Intergenerational Connections - OLLI at The Pennsylvania State University
Southern Regional Conference for Learning in Retirement - OLLI at Eckerd College
Great Decisions Series - OLLI at University of Miami
An OLLI Writer and Storyteller Success Story - OLLI at North Carolina State University
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Greetings from the NRC    May 2017 15
After an energizing Osher Institutes National Conference last month, your NRC team is busy working on the follow up activities of analyzing feedback for future conferences. As many of you who have worked on these conferences well know, it takes a long-lead time to organize these events. We strive to appeal to the wide variety of volunteer and staff leader interests. Between those who have worked with or been members for just weeks to leaders with decades of OLLI experience, our aim is to offer content and activities relevant to the full gamut of participants.
At this point, a good amount of time goes into editing the collected audio or video from select sessions at the conference to create archived recordings available for use back home. Akin to archives of past webinars, these become resources for leaders to use with local work teams, hopefully for years to come. It allows the attending representatives from Institutes to share what they've learned directly from presentations they attended. These archived recordings will be released with information sent to your staff director/manager in the coming months. (It takes a while to get through more than 25 hours of raw recordings)!
Please know how grateful we are for the participation of our planning committee members and presenters from all over the country. More than 75 Osher leaders contributed to the National Conference. If you know one of those contributors, would you thank them personally for their generosity in sharing expertise with the Osher Network? Their work makes all the difference to the success of these conferences.
Our best wishes from Chicago,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at The Pennsylvania State University
Intergenerational Connections
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State recently collaborated with the University's Department of Human Development and Family Studies, on an eight-week course that brought together OLLI members and undergraduate students to examine aging issues. Amy Lorek, the instructor for the course, FaceAge: Perspectives on Aging, explains that " Together, through facilitated
conversation and activities, we explore the experience of growing-up, family, aging, well-being and more. A technology assistant in the class helps partners jointly develop a video or podcast to be screened and kept."
The course was inspired by the FaceAge project , an immersive three-screen video installation presenting a 56-minute loop of interconnected chapters built around cross-generational encounters featuring younger (ages 18-22) and older (65+) participants studying, describing and touching one another's faces.
This OLLI course was a collaborative effort with many campus partners including the Arts & Design Research Incubator, the Center for Healthy Aging, the College of Health & Human Development, the College of Arts & Architecture, OLLI, and the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. For further details, a full article can be found online in the Penn State News.
Submitted by: Sarah Anderson, director, OLLI at Penn State University

OLLI at Eckerd College
Retirement Re-imagined: The Southern Regional Conference for Learning in Retirement 
The OLLI staff and volunteers of Eckerd College in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida are polishing the program and shining the facility in preparation for the 2017 Southern Regional Conference for Learning in Retirement. We look forward to welcoming the 200-plus attendees of the event on July 30, 31 & August 1st. Co-hosting the Retirement Re-imagined conference are the staff and volunteers of OLLI-USF, headquartered across Tampa Bay at the University of South Florida.

The Southern Regional Conference is an invaluable way for the staff and volunteers of lifelong learning institutes to learn new and innovative ways to reach the growing population of retirees. The proposed schedule will cover such important topics as how to unleash volunteer talent, how to focus your marketing effort, how to use technology in your curriculum, and how to most effectively connect with your community.

The list of guest speakers is replete with experts in fundraising, marketing, education and adult learning programs. 

Don't miss this informative conference in a very special location. Register now by clicking HERE .

Submitted by: Monica Kile, director, OLLI at Eckerd College  

OLLI at University of Miami
Great Decisions Series  
At OLLI at University of Miami, the Great Decisions series is presented as a speaker series with discussion following each presentation. Each program offered
meets for 105 minutes weekly, for 6 weeks. 
Mr. Haim Karp, member and chair of the Curriculum Committee, serves as the facilitator of this speaker series. Member presenters are recruited each year through an electronic "call for presenters" appeal. All Great Decisions teaching materials are provided (teacher handbook/guide, DVD, and booklet) and shared with those who volunteer to be presenters. Member presenters do not have to be 'experts' or professionals in the field in which they are presenting. They can be anyone who has a passion for that topic, wants to learn more about it, and is willing to prepare a related PowerPoint and present. As OLLI at University of Miami membership includes many retired professionals from the fields of government, law, policymaking, industry, non-profit management, etc., we tend to have a well-prepared group of presenters each year. The speakers meet with the facilitator a couple of times before their presentations, once as a group to meet one another and again to decide on presentation dates. Administrative staff support is available to lend assistance on preparing PPTs and to train and assist with classroom technology.
The series is a popular one each time it is run! One example of a presenter who has been doing the Great Decisions series for a few years is Mr. Ulrich Merten. This year, his presentation will cover "Latin American Trends" which explores major Latin American post-war economic and political movements through to the present day. Mr. Ulrich Merten studied at the University of Zürich and the
University of Zaragoza, earning his BA and MA at Columbia University. In his professional life, he was an international banker at the Bank of America in Latin America and the Caribbean for 38 years. He has presented in the Great Decisions series in the past on Cuba-U.S. relations and Latin America in general. Another member who enjoys participating in the Great Decisions is Mr. Joe Falowitz who holds a BA and MA in political science from Long Island University. A retired apparel store owner, he will be presenting on Petroleum and US. Foreign Policy, an area of passion for him.
Submitted by: Julia Cayuso, director, OLLI at University of Miami

  OLLI at University of North Carolina State University 
An OLLI Writer and Storyteller Success Story
Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes provide not only opportunities to continue learning, but also, the opportunity to meet new friends, teachers, and find new life paths. Such was the case for NC State Alumnus, Larry Kingsley. An OLLI member for seven years, Larry loves everything about words and found the opportunity to grow his talent through his favorite OLLI writing classes taught by Dr. Jim Clark. Larry is also an enthusiastic member of the OLLI Writers Group and says his peers in that Special Interest Group have been very supportive of his new work as they review each other's stories.

Larry feels strongly that all children should be encouraged to develop a love of reading to make them better students and in turn good citizens. For five years he has volunteered to help first and second graders with reading and homework, and when that is done the children are rewarded with a story. Storytelling is another of Larry's many talents. Two years ago before summer break, Larry asked the children what they would like him to tell stories about and the unanimous response was "sharks!" The idea for Grippo the Friendly Shark was born with multiple messages in the heartwarming story, including the importance of being open to friendship with people who might at first seem different than you.

With encouragement and support from his fellow OLLI members, Larry's illustrated book was published and the children at Briarcliff Elementary were thrilled to be recognized for their contributions. But there's more to this story...a chance encounter with a man selling Christmas trees from a teepee led to an animation of the story which can be viewed on Larry's website  www.gripposhark.com .
Larry is grateful for the opportunities OLLI membership gives him and his wife to continue to learn. Lifelong learning he says, "is a way to continue your reason for living."

Submitted by : Joan Hardman-Cobb, assistant director, OLLI at North Carolina State University

A Successful 2017 Osher Institutes
National Conference
The 2017 Osher Institutes National Conference held in Irving Texas, April 3 - 5, 2017, lived up to the well-known saying "Bigger'n Texas" - with ample opportunities to share ideas and celebrate the mission of lifelong learning. 
Osher Institute leaders from all over the country traveled to the lone-star state to network and learn from one another. Two Institute representatives from each of the 120 Osher Institutes were invited to attend - including one staff member and one volunteer leader. Of the 262 participants, guests, and speakers, 57% had never previously attended an Osher National Conference. Attendees experienced four plenary sessions, four breakout sessions, and, a choice of two facilitated table topic discussions. There were also numerous opportunities for networking, casual conversations, and collaborations during breaks and meals. Beautiful weather helped participants enjoy springtime with morning walks, outdoor meals and breaks.

Plenary sessions included a presentation on generational differences in volunteer engagement by author and consultant Beth Steinhorn of the JFFixler Group, a keynote address by noted "elderhood" activist, geriatrician and author Dr. Bill Thomas, and an inspiring panel discussion on fundraising and development within the context of Osher Institutes. The wide variety of content in breakout session workshops covered topics such as curriculum development, mobilizing volunteers, culture and diversity, on-line learning experimentation, space resource management, marketing, and successful campus community service projects. Attendees repeatedly expressed their gratitude to The Bernard Osher Foundation for their generous and long-standing support of this 11th National Conference.

Through follow-up surveys, participants describe their conference experiences:
  • The conference was extremely well-organized, friendly, welcoming, and very, very useful in terms of the topics and networking opportunities offered.
  • Very impressive and inspiring to hear about the successes of the presenting OLLIs. They all did a great job sharing steps and approaches that work.
  • Absolutely great conference - topics were all relevant, food was fantastic, great to network and hear from others. 
The Osher Institutes National Conference is a sesquiannual, multi-day meeting that has been held at intentionally varied locations throughout the country since 2003. The Conference is fully funded by The Bernard Osher Foundation, and organized by the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Northwestern University in collaboration with leaders throughout the Osher Network of Lifelong Learning Institutes.

See a collection of photos from the 2017 conference on the
NRC Facebook page

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
While many of our Osher members are financially well-off, some would be considered low-income or disadvantaged. The price of courses is sometimes beyond their very limited budgets, no matter how much they want to participate in our OLLI. It makes me feel both grateful that I can afford my courses, but sad that some aren't as fortunate. Do any programs offer scholarships to members who have a hard time with the fees?
Dear Unea$y,
Your kind thoughts might find a way to take altruistic action. Many Osher Institute programs offer scholarship funds for members with financial hardship. Often these are established as a component of the Institute's fundraising campaign. Sometimes they are tied to memorial contributions of designated funds from past members or their families. While few programs waive their base membership fees, some programs elect to discount course fees for those who request special aid. By all accounts, OLLI programs work hard to protect the privacy of those who seek help. Usually there is an easy and confidential way to apply for funds - sometimes a short form, or a simple request of the program's staff director. A few programs have a bit more formal process through either a discreet committee or a financial aid office.
There's no doubt that having some form of scholarship program can expand access. Those folks who benefit might be among your most dedicated members, bringing volunteer service or a unique perspective that the whole group needs and values.

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 California State University San Bernardino
The Hsi Lai Temple
Join us on this fascinating and enlightening trip to visit the Hsi Lai Temple (pronounced "she lie"), the largest Buddhist monastery in the Western Hemisphere. The temple serves as a spiritual and cultural center for those interested in learning more about Buddhism and Chinese culture. Situated on 15 acres in Hacienda Heights, the very size and majesty of Hsi Lai Temple is awe-inspiring. You'll tour beautiful theme gardens, shrines, and more, including the Main Shrine, the central courtyard and a museum exhibiting a collection of fascinating Buddhist artifacts from different countries around the world. Your trip includes a docent-guided tour of the temple, gardens and museum followed by a delicious vegetarian lunch buffet on the property.   Learn more about this visit to the His Lai Temple.
Date : June 10, 2017

OLLI at Saginaw Valley State University
Charleston to Savannah: The Antebellum South
Slow your pace, sip a mint julep and feel yourself inadvertently slip into a drawl. The antebellum South will entice you with its elegant architecture, its lush scenery and its effortless hospitality. From luxurious plantations and Civil War forts, to Lowcountry landmarks and waterfront cities, you'll discover the unique culture and indisputable charm of the South.   Learn more about this trip to the south.
Dates : October 16-22, 2017

OLLI at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Guatemala: Mysteries of the Mayan World and Semana Santa Festivals
Experience the wonders of Guatemala during one of its most colorful and fascinating celebrations: Semana Santa (Holy Week). In Antigua, discover the complex styles of Guatemalan and Mayan textiles and folk art. Explore the country's culturally-rich rural life with visits to the villages of San Antonio Aguas Calientes and Santa Maria. Meet local families and weavers to learn about the textiles and traditions of their villages. Visit the most picturesque and colorful Indian Market and the 400-hundred year old Church of Santo Tomas in Chichicastenango. Cross Lake Atitlán to the picturesque Indian village of Santiago Atitlán, one of the 12 lake-shore villages surrounding the lake, and take a panoramic tour of Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala and the largest city in Central America. Learn more about this trip to Guatemala.

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Offer a Free Guest Pass

Word of mouth is often the best marketing tool available to Osher Institutes and just getting someone to try a class can be the first step to them becoming hooked. The OLLI at University of North Texas distributes free guest passes to members so that they are able to invite friends, family, and neighbors to come try a session, free of charge. The passes are printed similarly to business cards and make it easy for the guest to contact the Institute to sign up in advance to attend a session and redeem their pass. Members are allowed to distribute as many passes as they would like, and those who do take advantage of a free session are later contacted by an ambassador to provide them with more information about OLLI at UNT, and perhaps attend a class with them.

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

Office Administrator
University of Utah

Osher Membership Coordinator
Towson University

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