Welcoming Pro Football Hall of Fame Writer Ray Didinger - OLLI at University of Delaware
Geriatric Monologues - OLLI at Coastal Carolina University
Voices from the Holocaust - OLLI at California State University, Channel Islands
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Greetings from the NRC    Sep 2019 15
Writing this opening letter in late August, I'm already reflecting on an outstanding summer that included a number of visits to Osher Institutes.  Meeting members, volunteer leaders, and staff who are so engaged and dedicated to their local OLLIs has been such a privilege. I've heard one sentiment expressed repeatedly: "If I hadn't found OLLI and this community of people, I don't know what I would have done". That sentiment comes from longtime members and new ones. It comes from OLLI staff and certainly from volunteer leaders and instructors, too. It is easy for me to relate to each of these folks.
Again this month, we feature a fascinating variety of short articles that prove how unique and creative our Institutes can be. From a nationally known sports writer teaching us about the history of the NFL in Delaware, to a late-in-life playwright's success in South Carolina, and, in California, to three moving personal accounts of holocaust survival - OLLIs love to explore history in its many forms. In fact, our National OLLI Membership surveys show that as a topic, history is at the top of our collective interests. It makes sense. We all have 50+ years of personal history to relate to, along with a developing interest in far more ancient versions of history as we've become seasoned.
We hope you enjoy these articles along with the glorious days of a new season of OLLI.
Steve Thaxton, Executive Director

Although the calendar said it was March, it felt and looked more like Super Bowl Sunday at the OLLI at University of Delaware's Arsht Hall for the opening session of the semester's Friday Lecture Series.

With many of the 150 or so enthusiastic sports fans in attendance outfitted in Philadelphia Eagles gear, Pro Football Hall of Fame sportswriter Ray Didinger presented, "The NFL at 100: How Football Became America's Game" and explained why football is always in season.

The author of 11 books, most recently The Eagles Encyclopedia: Champions Edition, took the audience on a journey from the game's humble beginnings, when the NFL was founded as the American Professional Football Association in 1920, to its stronghold as the country's most popular sport.

"The key to everything, really, was television," said Didinger. "Television really defined America in the 1950s. Families started eating dinner together in front of the television. Walt Disney, Davy Crockett and Ed Sullivan were in every living room. Television was the perfect vehicle for football. All [NFL commissioner] Bert Bell had to do was bring them together, which he did. People watched and interest grew."

Additionally, he thinks what we admire most about football is the teamwork and called it the ultimate team sport. "Nothing is accomplished on a football field by a single individual," said Didinger. "All 11 men have to work together or else they won't succeed. That is what we have to do in our own lives, and as society becomes more divided, working together becomes more challenging. Football reminds us that it can still be done."

Submitted by: Jennifer Merrill, Manager, OLLI at the University of Delaware

OLLI at Coastal Carolina University
Geriatric Monologues
A character in Geriatric Monologues reflecting on life says, "How fast it goes now. Twice the speed of light. Hard not to fall off."
Jim R. Rogers, longtime OLLI at Coastal Carolina University member, wrote his first play at age 82. Following a 40-year career in television production, Jim reinvented himself as a nationally certified parenting and family life educator. He wrote his first book of poetry, Starts and Stops along the Way: Sharing Some Stuff from the Road Most Traveled, at age 77, and then turned the poems into monologues that became a play.
It began as a two-act play with more than 600 attending its world-premiere in 2016 at a South Carolina community theater. When the words moved from the page to the stage, something else appeared. The players moved from uncomfortable laughter and a resistance to calling themselves "old" to a place of empowerment and pride. Then the audience revealed the power of talking about a subject too often considered taboo in our culture with comments like:
"I felt like the writer had a hidden camera in my house."
"Not only do I identify with what they are saying on the stage, but now I understand my 93-year-old mother in a different way. I feel badly for my impatience with her."
In 2017 Jim converted it to a one-act play for a fundraiser for OLLI at Coastal Carolina University - with OLLI members playing the seven messenger/actors, sharing the feelings of growing old with the life experiences that take us to highs and lows along the aging journey. Geriatric Monologues is using the power of art to change the conversation about aging and ageism. And it's engaging the OLLI community and members in that conversation personally.
For more information on this play contact : Carol Osborne, Director, OLLI at Coastal Carolina University

OLLI at California State University, Channel Islands
Voices from the Holocaust
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University Channel Islands (CI) presented an unforgettable symposium of personal stories from the Holocaust on June 6, 2019. Voices of the Holocaust included three survivors of the Nazi brutality, two of whom are OLLI at CI members. More than 140 OLLI members and friends attended, and many were visibly moved as the women shared vivid details of their imprisonment.
Lee Edwards described how her family found themselves in the grip of the Nazis. Her brother was then 20 years old and survived eight years in the Buchenwald concentration camp. Lee's father was arrested and sent to the same concentration camp as her brother. In 1939, 15-year-old Lee was sent to Great Britain to escape persecution. Her father and mother died in the Nazi death camps while she was in England. Lee didn't know her parents were dead until she returned to Germany after the war. In spite of her terrifying experiences, Lee showed her positive attitude and great sense of humor, attributes that have helped her survive for 96 years.
Fran Elson's story began in Poland, where her father was sent to the Warsaw ghetto. Although he escaped to Russia, he was eventually arrested and sent to a Siberian prison camp. From there, he was sent to a Displaced Persons Camp in Kazakhstan. Fran's mother spent time in a relocation camp, before being evacuated to the same Displaced Persons Camp in Kazakhstan, where she met Fran's father. They were married and Fran was born in the camp. As an artist, Fran shares the legacy of her family's plight and expresses the fragility of their freedoms through fused glass. Her work is displayed here.  
Celina Biniaz was inspired to share her story when she read about Thomas Keneally's novel, Schindler's List. As the youngest girl on Schindler's list, Celina's story begins while she was in the third grade. The Krakow's Jews had been relocated to a labor camp. Celina and her parents were put at a factory sewing uniforms. In 1944, the Germans ordered all the Krakow factories closed, Celina and her mother were shipped to Auschwitz for several weeks until they were sent to Schindler's factory in Czechoslovakia. 
A video of Celina's presentation from Voices of the Holocaust is available on YouTube. The hope is that the personal stories of Lee, Fran, and Celina are shared with younger people everywhere so they can learn from those who lived the horrors of prejudice.  
Submitted by : Jerome Clifford, Member, OLLI at California State University Channel Islands

Osher NRC 2019 Webinar Series
Mark your calendar for the next webinar on September 25, 2019 beginning at 1pm Eastern/noon Central/11am Mountain/10am Pacific/9am in Alaska and 8am in Hawaii. Register for the webinar here.

Under Construction: Starting a Lifelong Learning Institute
In conjunction with our partners at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), the NRC is participating in this co-hosted webinar. Have you ever wondered what it takes to launch a Lifelong Learning Institute? What steps you would need to take to get a LLI up and running? In this webinar, presenters will review how to turn the idea of starting an LLI into a reality. Learn the grassroots methods for founding a successful LLI. Learn the steps involved in finances, curriculum, committees, and other areas.
Kali Lightfoot , a national expert on education for older adults. Kali previously held positions as an executive at Road Scholar, a developer and coordinator of the Maine Senior College Network, and as the founding Executive Director of the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, among many others.
Peter Spiers , Senior Vice President of Strategic Outreach at Road Scholar. Among the numerous facets of Road Scholar, they provide resources for lifelong learning institutes including institute creation.
Steve Thaxton , Executive Director for the National Resource Center for Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

If you have interest in being a presenter or have ideas for future webinars, please contact Kevin Connaughton (kevin.connaughton@northwestern.edu ). 

Spaces and Places of OLLI SpacesAndPlaces
Berkshire Community College
Similar to many Osher Institutes, OLLI at Berkshire Community College (BCC) holds courses and events throughout their commu nity. There are five primary towns in the beautiful western 
Massachusetts Berkshire Mountains - colloquially known as "the Berkshires' - that OLLI serves. Courses are presented at various arts and cultural venues, retire m ent communities, other partner colleges, and, on the modern, countryside BC C Campus in Pittsfield, MA. OLLI Staff offices are provided within the administration building at BCC, and the college provides multiple classrooms and large meeting spaces for the Institute throughout campus as needed. Meeting sp aces range from well-equipped 30-40 person classrooms to large-scale auditorium spaces with up to 400 seats as in the Koussevitzky Arts Center Auditori um, where OLLI recently held a full  day conference
OLLI members participating in a breakout session during BCC's annual " OLLI University Day"
focused on  "Li ving  Longer, Living Better: Changing the  Culture of Aging" for 180+ members and  prospective memb ers. Campus facilities such as the large cafeteria, campus library, and parking are made available for OLLI use but are carefully coordinated with BCC Facilities Management to manage all campus needs.
Audience at the 2019 Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture, held at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center 

OLLI at BCC originated in 1994 as the Berkshire Institute of Lif elong Learning  (BILL), an independent non-profit organization.  BILL en joyed multiple college and university support throughout the Berkshires with  par tners at BCC, Williams College, Bard College at Simons Rock, and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The group transitioned to become a progra of BCC and joined  the Osher Network in 2007. OLLI at BCC is celebrating their 25 th Anniversary this year with multiple events and commemorations.

Membership continues to grow in this attractive destination for retirement, about two hours from both metro NYC and Boston. New year-around retirees often come to the Berk  shires after establishing weekend homes during their career years. They join OLLI and are active with the vast variety of arts and cultural organizations in the area, including "Tanglewood", the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937.  Executive Director of OLLI at BCC, Megan Whilden says, "The wealth of knowledge and experience that many of our members bring from their professional lives in New York City, Boston, and elsewhere really enriches our OLLI."

More than 100 courses and events are offered to the 1,200 current members annually.

Want to see your own distinctive "Space or Place" in this newsletter? Please send it to oshernrc@northwestern.edu.

An Advice Column for Osher Institute Staff and Volunteers
dearolliDear Olli
Dear Olli,
I am an OLLI staff member looking for some advice on a small but reoccurring issue. In some of our classes (typically the full classes!), we have members sneak in and wind up taking seats from those that registered! What do other OLLIs do to handle these pesky poachers?
~OLLI Coordinator

Dear OLLI Coordinator,
You are not alone, many OLLIs have these pesky class poachers and have come up with different methods to address this inconvenience. The most common method is to utilize class rosters with a volunteer "class ambassador" at the door. The class ambassador can take attendance before allowing admittance to the class. Another method, for smaller classes, is to have the instructor take traditional attendance, complete with the calling out of "here" or "present". Others methods include sign-in sheets or check-in at the front desk, or, even the more advanced method of key card entry to the classroom. Overall, your options are numerous but the results are the same, a reduction (or elimination!) of those few sneaky members that try to join classes they are not registered for.

Have a question for Olli? Please send it in care of Kevin Connaughton (kevin.connaughton@northwestern.edu). 

Educational Travel Ideas from the OLLI Network
The OLLI Traveler OlliTraveler
OLLI at Granite State College
Canyon County Featuring Arizona & Utah
Behold the breathtaking views of the vast Grand Canyon. Explore the most amazing spires of Bryce Canyon National Park. Marvel at the red and white sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park. Enjoy time in magical Sedona and a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon. Experience a breakfast cruise along lovely Lake Powell. Travel through the territory of the Navajo nation and arrive in Monument Valley. Trade nature's beauty for the lights of the Vegas strip on your last tour day. This trip is open to members of all OLLIs as well as their adult friends and family members. Learn more about this 8- day trip that includes three US National Parks.
Dates: April 23-30, 2020

OLLI at Granite State- Spain and Portugal in Depth
Travel to Spain, a country that conjures images of w hitewashed villages, bullrings, the fiery flamenco and the strum of the guitar. T hen visit Portugal, which brings to mind bold explorers, colorful  ceramics and cl ose ties to the sea. Included are 10 guided tours and  2 exclusive discovery series events. This 15-day trip  can be extended with visit to Barcelona and/or five nights in Madeira, Portugal.  Learn More about this trip to Spain a nd Portugal  
Dates : October 14-28 2020.

OLLI at Kennesaw State University
Blue Ridge
Students will travel to Blue Ridge, Georgia. The course price includes bus transportation from the KSU Center to Blue Ridge, train tickets for a 4 hour train excursion through the Blue Ridge mountains and a tour and wine tasting at a local winery. We will also visit Mercier Orchids and have the opportunity to purchase apples and seasonal goodies. Learn more about this trip to Blue Ridge. 
Date: October 24, 2019

OLLI at University of North Texas
Sunny Portugal
Highlights include the Portuguese Riviera, Lisbon, Obidos, Sintra, Arraiolos, Evora (the museum city of Portugal), Alentejo, Lagos, and three nights on the sunny coast of Algarve. Enjoy a winery visit, five UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a cork factory tour.  Learn more about this trip to Portugal .
Date: August 25 - September 3, 2020

Quick Tips for Helping Operate an Osher Institute
didyouknowQuick Tip - Business Card Sized Brochures

Is your Institute looking for a new idea to get the word out about OLLI? This is a great example of a business card sized brochure from the OLLI at Louisiana State University. The size makes it easy for members to carry around in their purse or wallet to hand out to friends when they're talking about their wonderful OLLI opportunities.

  Career Openings in the OLLI Network
jobboardJob Board
Program Coordinator - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Director, Wonderlust/Osher Lifelong Learning Program
OLLI Staff Assistant

Program  Assistant (University Service Program Associate)

Program Coordinator (Outreach Specialist)

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