Chorus Performs at CitiField - OLLI at Stony Brook University
Celebrating $1.78 Million Fundraising - OLLI at University of Delaware
OLLI Sponsors Oral History Project - OLLI at George Mason University
OLLI Chico Receives University Grant for 2018 Play Festival - OLLI at California State University, Chico
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Greetings from the NRC    Jan 2018 15
After typing the above 20 18, I wonder how many weeks into January it takes for you to begin using the correct New Year on documents and checks? How many mistakes do you find later that you made writing the incorrect year? In years past, it was well into February before the correct year appeared consistently for me. But in my recent "OLLI-eligible" years, those mental mistakes are actually a bit less frequent than while I was in my 30s and 40s. That was a time when life was full of distraction and the fallacies of multi-tasking. One of the advantages of aging seems to be clarity of purpose and a certain calm that is mentally beneficial. Perhaps some of this is learned and some just comes from a wiser perspective - one that allows us to create and to contribute to life more fully.
This month, our newsletter has ample evidence of this: creative expression from Institutes at Stony Brook University and California State University, Chico, in music and theatrical performances; and, impressive contributions to the campuses of OLLI at University of Delaware and George Mason University. Clearly, our newsletter contributors are abundantly engaged in their Osher learning communities. I hope you are, too.
As you shift back into courses and OLLI activities in the New Year, take a few moments to reflect on the lifelong learning opportunities you create and contribute to at your local Osher Institute. May that reflection bring you deserved calm and welcome clarity!
Best wishes for the fresh New Year of 2018 from your Osher NRC team,
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

OLLI at Stony Brook University
Chorus Performs at CitiField
O Say Can You Sing?  It started off as a typical summer day, hot and muggy, but July 16 proved to be a historic Sunday for OLLI at Stony Brook as the OLLI chorus sang the National Anthem for the first time at CitiField before 28,000 fans there to see the Mets play the Colorado Rockies.
Stadium staff made every effort to help choristers feel comfortable, providing lockers to store belongings and time and space to rehearse. Still, the tension and anxiety were palpable as chorus members lined up in the tunnel leading to the field. 
The moment came when OLLI chorus Conductor Miles Massicotte, a doctoral student and accomplished classical pianist, led the troupe onto the field. The Anthem began at 12:57 pm, as the scoreboard simultaneously flashed "OLLI Chorus at Stony Brook" and pictures of the group singing. 
It doesn't take long to actually sing the Anthem. However, the music covers a fairly extensive vocal range and, as anyone who has tried knows, it is not an easy song to sing. All the weeks of preparation were put to the test by the happy and excited faces of the group - and they proved more than up to the task. The crowd loved the rendition and loudly showed their appreciation. So did the Mets organization, which afterward gave a thumbs-up and high praise.
The entire event was summed up by one OLLI member, Shelly Psaris, "Singing the National Anthem at CitiField was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always treasure and share with my grandchildren."
The only cloud, beside those that came with the humid weather, was that the Mets lost. Since the CitiField appearance, the chorus has gotten two more "gigs" to sing the National Anthem. They performed at CommUniversity Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, and on Veterans Day before the Stony Brook University football game on Saturday, November 11.
Submitted by : Wayne Holo, director, OLLI at Stony Brook University on behalf of member volunteers Ira Kurtzberg and Ed Metzendorf, OLLI Chorus Co-Chairs

OLLI at University of Delaware
Celebrating $1.78 Million Fundraising  Success
OLLI at the University of Delaware recently celebrated the culmination of a successful $1.78 million fundraising campaign to renovate the program's home location at Arsht Hall in Wilmington, Delaware.

Members, instructors, and staff banded together over the last three and a half years to support the "Renewing the Dream" $1.5 million campaign, swiftly pushing past the initial goal to close at $1.78 million and eventually boasting an astonishing 92 percent participation rate among more than 2,400 Wilmington-based OLLI members.

When the campaign began, Neil Cullen, the original chair of the fundraising committee supported the campaign's efforts along with his wife Betsey. Pam Meitner soon joined them as co-chair.

The Wilmington OLLI program had initially planned to raise member fees to pay for the much-needed renovations. "I knew there had to be a better way and saw fundraising as an alternative," said Meitner.

The committee worked closely with the University's Office of Development and Alumni Relations to jumpstart the campaign in 2014. Subcommittees worked on major gifts and grant writing.

Funds raised went toward general program support as well as installation of a new HVAC system, remodeled restrooms and improvements to classrooms.  Arsht Hall's renovations took place in the summer of 2017, and the OLLI program reopened for the fall semester in a more modern, safe, accessible and comfortable learning environment, all with no increase to membership fees.

Submitted by: Nora Riehl Zelluk, communications specialist, OLLI at University of Delaware

OLLI at George Mason University
OLLI Sponsors Oral History Project for George Mason University Libraries 
Forging ever stronger bonds, members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University sponsored and partook in an oral history project this fall to benefit the George Mason University Libraries. 

Three OLLI members formed a panel to share experiences and personal recollections as veterans of the Cuban Missile Crisis, accounts that are now recorded and archived as part of the Mason Libraries' Special Collections Research Center. Bob Persell, Garrett Cochran, Ray Beery and Eric Henderson all had various roles during the Cuban Missile Crisis, including service in the Air Force, Navy and CIA. Their stories captivated the dozens of students and administrators present for the discussion.

Mason Libraries established an Oral History Program in 1999, in order to preserve a part of history that is often overlooked: individual perspectives by the people who were involved in incidents of historical significance.

The Friends of OLLI Mason charitable fund donated $1,000 in 2017 to support the Libraries' Oral History Program.  The monies were provided in gratitude to Mason Libraries for the research privileges and support extended over the years to OLLI Mason members and instructors. Mason library staff has also provided OLLI members tours of their facilities, as well as classes on how to conduct online research.

The donation is part of a larger effort by OLLI Mason members to give back to the University for its generous teaching and facilities support. In total, Friends of OLLI have donated more than a quarter million in student scholarships and departmental grants to Mason during the past two decades. 

Submitted by : Alice Slayton Clark, communications and program associate, OLLI at George Mason University

  OLLI at California State University, Chico 
OLLI Chico Receives University Grant for 
2018 Play Festival
For three years running, volunteers at OLLI@CSU, Chico have provided the creative talent behind the successful OLLI Play Festival, performed for sold out crowds at the downtown Chico Blue Room Theater. They have also been chiefly responsible for all behind-the-scenes production, including logistics, scheduling, rehearsals, and promotions. To add to the challenge, most of the participants had never before performed on stage. Even the playwrights - all OLLI members - were mostly novices.
"When OLLI volunteer Pam Loyd approached me in 2013 with this nutty idea for OLLI members to write, produce, and perform in original plays, I was skeptical," Program Director Ann Nikolai explained. "And while I could only offer minimal support at the time, I envisioned a day when we would collaborate with CSU, Chico's School of the Arts. The opportunity for mutual learning and growth here just seemed like such a natural fit."
Fast forward to Fall 2017, when OLLI was notified that its University Foundation grant application was selected for funding in the amount of $5,000 in support of the 2018 OLLI Play Festival. The application underscored the teaching/learning aspects of the proposal for both traditional students and OLLI lifelong learners. Mr. Ahmad Boura, CEO of the University Foundation, said the board felt the application's narrative captured key strategic priorities of the University, "We look for initiates that promote student success. The cross over between OLLI and HFA, with its intergenerational focus, is an example of a partnership where everyone wins."
For OLLI festival players, the grant award is welcomed news. "We are always looking to be better at our craft," said festival founder Pam Loyd. "As a result of these grants, our writers, actors, and directors will have the opportunity for training and support previously unavailable." The first HFA-sponsored workshop was held in November, six months in advance of the 2018 festival. Faculty member, Matty Teague Miller, a former Broadway actor, is leading the workshop, with help from several of his theater students. This launches a series of activities where HFA mentors will provide training and support leading up to next year's festival.
Submitted by: Ann Nikolai, program director, OLLI at California State University, Chico

Osher NRC 2017-18 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the next webinar on January 17, 2018 beginning at 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/noon Pacific/11am in Alaska and 10am in Hawaii. Register for the webinar here.

Filling that Leadership Pipeline: Recruiting and Supporting for your OLLI's Success
What are you looking for in a volunteer leader? How do you find volunteers with those skills and interests? Join this webinar to explore leadership development, starting with the roles you are trying to fill, how to set volunteers up for success, and developing a healthy pipeline so your current committee chairs have the chance to step down and make space for new leaders to emerge. You will receive tools you can begin to use immediately to help you design Strategic Roles for Volunteers, develop a Targeted Recruitment Plan, and have a Support Plan for key leadership volunteers. 
Beth Steinhorn
VQ Volunteer Strategies

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,
A number of leaders on our various OLLI volunteer committees will finish their terms soon and we're struggling to find individuals to take their place. Do you have advice for finding the right volunteers for the jobs?
~Concerned Member
Dear Concerned,
It's always tough when the time comes for your successful leaders to leave their volunteer assignments. Working on leadership succession continually is usually the most effective practice. This could be a shared job for Osher volunteer leadership groups (advisory committees), the paid OLLI staff members, and even those committee leaders who will be leaving. It is important to establish a culture that both recognizes the valuable contributions of these volunteers and honors the practice of term limits. The benefits of term limits toward fresh ideas and mitigating volunteer burn-out are many: it brings new life blood into the work of the Institute and it often preserves the energy of high functioning volunteers to serve in other capacities or to return to leadership after a deserved break.

Some OLLIs hold regular training classes or workshops to develop the skills of future volunteers. Occasionally they make special invitations to selected members to attend these trainings. But other Institutes hold these classes as part of the regular curriculum with open admission. Often the OLLI staff director and the chair of the advisory committee are the co-instructors of these classes. Many OLLIs are continually "canvasing" the general membership for people who are interested and capable of committee volunteer work. Who is better at identifying the best candidates for specific committees but the people who have been on those teams previously? Reaching out to current and past volunteers who know the ropes, asking for one or two suggestions can be effective. Ensure these calls to action are done with appropriate lead-time prior to losing volunteers - and don't leave the impression these are undesirable roles.

You might also want to attend the Osher NRC January webinar on Filling that Leadership Pipeline: Recruiting and Supporting for your OLLI's Success. The description and link to register are above.

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 University of Arkansas
OLLI in Rome
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arkansas is excited to announce an educational travel opportunity to the ancient city of Rome, Italy.  In partnership with the U of A Study Abroad Office and the U of A Rome Center, we are offering a 9 day trip to the heart of Rome, guided by Professor Tom Paradise. Participants will visit some of the most recognizable sights of Rome such as the Vatican, Forum, Colosseum and the gardens of Villa d' Este. But that's not all, Dr. Paradise will also take travelers on strolls through less known gardens, sparkling fountains, and historic churches, while stopping to enjoy great food, wine and shopping along the way. Additionally, participants will take part in programs and courses, prior to the trip and while in Rome. Learn more about this trip to Rome.
Dates : May 13-23, 2018

OLLI at California State University Fullerton
California Coastal Princess Cruise
Sail with our OLLI friends from Los Angeles to San Francisco, with stops in Monterey, San Diego and Ensenada for a week-long cruise that includes all your meals, entertainment and activities on-board the beautiful Ruby Princess. Learn more about this cruise on the coast of California.
Dates : March 10 - 17, 2018

OLLI at University of North Carolina Wilmington
Colors of Morocco
Get to know the vibrant culture and colorful backdrops that are distinctively Morocco. Dine at Rick's Café, the mythical saloon from the 1942 film "Casablanca." Spend time in the capital city of Rabat. Explore Fes, one of the holiest cities in the world, on a walking tour in the Medina, where donkeys and mules laden with goods still walk the ancient market. Make your way through the Sahara Desert by jeep before boarding a camel for your ride to your nomad camp. Travel the rugged "Road of a Thousand Kasbahs" to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou. In Marrakech, get a true taste of Moroccan hospitality during lunch and tea with a local family. End with dinner in a palace. Enchanting Morocco will dazzle you with its deep history, unique atmosphere and welcoming people. Offered in partnership with Collette Explorations. Learn more about this trip to Morocco.
Dates : October 3 - 13, 2018

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Initiate a Board Fundraising 
Match Challenge

Creating a culture of giving at Osher Institutes is important for the long term sustainability of individual Institutes. The OLLI at University of Alaska Fairbanks had a successful fundraiser in 2017 where OLLI Advisory Board members pledged to meet donations up to $4,500. The Institute had a total of $10,808 donated, meeting and exceeding the match challenge. Donors were honored in a listing in their upcoming spring catalog. This practice showed their Advisory Board members are truly committed to their OLLI.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Manager, Osher Learning Center

Receptionist, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

OLLI Curriculum Coordinator
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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