Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine

OLLI Newsletter

September 2022

Director's Message--An Abundance of Fall Offerings

Explore our fall catalog

After a few years of slow rebuilding, OLLI has now reached its pre-pandemic level of offerings for fall 2022. We have both varied remote learning options and plenty of choices for in-person classes and workshops on the Portland campus. Find your passion by exploring our catalog:

Here are a few bits of helpful information for this fall:

  • Vaccinations and boosters are required for in-person classes. Please be sure to bring your cards (or copies/photos of them) for checking prior to entering the classrooms.
  • All in-person classes will be on Fridays, and workshops will be on selected Saturdays.
  • Please be aware that masks should be worn in the academic buildings and during in-person OLLI classes/workshops
  • In-person classes will be in both the Wishcamper Center and Luther Bonney Hall, just over the Skywalk.
  • You will need to purchase a $25 parking pass to park on campus on Fridays or Saturdays; you can purchase the parking pass online when you register. Please complete the application paperwork and you may visit the OLLI office Monday through Friday 9AM-4PM (except for Labor Day) to receive your hangtag.
  • SAGE lectures will return to our popular webinar format, and recordings will be available for registrants to view at your leisure. You may purchase an eight-session subscription or register for any individual lecture.
  • There is one hybrid experimental class this fall: Richard Welsh’s “Shakespeare’s Henry V, Broadway’s Hamilton,& the Uses of History,” scheduled for Friday mornings. You can register for either in-person or online participation in the class.
  • If you are taking a Zoom class, your instructor will be in touch with you prior to the start of classes with information and a Zoom link.

A few accessibility notes:

  • For ease of access to the Skywalk to Luther Bonney Hall, please park on the third level of the parking garage—you can walk from your car into the Abromson Center and straight onto the Skywalk.
  • If you need hearing assistance for in-person classes, please contact the OLLI office.
  • Please do not wear perfume or cologne to classes, as it may trigger migraines or allergic reactions in your classmates.

We can’t wait to see you again in person or online!

Classical Greece Is Calling out to OLLI Members--Join Us for a May 2023 Trip!

OLLI will be offering another mythic trip for its members: From May 21 to 31, 2023, we will visit Classical Greece! Once again, we will work with AAA and Collettte Tours to visit the Greek mainland, including all of the following: arrival and a day in Athens and its iconic Acropolis; north to Thermopylae and Kalambaka, where we will visit the site of the ancient battle and the studio of an icon painter; on to Meteora and Arachova, where Byzantine monks built remote monasteries 600 years ago on limestone “towers”; back south to Delphi, one of Greece’s most important ancient religious sites; on to Olympia, where the ancient Olympics were held; through the mountains to the beautiful coastal town of Nafplio and on to Mycenae, the site of spectacular tombs and the kingdom of mythological King Agamemnon; and finally back to Athens for a free day to visit the museums, historic districts, or shops of the city.

The 10-day trip includes round-trip travel and transfers from Portland to Boston, nine breakfasts, one lunch, and

six delicious dinners, and a variety of meaningful, delightful activities. This is an ACTIVE trip for the go-go traveler, involving climbing up uneven, rugged paths and steps without railings and with loose stones. (This is not the right trip for members who are challenged to walk

independently and for some duration.)

The cost of the trip is $4,550 (double) and $5,150 (single accommodation).The cost includes cancellation waiver and insurance, round-trip transport from South Portland to Boston/Logan Airport, round-trip airfare from Logan International Airport, air taxes/fees/surcharge, and hotel


We will have a zoom interest meeting on Monday, September 19 at 4PM. If you wish to attend, please send an email to olliatusm@maine.edu and we will send you a link before the meeting. 

Registration will be held at the OLLI office on Friday, September 23, at NOON. Please bring your passport and $999 for the deposit; payment can be via check or credit card. A brochure outlining the specific itinerary will be available soon! Be sure to join us on this fabulous escape to ancient and modern Greece!

P.S: As with our recent Iceland trip, we will arrange a fantastic pre-trip class in spring 2023, so you’ll be infused with Greek history, literature, architecture, and cultural information, making the most of this trip for you.

Donna Anderson


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In this edition . . .

  • Director's message (above)
  • OLLI's 2023 trip to Greece (above)
  • Update from the board
  • SAGE in September 2022
  • A Tribute to Megan Saul
  • Trivia 
  • Passages
  • Call for Volunteers

Advisory Board

Executive Committee

Anne Cass, Chair

Paula Johnson, Vice-Chair

Karen Day, Secretary

Teaching & Learning Committee

Louise Sullivan, Chair

Gail Worster, Co-Chair

Membership & Nominations Committee

Pamela Delphenich, Chair

Social Relations Committee

Elizabeth Housewright, Chair

Chuck Remmel, Co-Chair

External Relations Committee

Marcia Weston, Chair

SAGE Committee

Claire Smith, Chair

Lynn Bailets

Peter Curry

Eileen Griffin

Sheldon Kaye

Georgia Koch

Tom Lafavore 

Steven Piker

John Roediger

OLLI members are invited to attend Advisory Board meetings. Check with the Chair for time and place. 

OLLI Staff

Donna Anderson, Director 

Rob Hyssong, Program Coordinator

Anne Cardale, Program Director, Maine Senior College Network 

See our smiling faces

Update from the OLLI Advisory Board Chair

As an English teacher and school principal, I spent my life gearing up in August for the start of the school year in September—and this year, despite retirement, was no different. Early in August, the OLLI Advisory Board met face to face (and yes, we were thrilled and all tested negative) for a day of thinking, planning. and getting to know each other. Six new members joined eleven returning members to form a vibrant, engaged, and thoughtful group. Our focus centered on three guiding initiatives: identify and increase membership, increase and sharpen outreach, assess and refine the program.

As the day progressed, I grew increasingly excited by the energy and commitment in the room; staff and volunteer board members worked well together; committee chairs and members strategized charges for the year; everyone dove into a SWOT activity to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to OLLI so that the Strategic Planning Task Force (a subcommittee of the Board) would have a baseline from which to work in the upcoming year. I was particularly struck by both the focus and the pervasive laughter and camaraderie.

Please know that OLLI members can come to any board meeting (they are held on Zoom),

committees are generally looking for volunteers, and board members are eager to hear your

questions, concerns, or compliments. We are all looking forward to 2022–2023. After all,

Aristotle reminds us that the energy of the mind is the essence of life.

—Anne Cass

Advisory Board Chair

SAGE in September 2022

The first SAGE program of our fall series occurs on September 13, with programs continuing each of the following Tuesdays throughout the month. Most importantly, our entire SAGE series

will be on Zoom, so if you like to keep your PJs on or enjoy your breakfast while watching, this really will work for you. If you want to participate in the Q&A part of a program, you can do so by just posting your question on the question list. We’ll tell you how to do that throughout the program. The SAGE committee believes that we’ve got a terrific group of speakers this fall, well suited to the Zoom format.

September 13, Dr. John Devlin: Travels with Doctors Without Borders

Given John Devlin’s career as an endocrinologist and his love for the study of the French language, perhaps it was inevitable that when he retired, he would volunteer with Doctors Without Borders and travel to Sudan. During that five-month experience with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), he applied his medical expertise in diabetes to assist MSF in providing care for the people of Sudan. We hope you will join us in learning more about Sudan, as well as John’s first-hand experiences as a member of Doctors Without Borders/ MSF. Maybe you already know John as a fellow class member in one of his favorite courses such as “Electromagnetism.” If not, we suspect you will find John and his topic particularly informative and fascinating.

September 20, Idella Glenn, PhD: Gender Identity and Expression

In 2019, when then USM President Glenn Cummings published his goals for the next five years, the SAGE committee started to discuss possible speakers regarding justice and equity. USM also was in the process of creating a leadership position focused on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. The University hired Idella Glenn, PhD, as Vice-President, Equity, Inclusion, and

Community Impact. In this quickly changing world we welcome Dr. Glenn’s expertise in gender identity and expression. It may have taken her awhile to actually get to Maine from Virginia due to COVID, but Dr. Glenn didn’t waste time in creating community impact in the Greater Portland area. This September we will have the pleasure of her 29-plus years of leading communities in diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Georges Budagu Makoko: Asylum Seekers & Immigrants Resettling in Maine

Over the past two years more than 500 asylum seekers from Angola, Haiti, and other countries have arrived in Portland, Lewiston, and other Maine communities. The challenge has been providing them with food, housing, clothing, jobs, teaching them English, as well as providing information and resources to help them adjust and adapt to their new lives in Maine. Georges Budagu Makoko has been a major resource to those communities because he knows firsthand what it is like to immigrate and seek asylum in the United States. Georges relocated to Maine from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 having earned his BS in business from the National University of Rwanda. Among his many roles, Georges also is the publisher of Amjambo Africa, which you may have seen distributed with your Maine Sunday Telegram. Amjambo Africa has the dual purpose of helping immigrants adapt to their lives in Maine and give to the non-immigrant community a better understanding of the cultural differences and needs of the immigrant community.

A Tribute to Megan Saul, OLLI's Administrative Specialist

On August 22 we bade farewell to Megan, who left OLLI to join the US Army as a Signals Intelligence Analyst. Since she joined us in September 2020, Megan has helped OLLI to achieve many goals, including improving customer service online and in-person, being our accessibility chief as we step forward to meet accessibility standards for online and print publications, and managing our work study students, summer interns, and office volunteers. This past summer, she worked with three students in USM’s Media Studies department and volunteer Gail Worster; the team interviewed numerous OLLI members about their experience teaching, learning, and participating in the wide variety of experiences OLLI offers. We hope to have one video on our new website this fall that captures the passion and joy that OLLI brings to its members, and another video will follow this fall talking about OLLI’s place on the USM campus (specifically targeted to the USM community). Megan also managed OLLI’s contracting and purchasing tasks with efficiency and ease. We will miss her energy, courtesy, and efficiency, and we wish her well in her new adventure.

—Donna Anderson, Director

Trivia Column

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We have continued to meet on Zoom for Trivia during the summer. We laughed even more than usual at our last gathering, and participants chose the following trivia questions and answers to share with other OLLI members. We will continue meeting in September and hope you consider signing up and joining us!

1. What word describes an inept, easily defeated boxer?

2. What country is directly south of Detroit?

3. During the Presidential election of 1884, which candidate’s party attacked

Grover Cleveland with the slogan, “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?”

4. What are the four H’s of the 4 H Club organization?

5. How many stitches does a regulation baseball have?

6. When ranked by area, where does the United States stand among world


7. What U.S. Senator received a single red rose every day?

See the answers below!

Trivia Answers!

1. What word describes an inept, easily defeated boxer?

(Palooka) Ham Fisher’s famous comic strip, Palooka, featured Joe Palooka, a slow-witted, inarticulate boxer. The term had been around prior to the comic strip, at least as far back as 1923. Several of Joe Palooka’s adventures were made into films.

2. What country is directly south of Detroit?

(Canada) Almost all of Canada is located north of the Lower 48 states. However, if you drive south from Detroit, Michigan, you will get to Ontario, Canada. The Ambassador Bridge joins Detroit with Windsor, Ontario.

3. During the Presidential election of 1884, which candidate’s party attacked Grover Cleveland with the slogan, “Ma, Ma, where’s my Pa?”

(James Blaine) James Blaine of the State of Maine (previous owner of the Blaine House, now the governor’s mansion in Augusta) was the Republican candidate. Grover Cleveland remained undaunted about the taunting, and he instructed Democratic leaders to “tell the

truth.” The truth, as Cleveland admitted, was that he had had an affair with the child’s mother, Maria Halpin, and had agreed to provide financial support when she named him as the father, though he was uncertain whether the child was really his. In an attempt to

contrast Cleveland’s reputation with Blaine’s, the Democrats’ retort was “Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the State of Maine.”

4. What are the four H’s of the 4 H Club organization?

(Head, Heart, Hands, Health)

The Cooperative Extension’s 4-H youth development program, a community including 100 public universities, is the largest youth development organization in the United States. It serves almost six million youth (1.8 million urban, 1.6 million suburban, and 2.6 million rural). 

    4H Pledge

    I pledge my head to clearer thinking,

    My heart to greater loyalty,

    My hands to larger service,

    and my health to better living,

    for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

5. How many stitches does a regulation baseball have?

(108 hand-stitched, double stitches; 216 stitches would also be correct) Did you know?

  • The Boston Red Stockings introduced the first leather baseball in the 1880s.
  • About 100 baseballs are used in each Major League baseball game. Most balls are used for only three pitches, and balls are not used for more than six pitches.

6. When ranked by area, where does the United States stand among world countries? (Third) Area in total square kilometers: Russia, 17.1 million; Canada, 10 million; U.S., 9.8 million; China, 9.6 million.

If you only count land area, China is ranked third and the United States is fourth.

7. What U.S. Senator received a single red rose every day?

(Margaret Chase Smith) Smith began wearing a single red rose when she was one of Maine’s two Representatives and continued doing so as a Senator. She waged a long campaign to have the rose declared the official flower of the United States, which Congress did in 1987.

This month's trivia is by Faye Gmeiner

Passages: John Sutton and

Faith Varney

OLLI member John Sutton died on July 29. He taught classes at OLLI for several years and was a bass with the OLLI Singers. During his long and eventful life, John was an Eagle Scout, a member of the Yale varsity fencing team, a teacher and mentor to teachers, a sailor, a poet, a

singer, a woodworker, and more. His obituary was in the August 4 online issue of the Portland Press Herald:


OLLI member Faith Varney brought a vast wealth of musical study and experience to her volunteer work at OLLI as an accompanist and conductor of the OLLI Singers. After earning her BA and MA at the University of Maine, Faith taught music for 30 years in the Falmouth schools. She was inducted into the Maine Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2001. Faith was also a choir director for over 25 years at Central Square Baptist Church. Dignity Memorial published her obituary on line:


OLLI Newsletter

Are you considering submitting an article to the OLLI Newsletter? Get in contact with us!


Email ollinews@maine.edu 

to submit your piece. 


Tim Baehr, Editor

Don King, Editor Emeritus

Deadline for the next issue is September 15.

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