Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Continuing and Professional Education

OLLI-UO suspended due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

In-person OLLI-UO programming is on hiatus in both Central Oregon and Eugene/Springfield. Online learning opportunities are available. Email osher@uoregon.edu for more information. Read more...

Eugene/Springfield Announcements

Eugene/Springfield program announcements will be published on this page each month. Please read to the bottom of the page for all announcements.

President’s Note: April 2020

In recent months' messages, I have focused on an overview of the abundant program and study and discussion group offerings of OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield. This has dramatically changed with the suspension of all group activities for OLLI-UO during the current pandemic crisis. It is a period of great challenges and uncertainty. However, what has not changed is the vitality and nexus of our E/S community, which has been developed and fostered throughout the past twenty-seven years.

We remain connected and, despite the current mandated isolation, our connection will increase as OLLI-UO staff and volunteers explore the use of technology to link us in these coming weeks and perhaps months. Both the Eugene/Springfield and Central Oregon Governing Councils have recently conducted their monthly meetings though the use of video conferencing applications. The Program and Membership Committees at both OLLI-UO sites will convene in similar fashion in April. We are exploring the use of technology to permit study and discussion groups to communicate and share information so as to maintain virtual activity. It may even be possible to provide online streaming of some E/S programs. For the spring quarter (April–June), the University of Oregon will conduct all of its classes remotely, and OLLI-UO is likely to benefit from the expanding use of technology in the university environment.

It is not possible to predict the near-term future of our current situation. However, we should remain confident that our OLLI-UO community is vibrant, is connected, and will emerge stronger once we resume normal operations. I join with all members in sharing the wish for all of us to be healthy and positive.

Stephen Koller
President, Governing Council, OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield

March 27, 2020

President's Note: March 2020

The Study and Discussion Groups at OLLI-UO in E/S represent an important core offering for members in addition to the lecture and course programs. For many of our E/S members, the benefits of the depth of study, the continuity, and the camaraderie characterized by the Study and Discussion Groups are the primary reason for participating in OLLI-UO.

The study and discussion group format has been a key component of the E/S site since the very beginning of the organization, when it was founded as Learning in Retirement (LIR). In fact the original Classics/Philosophy group has met in one form or another continuously for 26 years. At present, twenty Study and Discussion Groups meet regularly to focus on language study, current events, international affairs, literature and philosophy, science and meditation. Our current groups range in size from 50+ to fewer than 10 participants, but each is valuable.

It is also worth noting that the continuous, year-round nature of this particular format is somewhat rare within the nation-wide network of OLLIs, most of which operate on a term system with lengthy breaks between terms. All of this is made possible through the commitment of group facilitators who donate their time as volunteer leaders. These individuals should be recognized and appreciated by the entire OLLI-UO in E/S community. Thanks to all of you!

Stephen Koller
Governing Council President, OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield

February 25, 2020

President's Note: February 2020

The OLLI-UO in E/S program calendar is brimming with new lectures, courses and presentations thanks to the hard work of the Program Committee. As we move into 2020, let's take a peek at what members can expect in the coming months.

In February, we will continue the "sold-out" course on women writers and begin a new lecture series that examines the U.S. Constitution. Two double-part programs in the Arts will focus on the fascinating personalities of Alexander Calder, and later in the spring, Dale Chihuly. There will also be programs examining Global Cooling by Grassland Soils, Nabakov, Pompeii and the Atomic Age, and a sobering presentation on Diplomacy and the Rwanda Genocide. An increased emphasis on offering courses has resulted in a new course on Economic Inequality and the long-awaited second module on the History of Music. Both will begin in April. There will be some local focus as well with a series of programs about bridges in Eugene, including field trips to each bridge.

Our E/S site has benefited from a multi-year relationship with both the Oregon Humanities and the UO Insight Seminar series. As a result, three Oregon Humanities Conversation Project programs are scheduled in the winter-spring, as well as multiple opening lectures preceding the Insight Seminars. Finally, the film series committee will keep us "On the Road" with more great films. It will be busier than ever at the Baker Center so come early to get your parking spot.

Stephen Koller
Governing Council President, OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield

January 22, 2020

President's Note: January 2020

We begin the new year at OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield with enthusiasm and the anticipation of great programs and activities throughout 2020. But it is also rewarding to look back and reflect on 2019 with appreciation for the accomplishments and activities that characterized the past year.

The year began with the final update to the OLLI-UO Info Hub, thereby giving members online access to program descriptions, announcements, and activity calendars. January and February were also marked by the scheduling of the Women, Myth and Culture course, one of the most popular programs ever presented in E/S. We continued our highly successful collaborations with lectures from our sibling program at Continuing and Professional Education (CPE): UO Insight Seminars and hosted events with the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project. The highlight of April was the 25th Anniversary Gala Luncheon with Dr. Patrick Phillips (now UO Provost) as the keynote speaker. More than 100 members and guests attended this event at the UO Ford Alumni Center.

The Spring and Summer included the expansion of the Meet and Greet program for all members, especially newer members who have the opportunity to expand their circle of OLLI-UO colleagues. E/S members "stepped" to a first-place award for "Best Marching" in the annual Eugene Parade. The Annual General Meeting in September resulted in the election of new Governing Council members.

Our E/S site also hosted an Oregon Lifelong Learning Summit attended by more than a dozen lifelong learning organizations in Western Oregon, as well as a public meeting of the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services. E/S Governing Council President Susan Walcott and OLLI-UO Program Director Sandra Gladney represented OLLI-UO at the annual national meeting of OLLI institutes from across the United States. The Osher Foundation continued to recognize and support OLLI-UO with the awarding of a third Capacity Grant. In addition, through the efforts of both OLLI-UO sites and CPE, work was completed on an updated OLLI-UO Financial Sustainability Plan.

And finally, what do Nietzsche, microbes, presidential investigations, climate change, work conditions in Bangladesh, and science fiction have in common? These are all topics from the more than 100 programs presented at OLLI-UO in E/S in 2019. It was a wonderful and busy year!

Stephen Koller
Governing Council President, OLLI-UO in Eugene/Springfield

December 17, 2019

An archive of previous announcements is available the archive page.