Board Meeting Summary By Marguerite Johnson, SecretaryThe regular meeting of the OLLI Board of Directors was held Friday, June 5, 2020. Officers of the Board for 2020–2021 were elected: President Paul Howard, Vice President Mel Russell, Secretary Marguerite Johnson, and Treasurer David Osterman. Newly-elected Bob Heyer was welcomed to his first Board meeting as a director.The Governance Committee chaired by Board Member Lillian Brooks has been diligently working to update the Board Handbook and resolve any contradictions between the handbook and the bylaws. A discussion was held to clarify the definition and rights for introductory members of OLLI. It was decided by the Board that “introductory members are qualified members with the right to vote.”
Lillian has also reached out to each committee chair to ensure that the current description in the handbook clearly defines what their committee does. If she does not hear from the chair by June 30, she will assume there are no changes to be made.
Angie Talaber was appointed co-chair of the Development Committee with Michelle Blandburg. Angie and Michelle welcome any fundraising ideas you may have to offer. It’s a chance to be creative and think outside the box.
Paul Howard initiated conversation about the OLLI website and the continuing need to review the content to ensure that all links are working, up to date, and go where they are supposed to. Website Committee Chair Ernestine Meyer needs volunteers, ideally with web skills, to help review content and links.
In March, Mason conducted a feasibility study at Tallwood because of our request for a ramp to the lower campus. The study revealed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and delayed maintenance issues. Mason is looking at the expense to repair Tallwood versus providing another facility. Jennifer Disano met with the Mason provost on June 2 to review several issues (e.g., number and size of classrooms, parking, type of programming). No conclusions were drawn. They plan to meet again in October.
OLLI Mason Article to Appear in July Osher Institute Newsletter
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate
OLLI at George Mason University has forged many unique synergies with its host university, an effort that pays off in spades. For the past 25 years, OLLI Mason executives and members have volunteered on university boards and committees, donating time and expertise to Mason’s administrative offices, academic units, colleges, and departments; members have mentored, participated in research projects, and contributed to inter-generational programming.
This month, The Libraries at Mason magazine, circulated widely throughout the university community, spotlighted several successful collaborations between OLLI and the university libraries: https://www.flipsnack.com/masonlibraries/libraries-at-mason-spring-2020.html. Read the full issue to learn about these important partnerships, including the Special Collections project recording first-hand oral histories of major historic events like the Vietnam War, from OLLI members Candy and Charley Otstott, Bob Shaffer, and John Ware, Sr.; OLLI member Carol Henderson’s 40 years of dedicated service to the library as both an employee and a volunteer; and Executive Director Jennifer Disano‘s work as vice chair of the Library Advisory Board. These are the special ties that bind university and institute, ensuring good will and understanding for years to come.
By Angela Talaber and Michelle Blandburg,
Development Committee Co-Chairs
The COVID‑19 pandemic has certainly changed the way we do things at OLLI!
New technology requirements put an extra strain on already tight budgets, and we are no exception. Many members think that with our new way of conducting classes and events costs should go down. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. Our staff is working many overtime hours to bring you the experience that you are enjoying in the comfort and safety of your home.
Using up-to-date technology creates the need for additional equipment and licenses for the variety of platforms we are now enjoying. The pandemic has also changed how we ask you for your support; the days of in-person requesting are over.
Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? It happens every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a day of worldwide giving back. In response to the COVID‑19 crisis, OLLI is starting our own Giving Tuesday at the beginning of each term. Please consider donating your generous check to OLLI. Better still, why not try a fast and easy online donation? Here is the convenient link: OLLI Donation Link.
Think about all OLLI has done for you and save the date for our Giving Tuesday on June 23rd!
Never Too Late By Rosemary Lubinski, Outreach Committee ChairIt’s never too late to tell your family and friends (near and far) about the benefits of OLLI. Talk up OLLI in your next phone call, text, email, or on social media. This is your chance to share your excitement about the wide variety of interesting and unique programs, the quality of instructors and information, and the ease of access through Zoom right at home.In a recent OLLI survey, respondents were pleased with taking courses on Zoom. Some stated they took more courses than usual and from all three OLLI sites. Remember, there are a number of social groups that also meet online, such as the cooking, computer, photography, and Spanish clubs to name a few. So, reach out and spread a positive word about OLLI. Your family and friends can view the summer online catalog (click here) and flyer (click this link).
After more than five years, Angie and Dave Talaber have stepped down as coordinators of the OLLI Photo Club. “It was just time to let others build on the successes of the OPC,” said Angie who remains active in several OLLI committees while Dave serves on the Board of Directors. Replacing Angie and Dave are John Olsen and Ed Marion serving as co-coordinators.
“It’s hard to say ‘thanks’ to two people who have done so much for the photo club,” said Ed Marion. Expressing the Photo Club’s appreciation to Angie and Dave, Ed recounted some of the achievements the club has had over the past five years. During this time, club members volunteered their photographic skills in numerous special projects (e.g., Northern Virginia Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Special Olympics, Court Appointed Special Advocates [CASA] for Children Run, OLLI scholarship awards, Mason student theater productions). One such project, the Fairfax 275th Anniversary Exhibition, earned OLLI a volunteer service award in 2019 from Fairfax County. While conducting a recent virtual club meeting, Ed showed a special OLLI Certificate of Thanks and modeled a sharp tee-shirt with camera images, both of which will be presented to Angie and Dave in appreciation for their leadership.
John Olsen has been a member of the OPC for almost five years and has gained respect for his outstanding photographic skills. Ed Marion, MD, became interested in in photography in medical school, not only for documentation but also as a valuable teaching tool. He is skilled in both photography and photographic applications. The OPC is fortunate to have these two dedicated and talented photographers leading the club to build on the successes and accomplishments of Angie and Dave Talaber.
All OLLI members are welcome to attend meetings of the OLLI Photo Club. It’s a great way to learn more about this exciting world of photography!
The June 2020 Photo of the Month theme was Strange Signs. We selected John Nash’s whimsical photo “New Face Masks,” which may also be viewed at this page. To view other photos by members of the Photography Club, visit the club’s photo website. — By Ed Marion, Photography Club Co-Coordinator
Although Mason’s campus is shut down, online entertainment continues for us to access and enjoy. Dr. Linda Apple Monson produces a periodic “Notes from the Director.” This email is full of interesting online performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music. If you would like to receive these bulletins, just send an email to Brianna Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the Center for the Arts has a website Mason Arts at Home which has a calendar of on-line events.
Meetings & Clubs
Please note: Physical meetings for clubs and activities are canceled until further notice in accordance with Mason’s guidelines. OLLI is conducting its classes and activities online. Refer to the university’s coronavirus website for official university updates and check the OLLI Calendar for revised information.
The following list covering the next two weeks 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 for the most up-to-date information, please view the latest forecast of coming events on our website (News/OLLI Calendar). Note: All OLLI members are welcome at, and encouraged to attend (online), meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat Jun 20
Tai Chi Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 284 531 289)
Computer Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 937 3024 4342)
Mon Jun 22
What’s in the Daily News?–Zoom (Meeting ID: 825 1457 5625)
Coffee and Conversation–Zoom (Meeting ID: 860 1214 1867)
Spanish Club–Zoom (Meeting ID: 811 997 392)
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Associate Editor: David Gundry
Weekly Editor Team: David Gundry, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel Proofreaders: Rebecca Jann, Susan Van Hemel, Linda Randall, Tom Appich, Roz Stark,
Backup Chief Editor: Alice Slayton Clark
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: email@example.com. Deadline: Tuesday, 6:00, for that week’s issue (Monday, 6:00, 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 “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.