Learn, Forrest, Learn
During the winter semester, OLLI at Furman University brought something new to their curriculum. “Learn, Forrest, Learn” is an eight session class, with each session on a different topic and with a unique twist. Class members have no idea of the class subject before the day of class. Initially, the Furman curriculum committee was concerned. Would members want to commit to a course where they wouldn’t know what to expect each week? The answer was yes! The curriculum committee was pleasantly surprised when enrollment exceeded seventy members. 

The title of the class, of course, was inspired by the movie Forrest Gump. Specifically, when Forrest says, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” Much like the chocolates to Forrest, each class session was a surprise to the members. The class coordinator even brought a huge box of assorted chocolates for the first class. This course has given members exposure to subjects they might not have known they were interested in prior to the class such as Stamping through History: A Philatelic Journey, Poetry of War, and Quakerism. It has given Furman’s experienced instructors a place to try out a new class idea. Additionally, new instructors had an opportunity to experience teaching for OLLI without having to commit to a full semester of classes.

“Learn, Forrest, Learn” has been so successful for Furman that they plan to offer a repeat (although with new unknown topics) for the summer session. Just to be safe, the curriculum committee polled the class members at the last session, “would you like to know the individual class subject before enrolling?” Class members responded with an overwhelming majority opinion, “No!” It seems that the OLLI members like being surprised every now and again.

Submitted by: Sally Bornmueller and Jim Nicholson, Chairs, Curriculum Committee, OLLI at Furman University
Meet Up in Oklahoma City
OLLI at Oklahoma State University is uniquely made up of members from across four cities that are all approximately 90 minutes from their host university campus. This means that the group has to get creative to get members together! One way they have found is through hosting day trips that allow members to gather for a shared experience.

The latest day trip included a visit to the recently renovated Oklahoma State Capitol as well as a lunch stop at the top of the highest building in Oklahoma City. The group enjoyed a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Oklahoma City Thunder headquarters. The group even took to the NBA Team’s court (pictured)! The trip concluded with afternoon tea and treats at an extravagant cupcake café and candy boutique, "Pinkitzel." The motto there is “sunshine mixed with a little sugar.”

This is a seemingly fitting motto not only for a candy shop, but also for this group of OLLI members. One attendee concluded this trip remarking, “I wouldn’t have gone to any of these places if it hadn’t been for OLLI.”

Hats off to OLLI at Oklahoma State University members for coming together to share the highlights of one of their key communities.

Submitted by: Robbin Davis, Director, OLLI at Oklahoma State University
2023 Osher Institutes National Conference
Schedule at a Glance
Registration opens in mid-June with the link provided to each Osher Institute director.

As with past conferences, two representatives from each Osher Institute are invited to attend to make it possible for delegates, National Resource Center staff, and Osher Foundation staff to meet each other, network, and have substantive discussions and interactions. 
Curriculum Corner
OLLI at Arizona State University
"For the Love of Birds" Beginning Birding 101

Length of Course: One Week (four sessions)
Instructor of the Course: Charles Oldham
Course Delivery: Blended in the classroom (3 days) and on location (1 day)
Course description: So, what’s that little bird singing its heart out atop the Saguaro? Let’s figure it out! This class will focus on common Phoenix birds. Designed for beginning birders, we’ll combine interactive classes with a site visit to a local “hotspot.” Topics include bird field identification (by sight, voice, behavior, and habitat), binoculars 101, Arizona “hotspots,” and field guides. Charles “Carlos” Oldham will share his birding enthusiasm and a bit of expertise in this fun and popular class. Students must provide their own transportation and binoculars for the site visit.
Of note: This unique course combines three days of interactive instruction in the classroom with a day trip to the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, giving members the opportunity to use their new skills and knowledge and enjoy a bit of the outdoors.

Have a course you would like to share? Send it to oshernrc@northwestern.edu
Quick Tip - Just Ask!
Volunteer recruitment experts indicate that making personal and specific invitations to individuals is an effective way to attract new people into the corp. Appeals to the membership in a variety of ways – class announcements, articles in e-newsletters, public signs, and boldly on websites – will attract potential volunteer attention and support efforts. Don’t miss any chance to make the case that volunteerism is one of the pillars of an Osher Institute’s success. Seek out more members into purposeful volunteer engagement in every way you can.
Job Board
Assistant Director - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Osher Director - Extended Education Specialist II

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Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Program Support Assistant

Program Coordinator, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

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