, OLLI at Texas Tech University (Highland Lakes)

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