Hope you’re enjoying OLLI’s summer term! Please join me in welcoming 14 new members, and eight folks returning after a break in their membership. Our greeting get-togethers may be virtual, but I trust everyone will participate and pass around the virtual handshakes—no COVID precautions necessary for the electronic grip and grin sessions!
Our staff and volunteers continue to crank it out—the fall-term catalog goes to the printer momentarily, with a delivery scheduled near the end of July—presuming, of course, we avoid earthquakes and asteroid strikes.
Still bored? Volunteer for one of the committees listed on the organization page of the catalog or website. Get in touch with the committee chair by logging in to the member portal, sliding down to the Member Directory, and reach out. While you’re there—email or call friends you miss from social room discussions. They’ll be happy to hear from you!
By Diane Stanley, Outreach Committee and Board Member
The last few months have brought many unexpected adjustments to our lives, which make it gratifying to see so many members make the spring-term transition to online learning. The numbers tell the story: 979 members (out of approximately 1100) took classes online.
In fact, it has never been easier to take an OLLI class, and remote learning has benefits you might not have considered initially—no traffic, no scrambling for parking, or class preferences not offered at your location. Our whole catalog is open to you, with a full roster of classes from all three campuses available.
If you’ve been missing travel, or even just seeingmore of the world outside quarantine, think of OLLI as part passport, part time machine. We have courses on virtually every subject that will transport you through history, literature, religion, art, and current events.
Clubs and coffee meet-ups are also on the schedule. We’ve moved our social scene online so you can maintain those important connections that are such a valuable part of your OLLI membership.
Your friends might hesitate to sign up for membership right now, maybe skeptical of online learning or uncertain of managing the technology. But OLLI members now know that Zoom is easy to navigate. A few quick “clicks” and you’re in. Also, we have tech-savvy members and staff available to assist you.
With OLLI online, we think the value of your membership is better than ever. You are OLLI’s best recruiters, and many of you have helped us grow by spreading the word about the benefits of membership. We hope you’ll continue to introduce your friends to all they can do with OLLI membership. Everything is built in: great courses, flexible scheduling, social events, and active clubs. Let’s all continue to get the word out. Your family and friends can view the summer online catalog (click here) and flyer (click this link).
By Angela Talaber and Michelle Blandburg,
Development Committee Co-Chairs
Thanks to the many of you who donated on our first “Giving Tuesday.”
When you stand by OLLI in our time of need, you are doing your part to protect the future of an organization that enriches and transforms the lives of older adults. Each and every person with a desire to learn and make the most of retirement deserves a future with OLLI.
If you have already given, we can’t thank you enough, and we hope you will consider giving again. We are turning to friends like you to support us during this crisis.
We sit face to face at our favorite small table,
always the same table, tucked along the wall
near the kitchen at Don Pollo where the big screen TV
shows soccer teams playing exciting games
in foreign countries and strangers, after working
all day at the office, rush through the door
onto busy city streets with tall bags of food
to take back home to waiting families.
We talk, mostly I listen, I always hunger
for every word he says, every joke he tells,
always making me laugh, as we wait
for the cook to shout out the number
for our order, always the same order,
a plate of garlicky roast chicken for me,
a bowl of steaming black beans for him
that he pushes toward me, our spoons
sliding into sustaining sauce, once upon a time,
not knowing the virus was coming,
not knowing we’d no longer share
this table, these strangers, our laughter,
meals that always were precious.
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.
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.
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.