Going to Space Camp - OLLI at the University of Alabama Huntsville
The Power of Synergy - OLLI at the University of Michigan
The Missing Chapter - OLLI at University of Minnesota
The History of African Americans in the Military - OLLI at Auburn University
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Greetings from the NRC    Mar 2016 15
We often mention and celebrate the unique nature of individual Osher Institutes. But it is also interesting to see how OLLIs independently approach things in similar ways. During January and February, many OLLIs presented special programming highlighting diversity - reflecting similar aspirations and goals to make their Institutes more inclusive. Three such efforts are featured in this newsletter from the Osher Institute at the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and Auburn University. Dozens of other institute's announcements crossed our NRC desks promoting lectures and events marking Black History Month. And while the point is so metimes made that Black History is American History and should be included throughout the year, these occasions help focus attention and can be additive rather than exclusive t o a season. Congratulations to those who programmed special efforts, we encourage you to carry that attention throughout the  year.
These days, most OLLIs are beginning their spring terms. The NRC is noticing a decided uptick in the number of courses, discussion groups and events being offered. Programs are growing their repertoire of learning opportunities! Good luck as the term blooms along with the return to springtime.
From the city of the St. Patrick's Day inspired green colored river, we wish you the best in the greening month of March.
Steve PATRICK Thaxton, Executive Director
NRC for Osher Institutes 

OLLI at University of Alabama Huntsville
OLLI at UAH Goes to Space Camp
Sometimes referred to as the "Space Capitol of the World" Huntsville, Alabama is the home of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC).  Each year, thousands of visitors flock to the Center where the museum, interactive
displays, and the IMAX theatre showcase rockets, achievements, and artifacts of the U.S. space program. The idea for the museum was first proposed by Dr. Wernher von Braun who led the efforts of the United States to land the first man on the moon.

The USSRC is also the home of the U.S. Space Camp, where students from around the world experience an in-depth exposure to the space program through participant use of startlingly realistic simulators, lectures, and training exercises. Thirty-two members of the OLLI at UAH attended the first Space Camp Program specifically developed for OLLI members in January 2016.  OLLI "astronauts" enjoyed the thrill of a lifetime as they executed a shuttle mission using state of the art simulators, experienced walking on the moon's surface using the gravity chair, trained on the orbiter, and launched into space.  Some attendees kept both feet on the ground in Mission Control, and handled all the ground operations. Summarizing the experience, one OLLI attendee called OLLI Space Camp, "one of the most exciting things I've ever done."  

Plans to offer the "OLLI Space Camp Experience" as a group travel destination open to other Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes are in the preliminary stages.  Interested?  Email
Maxine.Doherty@uah.edu .

Submitted by: Maxine Doherty, PCS Outreach Program Manager, OLLI at University of Alabama Huntsville

OLLI at the University of Michigan
The Power of Synergy
This fall, OLLI at the University of Michigan discovered the power of synergy. Four different committees, working together, developed powerful programs that built on each other. The OLLI Kickoff Committee invited the University of Michigan's new President, Mark Schlissel, to give the keynote around the theme of "Diversity: It's More Than You Think." President Schlissel spoke about his commitment to a diversity of ideas and diversity of community, as well as the importance of the voices and experiences of older adults to the university community.

OLLI-UM takes its mission of diversity of ideas and community very seriously, as evidenced by its fall programming. On October 28, OLLI's "After Five" committee, which is responsible for planning evening events, presented a lecture by Judge Steven Rhodes, the judge who presided over the Detroit bankruptcy case last year. Judge Rhodes spoke passionately to an audience of 275 people about the difficult decision-making process and the many constituencies in Detroit who were affected by the bankruptcy.  

Both referencing and building on Judge Rhodes' talk, OLLI's Lecture Series committee launched a six-week lecture series on Detroit: Complex Past, Promising Present, Uncertain Future, which has been the most popular lecture series OLLI-UM has hosted to date, with upwards of 400 attendees at several of the lectures.  Lecture topics included a discussion of Detroit's geo-political environment, evolving economic and population patterns and longstanding inter-class and inter-racial struggles; the future of Detroit after bankruptcy; urban renewal projects in the city of Detroit in the 1950s and 1970s and their connection to contemporary neighborhoods; how Detroit has become a "hotspot" for artists; shifting racial populations in the history of the Chene Street neighborhood; and the role and impact of entrepreneurship in post-bankruptcy Detroit.

Concurrent with the Lecture Series, OLLI-UM coordinated three separate day trips to Detroit, focusing on the theme Detroit Revitalized. The tours, conducted by Feet on the Street Tours, drew attention to the positive investment, revitalization, rehabilitation efforts and community-building taking place in many Detroit neighborhoods, including the why and how behind these efforts.

OLLI-UM members found the synergy of Detroit-themed programs offered from October through December to be energizing and informative. They particularly appreciated hearing different perspectives about the problems facing Detroit and the endeavors various communities are taking to address those problems.  In addition to increasing our membership, OLLI leadership was pleased that we also increased diversity.

The OLLI-UM committees are working hard to plan a compelling synergy of programs for next year around another Michigan-oriented topic, The Future of Transportation.

Submitted by: Jean Leverich, Program Director, OLLI at the University of Michigan

OLLI at University of Minnesota
The Missing Chapter  
Few Minnesotans are aware of our state's rich history of African American baseball and its players. Though never home to a major Negro League ball club, these pioneering "barnstormers" were in fact, professional baseball players and outstanding athletes. With team names such as The St. Paul Colored Gophers, Uptown Sanitary Shop and Hiawatha & Lake Motor Company, they traveled throughout the upper Midwest from the late 1800s through the 1940s.
Why then, is so little known about black baseball in Minnesota? And what was it like to be a black baseball player at this time? 
According to Frank White, author, historian, coach and amateur baseball player, the answer to the first question is quite simple: there are vanishingly few records with just a couple score sheets, scant newspaper articles and some team photographs having survived. Through countless conversations, dogged research and a bit of serendipitous luck, Mr. White has pieced together some of the missing history in "They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to The Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball".
Mr. White's interest is born of first-hand knowledge because his father was a professional baseball player in the 1950s. Having grown up in the insular and vibrant African American Rhondo neighborhood, Mr. White was aware of segregation but had little first-hand experience. His school, playgrounds, church and corner candy shop were all readily available in his neighborhood.
It was travelling with his father's team that first exposed Mr. White to an understanding of the second question and exposed him to Minnesota's "nicer" version of Jim Crow. First, in a restaurant that is open when the car parks but whose shades are drawn, door locked, and "Open" sign quickly turned to "Closed" by the time the black baseball players make it to the front door. Second, in the fact that while on the road, the team stayed in boarding or settlement houses, but not hotels. Mr. White came to understand that there were well traveled routes which were simply "known". Places where African Americans were able to sit dow¬≠n and eat a meal; others where they were not welcome. If a route was unfamiliar, a hearty meal was packed.  
Thanks to a robust partnership between OLLI at the University of Minnesota and the Ramsey County Library, Mr. White's presentation packed a room at the Roseville Library. This was no surprise to Judy Woodward, Ramsey County Library History Coordinator.  "OLLI is a natural partnership for the Library. When I come across a history program possibility that seems like a natural fit for an intellectually curious, vital audience of adult learners, I automatically think of OLLI members."
To learn more about black baseball in Minnesota, visit: " They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to The Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball"
Submitted by: Sandra Stevenson, Executive Director, OLLI at the University of Minnesota

  OLLI at Auburn University 
The History of African Americans in the Military
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University held a Brown Bag Lunch and Learn to explore the struggle of African Americans serving their country in wartime. Dr. David C. Carter, associate professor at Auburn University, was the speaker and his talk was entitled, "Fighting for the Right to Fight: African Americans in Wartime from the Civil War to Vietnam."  While his primary focus was on African Americans in uniform, Dr. Carter also explored the significance of wartime on the home front for black Americans, particularly with the First and Second World Wars.
Dr. David Carter and OLLI at Auburn Member Ken Autrey
"Throughout America's history African Americans tended to close ranks and rally around the flag in time of war even as they experienced second-class treatment at the hands of the U.S. military and ongoing vilification in the eyes of many white Americans," Dr. Carter said, "Understanding the vital importance of blacks' military service throughout our history and the way in which civil rights leaders use periods of conflict to assert their claims to equality is essential to a deeper appreciation of the African American-and American-historical odyssey."
Dr. Carter received his PhD from Duke University in 2001 and a BA with Highest Honors in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1992. His research interests are in the history of the civil rights movement, the history of the American South since the Civil War, and U.S. history since 1945. He is particularly drawn to the role of race and ideology in shaping American history. An Auburn faculty member since 2000, he previously taught at Bates College in Lewiston, ME, and at Duke University. Dr. Carter is the author of "The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement: Civil Rights and the Johnson Administration, 1965-1968" (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), a study of the shifting relationships between the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and grassroots advocates of racial and economic equality.
Submitted by : Linda Shook, Director, OLLI at Auburn University

NRC Updates

Osher NRC 2016 Webinar Series

Mark your calendar for the next webinar which will be on March 16, 2016 beginning at 2:00pm eastern/1:00pm central/noon mountain/11:00am pacific/10:00am in Alaska and 9:00am in Hawaii. It is entitled: Planned Giving for Osher Institutes.  
Success for an Osher Institute relies on a culture of giving - modeled generously by The Bernard Osher Foundation. The long-term sustainability of an OLLI calls for contributions from members who see that benefits from their involvement far exceed course and membership fees. Planned, or legacy giving, should play a part in any solid fundraising plan of an Osher Institute.

While planned giving may seem remote and challenging, it isn't hard to understand and can lead to sizable results. Including enhancing the financial health of an OLLI and providing an opportunity for members to show their support without impact on their current finances. In fact, some members are already planning legacy gifts to multiple organizations without considering that their OLLI is another deserving potential recipient.

Rosemary Reinhardt, Director of the Osher Institute at Boise State University, wore the advancement hat prior to joining the OLLI staff. Jennifer Neil, CFRE, is Executive Director of Planned Giving for Boise State. Together, they will share the basic tenets of planned giving, along with example stories of success from other Osher Institutes, to help demystify and encourage this important fundraising practice. Register for the March 16th webinar online here
If you have interest in being a webinar presenter, or have ideas for other topics, please contact Diane Venzera ( diane.venzera@northwestern.edu). 

 basecamp Find an Osher Institute Near You

Did you know that you can download the data from the Find an Osher Institute Near You google map on the NRC website?  

Follow these simple steps:


  • Click on Find an Osher Institute Near You in the top search bar of the National Resource Center website
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the map and click on "Export the map data"

    The map data including Osher Institute name, phone number, and website should automatically download to your computer in an Excel spreadsheet.

  • The OLLI Insider

    An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
    dearolliDear Olli
    Dear Olli,
    A few of us on our Osher Advisory Committee have heard about the Osher NRC webinar series. Is that open to volunteer leaders and members, as well as OLLI staff? Do we have to buy anything to participate? A group of us are interested in listening in.
    Sincerely, All Ears

    Dear All Ears,
    The 2016 Osher NRC Webinar Series is open to anyone in the Osher Network - members, volunteers, and staff. The NRC is excited to bring these opportunities to OLLI colleagues free of charge. The Adobe Connect online platform is free to participants as the NRC holds the presenter license. Any person or group wanting to attend one of the webinars needs to register online in order to receive log-in details.  Participants connect via their computers with the audio coming through the computer speakers. Adobe recommends using Chrome or Firefox browsers. To make sure your computer is set up with the needed Adobe Connect software, go to this link to test your system.
    Some Osher leaders have assembled small groups to participate and some use them as part of committee meetings on relevant topics. Information on the March webinar is included above in this newsletter and is set for Wednesday, March 16th. Join in!

    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 the University of Nebraska Lincoln
    An Ultimate African Expedition
    Join your OLLI friends in this ultimate safari expedition from the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Tanzania is home to largest collection of mammals in Africa. This OLLI safari has been designed to offer incredibly diverse opportunities for close-up viewing among these African animals - all within the safety of vehicles. Each vehicle holds a maximum of six individuals so everyone is guaranteed an up-front view. Overnight accommodations are either comfortable lodges or tented facilities. This tour program is being offered by our travel partner Valden Tours. Click here for more information.
    Dates: July 9-20, 2016

    OLLI at Saginaw Valley State University
    Mary Wilson of The Supremes with the DSO
    In the 1960s, the music of Motown almost at once became legendary. Here is a chance to take a walk down memory lane with Mary Wilson of The Supremes. At this high energy concert she reunites with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which was actually the orchestra which was heard on all the Motown classics. You'll hear Baby Love, Love Child, Stop! In the Name of Love, and many more of their hits. Our day will begin with lunch in Greektown at Fishbones, then we're off to the 3pm performance at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. Our package includes main floor "A" seats to the concert, a family-style lunch at Fishbones, and deluxe motorcoach transportation from SVSU. Click here for more information.
    Date: April 10, 2016

    OLLI at the University of California Irvine
    Great Canadian Cities
    A few of the highlights of the great Canadian Cities tour include a Montreal city tour, a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral, a train ride from Montreal to Quebec, a view of Montgomery Falls, a 1,000 islands cruise, a Niagara Falls boat tour, and an Oh Canada Eh?! dinner show. Offered in partnership with Premier World Discoveries. Click here for more information.
    Dates: Sep 21-29, 2016

    Interesting Facts to Know and Talk About
    didyouknowDid You Know...?

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

    Program Coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

    Coordinator, Administrative Program

    Administrative Assistant, OLLI

    Administrative Assistant

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