Phone:(703) 503-3384


Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
Photo courtesy Eleanor Pascale.
988 Geology Hike in Great Falls Park, May 3

May 16, 2014

Editor of the Week:  Leslie Vandivere
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

We will be taking a break until June 13. Go to the What's New page of the OLLI website (link above) to keep up with new activities.

Although the semester is over, Tai Chi Club continues to meet every Saturday morning at 10:30 in TA3.  All OLLI members are welcome.If you have questions, you may contact Susanne Zumbro: 703-569-2750 or


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OLLI Collaborations and Beyond

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

One of the interesting sessions I attended during the 2014 OLLI National Conference in April was a talk on OLLI collaborative exchanges. Dr. Christine Catanzarita of the University of Illinois explains, “. . . Collaboration with host universities not only benefits OLLI members who enjoy volunteer service in a wide variety of programs and enrich their own scholarly research, it also provides numerous benefits for the host university and other partners through the wealth of skills, knowledge, and life experience that OLLI members can share with students, faculty and researchers—and through the fulfillment of the university’s strategic goals.”

Christine and colleagues from CSU Fullerton gave many examples of how their OLLIs have created platforms for integrating OLLI activities into academic and outreach missions of the university through creative collaborations and productive partnerships. Visit here to see some inspiring examples that we at OLLI-Mason may be interested to implement into our offerings: and

This year, George Mason University published the 2014-2024 strategic plan, which calls out the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at GMU in Goal #6 Community Building. See excerpt below:

Community Builder

Contribute to the cultural vitality of our community through regional partnerships and commitments to the arts, athletics, and community engagement.

  • Achieve Carnegie Community Engagement classification.
  • Partner with regional constituencies to plan future developments that enrich our communities.
  • Strengthen our role as a meeting point for the enjoyment and engagement of art and athletics.
  • Be the region’s hub for lifelong learning.
Why . . .

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and similar initiatives in Arlington and elsewhere extend the university’s learning mission to seniors who are interested in maintaining an active intellectual life. Over the next decade, these efforts will be strengthened and further developed as we continue to work to make Northern Virginia one of the best places in America to live.

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NOVA and Mason Alums at OLLI

By Jennifer Disano, Executive Director, and
Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate

Calling all OLLI members who attended the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and went on to graduate from Mason—OLLI-Mason would like to highlight you as part of a promotion to celebrate the partnership of OLLI/Mason/NOVA and the new shared space at the Signal Hill Location in Loudoun.

As you should know by now, George Mason University-Loudoun is moving to a new site adjacent to the NOVA campus in Sterling (opening fall 2014). The goal of the move is to foment new synergies between the two campuses, including increased transfer students from NOVA to GMU and enriched program offerings, as well as to create more visibility for GMU as the new site is right off Route 7.

According to a recent Mason press release, “Mason and NOVA have long had a close working relationship. Mason offers guaranteed admission to NOVA graduates who meet certain basic requirements. George Mason is the top choice for NOVA students who transfer to a four-year college.”

OLLI will be part of this exciting move and is participating in a series of promotional activities to showcase this exciting partnership. One effort is to create a series of photograph panels in the main building, which will feature the types of students served through the merger: a NOVA student, a GMU student, a graduate student and, ideally, an OLLI student. Wouldn’t it be great if we could highlight an OLLI member who has attended both Mason and NOVA?

If you fit this profile and do not mind the limelight, please contact the OLLI office. We would love to interview you, take some pictures and make you into our OLLI poster representative!

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Russia Discussion Club Forming at Tallwood

by Gordon Canyock, Club Coordinator

I am organizing a discussion club to meet weekly (at least initially) in order to discuss developments related to Russia in the news this summer. Participants would be expected to have read their favorite newspaper, e.g., the Washington Post, NY Times, Washington Times, or WSJ. I would provide a list of other sources and specific articles. Anyone deciding to come to the club would glance through whichever sources they wanted. I would not prepare mini-lectures or PowerPoint slides as I did for the Russia Study Group, but will simply moderate the discussion.
As a club, attendance would vary every week and so will specific topics of discussion, since that will depend on who shows up, what they have read, and what Putin has been up to the previous week.
Our first meeting will be held in TA-1 from 12 to 1 on Monday, May 19, with subsequent meetings starting June 2 at noon, since May 26 is a holiday. If you are interested in participating, please let me know by email or simply show up.

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IT Training at Mason

by Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

Ever wanted to learn how to use PowerPoint, Excel, Illustrator, or HTML?

Well, you can access these classes and more for FREE at the GMU IT Training Center. Visit to sign up for a workshop today! Or Call, MS. Marlys Shoup at  (703) 993-3371 and she will be happy to sign you up.

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Social Security Planning Workshop

by Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate/Registrar

If you are like most people, you are looking for as many ways as possible to maximize your retirement money. Financial Consultant J. Michael May will provide some options to you in his upcoming workshop, Savvy Social Security Planning: What Baby Boomers Need to Know to Maximize Retirement Income.
Mr. May is offering this workshop to inform OLLI members about the important decisions you confront when applying for Social Security and the effects they will have on the total amount of benefits you will receive over your lifetime. He will teach you important rules that will help you strategize on the best way to collect your retirement benefits, based on your individual situation.
The topics covered include
  • Five factors to consider when deciding to apply for benefits.
  • When it makes sense to delay benefits—and when it does not.
  • Why you should always check your earnings record for accuracy.
  • How to estimate your benefits.
  • Two innovative strategies for coordinating benefits with your spouse.
  • How to minimize taxes on Social Security benefits.
  • How to coordinate Social Security with your other forms of retirement income.
The one-session workshop is being held on Saturday, June 28, from 10–12 noon at Tallwood. It is open to OLLI members, their relatives, and friends as a service to help folks optimize their Social Security benefits. It is not necessary for OLLI members to accompany their invited guests.

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In Honor of Debbie Halverson

by Gordon Canyock, Board Member

On Friday, May 9, a brief ceremony was held in the Tallwood Cottage to dedicate the kitchen in honor of former president Debbie Halverson. A couple dozen members were present as we shared our memories of Debbie, her indefatigable energy, irrepressible enthusiasm, and boundless cornucopia of ideas.
Debbie’s son Peter commented on how much OLLI meant to his mother and how in a broad sense we became her “family.” OLLI members have made contributions in her memory to the Friends of OLLI Fund, which is always appreciated, and it’s not too late for you do so too.

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Brunch Murder Mystery

By Martha Powers

May 19 is your last chance to sign up for the Brunch Murder Mystery!

Event date: Wednesday, June 4, 10 am–1 pm at Church of the Good Shepherd.

Come and enjoy the spine-tingling show, Murder at the Bellagio, staged in Las Vegas! Enjoy catering by Santini’s New York Style Deli and help solve another mystery involving nefarious characters (who may visit your table while you eat). Audience members are welcome to wear costumes, too!

A portion of the $25 price will be used for enhancements to OLLI facilities.

And remember:  What happens in Fairfax, STAYS in Fairfax!

OLLI Loudoun Begins Its Transition

by Maria Buczek, Site Assistant

The OLLI-Loudoun open house held Friday, May 9, was a great success! Fourteen members attended and were greeted by Board President Martha Scanlon, Executive Director Jennifer Disano, and Loudoun Program Members Kathie West, Mary Coyne, Ray Beery, and Karen Carter. After enjoying light refreshments, members were given information about our upcoming move to the campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Loudoun Campus. The event ended with walking tour of the NOVA buildings where we will hold classes.

Upon arriving at NOVA, members were pleased to see that the parking lots are within easy walking distance to the buildings where OLLI classes will be held and that parking spaces are plentiful. Some commented that they were glad they visited because the campus map is much more intimidating than the campus itself!

While walking the hallways, OLLI members drew a lot of attention from the NOVA students. One member made students smile and laugh by telling them that the members were the new NOVA football team! We encourage you to engage the students while on the NOVA campus—they will greatly benefit from your wisdom and experience and you might learn a thing or two from them as well!

We toured several classrooms where OLLI classes will be held. We were happy to see that we will enjoy the same comfortable classrooms and computer technology we have come to expect here at OLLI. Members were also excited to learn that they will be able to enjoy lunch or mingle with their fellow OLLI members at the two campus cafés. In addition, they can check out books from the brand new NOVA library using either their George Mason ID or driver’s license.

Here are some tips to make the transition smoother for you:
  1. Place your OLLI window cling on the interior, driver-side back window (see the detailed instructions in your summer catalog). Parking at NOVA is free when OLLI-Loudoun classes are in session but you must have the OLLI window cling in place. OLLI Loudoun classes are held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the summer. Free parking will be valid from 9 to 2 on those days only. Members must park in any “B” lot and must not park in any space with a parking meter. Members with a handicapped permit may park in any handicapped spot on the campus.
  2. Please pay extra attention to pedestrians when driving on campus. Students walking to and from classes are often paying more attention to their cell phone than what is going on around them. Don’t assume they see you!
  3. Carry your schedule with you so you will know the building and room number where your class will be held.
  4. Attend the OLLI tour of the campus in June or go to the campus yourself before term starts to familiarize yourself with the campus and buildings where OLLI classes will be held.
If you would like to help make the transition smoother for all OLLI members, here are a couple of ways you can help:
  1. Volunteer to be the Loudoun Liaison Coordinator (or ask a friend to be a co-coordinator with you!). Email Loudoun Site Assistant Maria Buczek to volunteer.
  2. Sign up to be a class liaison when you register for classes through the Member Portal or by paper registration—check the box that says “Liaison.”
  3.  Volunteer to help the first week of term by directing members to the correct building and classroom. Email Loudoun Site Assistant Maria Buczek to volunteer.
  4. Be patient and positive during the transition. We have a wonderful schedule of summer classes for you to enjoy in Loudoun, but we know that there are bound to be some glitches as we figure out a new routine on the new campus.
Stay tuned for more news about our transition this summer and for our next scheduled tour date. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our move you can email Jennifer Disano or Maria Buczek .


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By Beverley Persell, OLLI French Conversation Instructor

This is a picture of my French Conversation class the last day of the term. Everyone brought in French food and we had a delicious lunch with quiche, salad, fromage, baguette, fruit, and petit fours.

After dining each person was given several photos of famous people and they took turns describing them in French. The other members of the class guessed who they were by listening to the description. Several members of the class have traveled to France and a few have taken classes there.

Photo of the Month

THE MAY PHOTO of the Month theme was “Flowers.” We selected Don Allen's photo “Bluebells,” which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the Club's website.
-- By Paul Van Hemel, Photography Club

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Poet's Corner
Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop

      Liplicking Limerick

Our British mum said, “I cawn’t

Cook, tho’ you’re starving and gaunt.”

(She’d steal furtive looks

At her recipe books,)

Then we’d dine in a restaurant.

     Mike Mc Namara

This was an award-winner in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s 2014 annual contest.
Host an Exchange Student
By Mason School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Do you love to learn about other cultures? Do you have a passion for mentoring young people? Then this opportunity is for you!
The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and Volunteers in Asia (VIA) will be hosting the Indonesia-US Youth Leadership Program (I-US-YLP), sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program will bring 22 youth and educators from Indonesia to the United States. Indonesian participants will visit the U.S. from May 29–June 22, 2014. The goal of the I-US-YLP is to promote civic engagement and participation among Indonesian and U.S. youth through cross-cultural exchanges and learning while increasing mutual understanding between the two countries.
As part of this educational experience, Indonesian students will stay with American families from June 6–16. Hosting an exchange student from I-US-YLP can be an enriching experience for you and the entire family. By opening your home and heart to a student from overseas, you and your family will gain a new global perspective, fond memories, and new friendships. While their stay with you will be brief, the experience can last a lifetime. For more information please call Sarah McLewin at 757-777-2894 or email her at or go to our website.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next two weeks

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For tickets for either CFA or Hylton, call 1-888-945-2468, buy tickets online through the event calendar (see links below), or visit the venue's box office. For more information see the CFA ticket page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.
At the Hylton Center

Manassas Ballet Theatre: Sleeping Beauty
Fri, May 16 and Sat, May 17, 7:30
Sun May 18, 3:00
Admission: $55, $45, $35
Merchant Hall
CAPAC Inc. Presents The Wiz
Sat, May 17 and Sun, May 18, 3:00
Sat, May 17, 8:00
Sat, May 24 and Sun, May 25, 3:00
Sat, May 24, 8:00

Admission: In advance, $17; At the door, $22
Gregory Family Theater
Intersections of Art and Life by William
Woodward and Becky Parrish

Continues through Sat, May 24
Admission: Free
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery

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For further details on any of the above events, please see the CFA event calendar and the Hylton Center event calendar

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Meetings & Clubs

The following list covering the period until the next E-News on June 13th  is extracted for your convenience from the master online calendar maintained by the office, with direct web links added when available. The list is accurate as of mid-week but to check anytime for the latest information, please view the latest forecast of upcoming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, Kickoff Coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat May 17 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Computer Club–TA-1
Mon May 19 10:00am
What’s in the Daily News cont’d–TA-1
Russia Discussion Group–TA-1
Tue May 20 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed May 21 10:00am 10:00am 10:30am
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
A/V Committee/Training–TA-1
Fri May 23  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Fiction Book Club–Loudoun Rm 205
Homer, etc–Annex
Photography Club–TA-1
Sat May 24 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue May 27 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed May 28 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tom Crooker Investment Club–TA-1
Fri May 30  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Homer, etc–Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2
Sat May 31 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jun 2 10:00am
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
What’s in the Daily News, cont’d–TA-1
Russia Discussion Group–TA-1
Tue Jun 3 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Jun 4 10:30am Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Thu Jun 5 10:00am Liaison Committee Meeting–Annex
Fri Jun 6  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
iPad User Group–Reston UCP 113/114
Homer, etc–Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2
Sat Jun 7 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-1
Mon Jun 9 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
What’s in the Daily News, cont’d–TA-1
Russia Discussion Group–TA-1
Tue Jun 10 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Jun 11 10:00am
Book Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Jun 13  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Loudoun Program Planning Group–Rm 236
Homer, etc–Annex
Ulysses Book Club–TA-2

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About OLLI E-News

OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.

Current Editorial Staff
Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor:
Weekly Editorial Team: Paul Van Hemel,
Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Proofreaders:  John West, Gordon Canyock, Susan Van Hemel
Backup Chief Editor: Sheri Siesseger

Submissions. Members are encouraged to submit letters to the editor, letters to Ms. Ollie Ettakit (on etiquette matters), OLLI-related news items, articles and photos. 
Submit material to:
Deadline – 6:00 pm Tuesday for that week's issue (6:00 pm Monday for letters to the editor); early submissions are greatly appreciated. Please limit articles to about 250 words.
Note: You can view past issues of OLLI E-News on the DocStore. To search the content of issues, use Search Our Site or put your search term in Google followed by "" without the quotes.

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