Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Continuing and Professional Education

Eugene/Springfield Announcements

July/August 2018

To every season turn, turn—and now summer sets in with its special sunny, dry delights for Willamette Valley dwellers. OLLI activities slow down, as other parts of our lives come on-stage: grandchildren are born (I will have returned from Sweden to see first grandson by the time this is printed), relatives graduate from schools, vacation trips are under way, and life cycles in its progression. My final retired-at-last paycheck arrives mid-summer, and new retirees will be looking for organizations like OLLI to continue their growth. To continue our own growth as an organization also means reaching out to possible new members—neighbors, friendly and interesting folk at other organizations or activities—and keeping the life-blood of participation and donation flowing. Geographic cycles are often interesting. For me, work begins this summer on a new contract for a co-authored book on homegrown tea, to be written with a longtime friend in North Carolina. She is an Oregon native, graduate of two Oregon colleges, married to a Camellia grower in NC. We made pilgrimages to China’s national tea museum at different times, and met through a California tea aficionado visiting his NC roots. We also helped found the U.S. League of Tea in Atlanta, where I used to work at Georgia State University. And the editor of this Newsletter is a friend of my fifth grade best friend in California, after that friend moved to Texas. We’re still trying to get her to visit Eugene to get together—who knows what encircling webs time weaves!

And the seasons continue to turn. We’ve had a 25th Anniversary kick-off celebration in the spring and annual picnic mid-summer. The Annual Meeting will welcome us back on September 24th. The Holiday Party and an anthology of creativity round out the year in December.

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President

President's Note

Halfway month in the calendar year, last month in the OLLI-UO fiscal year, beginning of the sunny and dry time in the Willamette Valley, summer solstice approaching—June is quite a marker! We might also note that while our programming slows down a bit in July and August, with schools out and some of our members taking a bit of vacation while the sun shines, our new Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are gearing up as the E/S site branches out to a new field of member participation.

There are also many special programs to look forward to in the fall, including new multi-session courses and public lectures Exciting programs and building membership are the core of OLLI-UO sustainability; this is a volunteer organization, so keep informed about events, participate as much as you like, and invite as many as you wish to join in and take advantage of the "Share the Love" free month of exploring our offerings. As "My OLLI Story" video participants pointed out, this is a great place to make new friends, get new ideas, and keep growing. Suggestions are always welcome for speakers as well—so please use the suggestion box to pass along your ideas.

Hope you are enjoying the visibility of our member artwork through the rotating exhibits in the Baker Downtown Center classrooms and hallways. If this inspires yourcreativity, consider contributing something to the member anthology (see below). The best way to bring in new members is to pass the word about what an exciting place OLLI-UO is, so enjoy the weather, and keep growing. We like to plant new ideas as well as gardens

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President

E/S Governing Council is Looking for Nominees

Do you have ideas about how OLLI-UO could do better at fulfilling our educational and community needs? Might you have a particular interest or area of expertise such as management, marketing, program development, membership activity planning, budgeting, researching, volunteer coordination?

The twelve member Governing Council establishes our site's committees, sets program priorities, policies, and budgets consistent with UO rules and our own OLLI-UO Bylaws. Council members are elected to two-year terms by the general membership. Five of the current council seats will open this fall and must be filled by election at the Annual General Meeting in September.

We encourage you to nominate yourself or another member by contacting any of the following four members of the 2018 Council Nominating Committee: Randall Donohue (Chair),Linda Jensen, David Kolb, Anne Niemiec.

Attention All Creative OLLI-UO Members

In honor of our 25th anniversary, OLLI-UO will be publishing an anthology to showcase its membership's widely diverse talent and creativity, including work by writers, poets, artists and photographers. All members are invited to become a part of this anthology, and we look forward to working with you.

Emails will be going out shortly with more information, including a list of submission guidelines. In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions, please email Anthology Editor Livvie Taylor-Young.

Mark Your Calendars for Shakespeare Festival

Plans are in the works for an OLLI-UO trip to Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival September 18-19. We have booked tickets for three plays, Othello, Oklahoma, and Sense and Sensibility. We will charter a bus and stay overnight at the Stratford Inn, within walking distance of theaters and restaurants.

If you would like to be on the planning committee, please contact Todd Gauthier at osher@uoregon.edu or Flo Alvergue. Stay tuned for more details and registration information.

The OLLI-UO Council's Marketing and Communications Team Wants Your Help

Share your talents and enthusiasm for OLLI-UO by joining the Marketing and Communications Team. We're looking for members with experience in marketing, advertising, publicity, print and social media, client relations, and public speaking to help promote and publicize the value of OLLI-UO membership. Our priorities are raising the profile of OLLI-UO within the Eugene and Springfield communities and expanding and strengthening our relationships with the University of Oregon. There are opportunities for specific, short-term tasks as well as on-going membership on the team with responsibilities for strategic planning, monitoring, and liaison with OLLI leadership.

Become a part of promoting the value of OLLI-UO membership. We have some exciting plans, but we need your help to make them happen. Contact John Hannah for further information.

President's Note

More than flowers are popping up all over this month–that would be OLLI programs!

The depth and breadth of our programs are truly amazing. I always enjoy stepping into the Baker Downtown Center building and hearing the happy buzzing in the hallways of our members engaged in conversations about the talk or activity they just came from, or the one they’re anticipating joining. And not just in English – there are French, Spanish and Italian groups; writers and readers of short stories, classic books, plays, historical novels and nonfiction, memoirs and anthology contributors. Discussion groups finding “solutions” to the world’s problems, “thinking allowed” about all types of topics, including “news and views,” with two of the most highly attended ranging from Science to International Relations featuring an impressive array of foreign experts beamed in from around the world via distance technology.

No “down time” either–lunch programs include opera, telling “your story,” “women and mythology,” or “meditation and mindfulness.” Afternoon special speaker range from forest ecology to healthcare. And if you want fresh air, there’s occasional outings like the “Delta Ponds” tour and the newly launched “Shared Interest Groups” addressing activities members want to join together to do, from hikes and bikes to pickleball or bridge. No rest for the weary, at night there is “Dining with Friends”–and that’s just a taste of one month’s offerings. What’s not to like! Or suggest something you want to hear about or offer in the suggestion box. Invite a friend to check out OLLI to understand why you’re just too busy anymore.

A special mention and thanks to all in this volunteer organization making this happen. Myriad meetings, hours of planning and behind the scenes service go into setting up and supporting all these events. May’s joint leadership meeting in Bend means a trek over the mountains to our sibling site, another buzzing hive of activity. See you around!

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President

President's Note

Monday, April 23 is OLLI-UO's twenty-fifth anniversary date. On the “birthdate” of UO’s lifelong learning program (then known as "Learning in Retirement") The New York Times front page featured the dedication of the new Holocaust museum, the State Department advocated moves against the anti-Bosnian Serbs, and BankAmerica moved into the World Trade Center. Yes, that long ago.

We are celebrating on April 23 with a "Kick-Off Party"—so come join in the fun! The event includes a short presentation on "Bob Dylan and the Nobel Prize for Literature" by Jim Earl (Insight Seminar founder and new OLLI-UO faculty liaison), and a "sneak preview" of the "My OLLI Story" video. Look for other special events and projects throughout the anniversary year.

The "Day of Discovery" was a great success with around 100 attendees, so look for and warmly welcome a number of new members trying out Learning Circles, lectures, and other OLLI activities that we enjoy.

Other activities in the works for this Silver Anniversary year include OLLI-UO screen ads in the Bijou theatre, new all-purpose marketing postcard, OLLI material in UO employee retirement packets, and an OLLI booth at the UO Retirement Expo on April 10, a cost-saving format for the monthly newsletter, and guest speakers from the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project. Teams from the Eugene/Springfield and Central Oregon Governing Councils are also working on a Fiscal Sustainability Plan with Academic Extension—more on that later. Lots to celebrate, so share the good news of how to stay active and alert into the future.

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President

President's Note

April 2018 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of our lifelong learning program’s first public event. The ball began rolling a few months earlier when UO President Myles Brand approved a proposal by the Director of Continuing Education, Curt Lind, for a self-supporting, non-credit learning program for older adults. With this endorsement, program coordinator Corinne Hunt gathered a committee of townspeople and retired university faculty and administrators to develop the program. Earl Hain, introduced the program concept at the April event. He then served as chair of a founding committee that developed the initial programming and organizational structure of Learning in Retirement, "a learning community of people with a genuine interest in continuing to learn." Initial programs, offered June-October, 1993 included diverse topics: how to watch sports, gothic cathedrals, and the history of the Oregon Trail. Some of the first discussion and study groups—Thinking Allowed and Classics/Philosophy— were also introduced in those first months.

An ad hoc planning committee is now busy hatching ideas for our silver anniversary year. Your suggestions and assistance are hereby solicited. A theme of “Celebrating 25 Years of Lifelong Learning: Looking Back, Moving Forward” is proposed, for a year of special activities including a kick-off event this spring, special programming, and a culminating celebration at year-end are envisioned. Which part would you like to be involved with in particular? Notices and newsletter articles will keep members informed of plans along the celebration trail—join in the journey, send an email to volunteer, and remember to send your "OLLI-UO Story" to olli.uostory@gmail.com

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President

Share the Love

The Membership Committee of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute-University of Oregon Eugene/Springfield is pleased to announce that starting March 1, the "Share the Love" initiative will offer interested community members a one-month pass to attend special presentations, Learning Circle classes, and other OLLI-UO activities. Participants will also receive a parking pass for the month. "Share the Love" referral cards, OLLI-UO brochures and business cards, available at the OLLI-UO office, can be used to share key information about our program. Members also may obtain updated passes at the office to distribute to interested community members.

The office will keep track of referrals and each month the OLLI-UO members with the most referrals will be recognized by the Membership Committee and in the Oregon Sage. Let your friends and acquaintances know that they can experience OLLI-UO for a full month, free, through the “Share the Love” program.

President's Note

Unless one is a fan of winter sports, February is probably not your favorite month—indeed one could be grateful that it is technically the shortest. Undeterred by challenging weather outside, intrepid OLLI members have a full plate of exciting events to participate in this season, including new lecture and film series and DVD discussion groups. Our most important new-member attraction event is the upcoming Day of Discovery where we showcase some of our “best foot forward” presentations. As (well?) seasoned members you can invite others to, as the Southern Oregon OLLI puts it, "learn more and age less, together” by “coming for the classes, staying for the connections." What I’m calling an "M&M" strategy emphasizing membership and marketing (remember those colored candies with the chocolate center?) is a major route to financial solvency.

As we inch toward Spring we can also anticipate a seasonal warming of activities and opinions (2018 being an election year). OLLI should be a model of civilized discourse, as in our own Jack Meacham’s recently published book on Talking Sense About Politics. Wintering in quarters indoors, I enjoyed reading that book and another OLLI-member-authored book by short story and mystery/detective writer Martha Sergent. Any other recently (last several years) published OLLI authors out there who would like to tell us about your oeuvre? Many members participate in several different OLLI writing classes, so please let us know when your work debuts! The OLLI National Resource Center newsletter notes such accomplishments; so, let’s show them what a small-medium sized university town in western Oregon can produce!

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President

OLLI-UO Eugene/Springfield looking for volunteers, coordinator

You have an opportunity to enhance your life through service to our community. We need enthusiastic, willing volunteers to give a little time to help sustain Osher Lifelong Learning Institute–University of Oregon Eugene/Springfield.

Volunteers for office and clerical support can help with our work to increase membership, a critical focus of our effort to become self-sustaining. One job might include assembling membership renewal reminders, which would entail two work sessions per month. Volunteers also might help greet and assist members on high volume days or prepare reference copies for study groups or film or lecture series.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
—Winston Churchill

Moderately tech-minded volunteers are needed to operate equipment during lectures and study group presentations and/or act as point person for requesting staff support when needed. Volunteers also could help with member communications by working with program staff and our newsletter editor to prepare weekly e-minders (from a template) or special announcements (eblasts).

These are a sampling of some immediate needs, but OLLI-UO could use your help and talent in many other ways.

We will also need a committed member to serve as "Volunteer Coordinator," matching member volunteers with operational needs. If this interests you, please contact Randall Donohue for details.

Share Your OLLI-UO Story With Potential Members

The Membership Committee and Marketing Communications Team want to hear your OLLI-UO story. Tentatively titled "My OLLI Story" we are looking to attract new members by compiling our stories to use in promotional and outreach material including videos and brochures to find more great members like you.

Please answer the following questions:

  • How did you first hear about OLLI-UO and why did you join?
  • What do you value most about being a member?
  • What would you say to others to encourage them to join OLLI-UO?

Send story by email to olli.uostory@gmail.com or type or write your story and bring it to OLLI-UO when you next come to the Baker Center. We would greatly appreciate it if you can take a few minutes today to share your experiences. Also, be sure to let us know if you would be interested in sharing your OLLI-UO story in an actual video interview. Your story will be greatly appreciated.

Editor's Note

Deadline for submissions for the March issue of Oregon Sage is February 1. Longer descriptions of classes and events (as opposed to short schedule items) should be submitted in a .doc or .docx format as an attachment to your email. All submissions should be emailed to osher@uoregon.edu and to the editor at enchantedbyways@gmail.com. Thank you.

President's Note

Named for the double-headed Roman deity Janus, the deity representing "beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings", this month is a great time to assess where we and OLLI-UO have been and what we can aspire to accomplish in the future.

The Marketing and Communications team is soliciting member contributions for an advertising video tentatively titled "My OLLI Story." This project is designed to attract new members by letting people know about an organization that is meaningful to us—and growing a membership base crucial to our future sustainability.

Looking backward we can reflect on all the activities that have enriched our lives by "stimulating the little gray cells": a field trip, discussion in learning circles, book/writing participation, a fascinating lecture, or socializing over a meal. Looking forward, we can enrich such experiences with new faces to share their thoughts and build participation in new groups of shared learning.

Remember to contribute your thoughts in the Program box on the refreshment table, and tell people you know about OLLI-UO. A personal reference is the top reason for membership growth. Invite someone to come with you to a presentation, and consider the new one-month guest trial membership. We are time travelers with programs ranging from pre-history to the expanding universe, expanding our minds and sharing the journey.

Susan Walcott, Eugene/Springfield Council President