AVAILABLE ON WEBSITE--By
the time you see this or within a day or so, you
can review winter-term catalog information
online and make your tentative course selections. Printed catalogs are
scheduled to be bulk mailed on Fri, Dec 9.
THEATER OF THE FIRST
AMENDMENT--Performance tonight 8pm at Fairfax City Old Town
Hall. Free, refreshments served. Read details.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
On Fri, Dec 16, 10:00 in TA-1. All OLLI members are invited and
encourage to participate, especially since the proposed 2006 budget
will be discussed and up for approval.
Our weekly Web polls provide member
feedback to OLLI management
of the following categories of courses would you MOST like to see more
of in future OLLI catalogs?"
here in this Web poll and
then instantly see the results to date, including your vote. Later,
during the week, check back to see how the online membership has
voted. A new question will be posted each Friday, for
your voting pleasure. Note:
if the Question of the Week is not visible, which can sometimes happen
this free service we are using exceeds its bandwidth, and we ask you to
the site later to see if you can vote.
The last question (Nov. 18) was, "What is your
preference on the length of time between the three classes?"
A total of 112 members voted, approximately 16 percent of the
membership. Half of voting members voted to keep the schedule the way
it is now (9:30-11:00, 11:30-1:00, 2:00-3:30), with no change. A third
voted for only 30 minutes between all classes (i.e, the third class
run from 1:30-3:00 rather than 2:00-3:30). Sixteen percent voted for 45
minutes between each
of the three classes. (i.e., 9:30-11:00, 11:45-1:15, 2:00-3:30).
Part one of two articles from the
Membership Committee chair
By Debbie Halverson, Membership Committee Chair
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WERE THERE, I DON'T HAVE TO DESCRIBE THE
EXPERIENCE of participating in OLLI’s first Town Meeting on November
4th. Close your eyes and you can still hear the noise (“Eh, what did
you say? Can you hear me now?”) of about 100 folks packed into TA-1,
crammed around tables and wondering what was coming next. For the rest
of you, I am sure that you appreciate and respect the contributions of
your fellow OLLI-ites in this effort to benefit all of OLLI.
As Membership Committee Chair and Board
member, I thank you for being there and for your input. We offered, and
continue to offer, you our ears. To be fair, we would assume we have
yours, that you trust the men and women on this board to have the
institute’s best interests in mind as we deliberate the many matters
that come before it.
When the Membership committee proposed this
meeting, one of our purposes was to provide transparency, not that it
wasn’t always there, but that lacking a huge member turnout at regular
Board meetings and lacking everyone’s close reading of Board meeting
reports in OLLI News, members often seemed unaware of what was going on
at the top or even the middle of OLLI governance. So we said, “Let’s
give ourselves a Town Meeting hash-out of ideas for members to chew
on,” or words to that effect.
Don't let your
enthusiasm and involvement end with the town meeting. Attend Board
meetings; make your views known; use the vehicles available to give us
feedback -- We
want your input.
SEVERAL OF US WERE IMPRESSED WITH THE KINDS OF QUESTIONS that were
raised during the Q&A section of the meeting.
With such an open forum and large body of participants, one might have
expected one or two negative comments. Certainly a few comments
overheard in social room chit-chat fall into the “griping” category,
but no such comments made it to the floor of our Town Meeting.
Enthusiasm and involvement are crucial to
success in every aspect of what OLLI offers. Your various committee
chairs were listening, taking notes, and--when feasible--will act on
your suggestions. Don’t let it end here. Attend Board meetings and make
your views known; President Charles Duggan readily recognizes non-board
member comments and questions. The online suggestion box, the
suggestion boxes at Tallwood and Lake Anne, letters to the editors of
OLLI News--these vehicles are clear evidence to you that we recognize
the brains and hearts of each member as valuable, and we want your
input. I have sat at a table preparing envelopes for a mailing and, in
the conversation among the other folders and stampers, have heard some
great suggestions for bettering either our program or our procedures.
As I see it, we can all identify ourselves as
intelligent and thoughtful participants in the overall mental power
that is necessary to run a volunteer organization like OLLI. The beauty
of our membership is evidenced in its multiplicity, the diversity of
our experiential backgrounds, our coming together in this place and
time from many states, socio-ethnic backgrounds, even a variety of
native countries. Our membership is by this definition our best
So, with our Town Meeting, we accomplished our
immediate goal: we made you aware; we got you talking. Now for the
harder stuff: putting the talk into action. Some improvements are
readily accomplished, like the Publication Committee’s response to
suggestions about cost-cutting actions on certain of its publications.
Others may take more time and demand patience. Please grant us that.
And meanwhile, I do need to remind you that some of our recommendations
require warm bodies willing to do the active work of carrying out your
suggestions. Just a thought, no pressure, sign up here.
Next week: Debbie's response to
specific to the Membership Committee.
Zumbro, Board member & Travel Program
STILL SAVORING THAT THANKSGIVING TURKEY? Time to turn your attention
once again to the upcoming study tour to the country of Turkey. Shannon
Phelan, Program Officer for the Center of Global Education at GMU,
reports that spaces are filling up, and we are rapidly approaching the
official application deadline of December 16, 2005.
As previously reported, the trip is
for March 10-19, 2006. It will be led by Dr. Larry Butler, Associate
Professor at GMU and a former Fulbright scholar in Turkey. The
itinerary reflects the experience of Prof. Butler, who has lived in
Istanbul and explored Turkey during nearly 30 years of regular visits
as an art historian. Included will be a visit to the Aegean coast to
explore the magnificent Greek, Roman and early Christian antiquities of
Ephesus and Kusadasi. In preparation for the trip, our winter schedule
of classes will include a four-week course on Turkey, the last of the
four classes being taught by Dr. Butler himself.
Doesn't this sound exciting?! An application
as well as a more complete description of the trip can be found at the CGE
Website. Please direct all questions related to the trip to Shannon Phelan,
Will you be traveling as a single and looking
for a roommate? If so, please contact OLLI member Helen
Anderson, 703-323-5681. Helen has graciously volunteered to
maintain a list for that purpose. Back to top.
MEET VICE PRESIDENT PAT CARROLL
A continuation of our profiles on Board
By Elizabeth Crawford, OLLI
E-News staff writer
CARROLL CAME TO
LRI/OLLI after 27 years in the U.S. Air Force and 21 years with UniSys
Corp, eventually as Vice President of Program Management.
He was active on a number of OLLI committees
being appointed to the Board of Directors in 2003 to replace Alan
Montecino, who had become ill. Currently Pat is Vice President of the
Board and chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, where he keeps
statistics that are necessary for planning. At the Town Meeting on
November 4, he spoke of his committee's role in determining the future
of OLLI. In conjunction with Executive Director Dick Chobot, his
committee is examining options to increase OLLI's service to the
community, given our obvious space constraints.
Colleagues report that Pat is quick to
volunteer for ad hoc projects and that he always has something
interesting and positive to contribute to committee discussions.
According to Pat, the members and the varying programs each semester
are what make OLLI an exciting place to be. Back
to top. REMEMBER THAT TRIP?
Let others be 'armchair travelers' during
your Trip Tale
By Virlinda Synder, Program Committee member
RELIVE A RECENT FABULOUS TRIP BY SHARING IT, in a single session, with
other OLLI members! Designed to entice those who didn't go with you but
would have liked to, our Trip Tales have allowed many to travel
vicariously to countries around the world.
The Program Committee is looking for members
burning to share their travel stories and photos. Been on a good
Elderhostel trip lately? Tell us about it! For details and
arrangements, please call me at 703-339-5748 or send me an email. Back to top. BOARD-MEETING HIGHLIGHTS
A report to the membership about the last
By Carol Henderson, OLLI Secretary
AT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ON NOV 18, the Board, following up on
a report on OLLI travel opportunities by Susanne Zumbro, directed the
president to establish a Travel Advisory Subcommittee to the Program
Committee. The subcommittee, working with the Executive Director, will
identify and evaluate tour operators and establish travel opportunities
that it determines to be of interest to OLLI members.
In a sense-of-the-Board statement, the Board
agreed with Publications Committee chair Gordon Canyock’s
recommendations that fostering two-way communications is a valid
mission for Publications, and that committee chairs should coordinate
all decisions that potentially affect OLLI operations with the
Executive Director, who should have the responsibility for final
The balanced budget proposed for 2006
assumes new sources of income,
in revenues from services and sponsorships,
from an assumed increase of $10 in annual dues from a membership of
-- $8,000 of undesignated funds generated in prior years.
THE BOARD AUTHORIZED DISBURSEMENT OF UP TO $5,000 in Friends of OLLI
funds for acquisition of an office copier to
replace the aging GMU copier now in the office.
Don Yesukaitis’ Treasurer’s report and the
Finance Committee’s 2006 budget proposal were the main subjects of
discussion. Although OLLI has now received a letter from the Osher
Foundation confirming its intent to provide a $1 million endowment,
some issues must be clarified before the agreement can be signed by all
The $1 million endowment will be sent under
Osher Foundation procedures to the GMU Foundation and invested under
the GMU Foundation’s investment policies, but it is expected to be at
least a year and a half before any endowment income will be paid to
OLLI. Thus the endowment, while providing OLLI some investment income
in 2007 and beyond, will have no effect on the 2006 budget.
Don Yesukaitis described the proposed 2006
budget unanimously approved by the Finance Committee (Don as chair, Pat
Carroll, Pat Cosslett, Dick Chobot, Charles Duggan, Tom Hady and Joe
Torpey) as forward looking, conservative and meeting long-term needs.
To create a balanced budget, it assumes new sources of income,
including $8,000 in revenues from services and sponsorships, $7,000
from an assumed increase of $10 in annual dues from a membership of
700, and $8,000 of undesignated funds generated in prior years. It also
assumes (as previously agreed) that the Executive Director’s salary and
benefits will come from new grant or outside funding.
The budget assumption of a $10 dues increase
prompted considerable concern and discussion, both pro and con. No
action was taken on the budget proposal. It will be on the agenda for
the Board’s December 16 meeting at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are
encouraged to attend and voice their views.
OLLI members are often encouraged to attend Board meetings and
express their views. As OLLI
E-News editor, I have been attending Board meetings regularly to
stay up-to-speed with what is happening at OLLI, and I personally urge
you to consider attending these sessions so you can learn what goes on
and let your opinions be known.
If you ever
want to express a concern, question, complaint, compliment or
suggestion to the OLLI leadership, you have many ways of doing this:
member or the Executive Director. You can talk with, email or
telephone any board member or the Executive Director. A list of OLLI
officers, other board members and staff is on our Website's organization
page, and you can consult your Membership Directory for email
addresses and phone numbers not listed on that Web page.
entire Board of directors. Send your email to the OLLI office, copy
to the Executive
Director, and specifically request that your message be forwarded
to the email group of all Board members.
box. You may use the online
suggestion box or the suggestion box in the social room at
Tallwood. You do not need to include your name unless you want an
answer, in which case you need to provide your name and phone number or
a letter to
the editor. If you want your item to be published in OLLI E-News, email one of the
Zumbro or Gordon
Canyock) or use the suggestion box, making sure you say that your
submission is a letter to the editor.
You can help OLLI and GMU by participating
in a focus group
By Dr. Richard Chobot, Executive Director
I AM LOOKING FOR UP TO 30 OLLI MEMBERS to participate in one of three
focus groups on the subject of the planned University-Based Retirement
Community ("UBRC"). The focus groups will be held at Tallwood in TA-1
on Monday, Dec 12 (1:00-2:30), Tuesday, Dec 13 (1:00-2:30) and
Thursday, Dec 15 (10:00-11:30).
As you may be aware, the university is
considering the development of a UBRC. OLLI members are representative
of the population that such a facility might serve. It also has been
discussed that OLLI will move to this facility, when built. Tom
Hennessey, the chief of staff to President Merten, is overseeing the
UBRC initiative. In a recent meeting, I offered to conduct three focus
groups at OLLI relating to the UBRC.
A focus group is a 90-minute session,
involving six to 10 participants. A number of questions are posed to
the group and initially responded to by each individual, followed by
additional dialogue as time permits. The goal is not consensus.
Anonymity of individual participants is protected in any reporting of
results. Anyone interested in learning how a focus group works can go this Website
for a brief description of the process.
If you are interested in participating in one
of the groups, please email me.
Specify the date(s) and time(s) you can attend. I will confirm upon
receipt of your email until I have the 30 participants. In recognition
of participants’ service, the “good” cookies will be served. Thank you
in advance for your help. Back to top.
EVENTS AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
Something for everyone at nearby GMU
Bohall, OLLI Catalog editor
For tickets, call
888-945-2468 or visit the Center
for the Arts Box Office, Tue–Sat,
A forum for members to voice their views
on OLLI matters
EDITORIAL STAFF WILL
PUBLISH your brief letters commenting on OLLI activities and will try
to include follow-up information from the relevant committee or staff
member, in the same or a subsequent issue. Submit your letters via
email to Rod
Zumbro, OLLI E-News editor or to me, or
submit them (please indicate that it is a 'letter to the editor') via
suggestion box or the suggestion box in the Tallwood Social Room. -- Gordon
Canyock, OLLI News editor
2006 budget is up for review and approval on Dec 16
It's that time of year again! It's time for the OLLI Board to review
and approve the OLLI operating budget for the coming year. The proposed
2006 budget, submitted to the Board at its November 18th meeting,
includes several new line items, an increase in expenditures in a
number of areas, and a $10/per person dues increase.
Should you have any comments or concerns in
relation to the budget, I urge you to share them with any Board member,
including myself. Should you want to see a detailed copy of the
budget, it is my understanding that it is available for review by any
OLLI member by means of a request to our Executive Director. The final
budget will be discussed and passed at the December 16th Board meeting,
take place at 10:00 at Tallwood. You are cordially invited and
encouraged to attend that meeting. We want to hear from YOU!
Zumbro, OLLI Board member, phone 703-569-2750
Don't tell us only
about musical and theatrical events
I DO think it would be nice if OLLI
E-News didn't concentrate only on musical and theatrical events
but on speakers and special events, too. When I was getting my
doctorate there, I heard some great speakers. When a university has
Nobel winners and becomes well known across the nation, good speakers
will come, and OLLI members should receive info on this. I remember a
couple of speakers--Betty Friedan and a civil rights leader--who were
-- Carlyn Elder, OLLI member Response
from the editors--
Thank you for the excellent suggestion, Carlyn. We will investigate
expanding our coverage of GMU activities of possible interest to our
membership and are looking for a volunteer to work on it.
emailed to OLLI
members on Fridays when sufficient content is available. Each issue
contains new content (during class terms, the same content will appear
the following week in the printed OLLI
distributed in classrooms). We encourage OLLI members and
staff employees to submit news items and write articles. Comments,
suggestions or complaints? Please contact the OLLI E-News editor or the
Publications Committee chair, Gordon
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