President’s Message January 17, 2020 By Bill Taylor, PresidentBuilding on last fall’s membership campaign that netted a record number of introductory memberships, the Outreach Committee, chaired by Rosemary Lubinski, has designed an aggressive four-week spring 2020 outreach program beginning in January. We hope that it will attract a large number of new members for the spring term. The key to the success of this 2020 outreach program, however, is YOU. I am asking each OLLI member to make your best effort to follow the program to spread the word about OLLI to your friends and your community. You know how much YOU enjoy OLLI. Please share that with others. I joined in 2008 after a member told me about OLLI, and I’ve been grateful to him ever since. Maybe you can be that person for someone else. Here’s the program for the first week:Week 1—Jan. 27 to Jan. 31: Tell one friend each day this week what OLLI means to you. Word of mouth and personal enthusiasm are the best ways to attract new members.
Each year the OLLI Program Committee asks for suggestions and ideas so that we can fulfill some wishes for future classes. Our most recent Idea Week survey was conducted by email during the fall term, and program planners were delighted with the responses!
We first asked which courses you’ve enjoyed and would recommend to others. Responses included courses from every subject area—from art history classes to theater, from Civil War classes to Artificial Intelligence, from religious studies to science. Many of you cited specific classes and instructors you particularly enjoyed. We were happy to see that we had recommendations from all three OLLI sites.
We also asked what you’d like to see offered in the future. Again, we received a treasure trove of possibilities for our program planners. Have a look at this small sample of intriguing suggestions:
Space travel in the future
History of Rome or Russia
Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Contemporary art and classical music 101
Are we able to grant all the wishes? No, but we have much we can work toward. One of the challenges is finding instructors for all these courses. The last question on the survey proved extremely useful: “Do you know someone you’d recommend, including yourself, to teach?” Respondents came up with more than a dozen suggestions for possible instructors, and several people submitted their names and courses they volunteered to teach. Music to our ears! What happens next with the survey? Program planning group chairs in all subject areas will be able use the results in their respective planning meetings for future terms.
We sincerely thank all OLLI members who took time to respond to the Idea Week survey. You should also know that you can make suggestions any time you have an “a-ha!” moment about a class you’d like to see offered. Just contact one of the program planning chairs whose names appear at the beginning of each subject area in the catalog. And if you would like to take a more active part in program planning, you are welcome to join us as we select and develop courses for OLLI’s fabulous program. You would enjoy being able to help shape our future programs.
Loudoun Non-Fiction Book Club Winter Meeting By Barbara Wilan, Loudoun Non-Fiction Book Club CoordinatorThe Non-Fiction Book Club winter-term meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 28, at 2:15 at the Loudoun Signal Hill campus. We will be discussing Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. We hope you’ll join us.
By Luci Martel and Nancy Scheeler, Reston Book Club Coordinators
The Reston Book Club will meet on Thursday, January 30, at 2:15 at the United Christian Parish Church. The book selection is Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi. This 2019 Booker International Prize Winner is set in Oman in the village of al-Awafi. The book traces an Omani family over three generations, shaped by the rapid social changes and consequent shifts in outlook that Oman’s populace has experienced in the 20th century and, in particular, since its emergence as an oil-rich nation in the 1960s.
OLLI Players: OLLI Follies Two, January 24 By Kathie West, OLLI Players DirectorThe OLLI Players are again performing at the Fairfax Library in downtown Fairfax, January 24, at 1:00. Come and see OLLI Follies Two as we introduce you to old-time songs and antics. Bring your friends, come and relax, and have a good laugh with us all.
Theater Lovers’ Group’s New Look for the New Year, New Decade By Norma Reck, TLG CoordinatorOLLI’s Theater Lovers’ Group (TLG) kicks off the new year and the new decade with some exciting, new theatrical events and a new meeting time: 4th Wednesday of the month when OLLI is in session, 2:00, in TA‑1. The first meeting on January 22 will be an outing to Angelika Film Center in Mosaic District in Fairfax to see Arthur Miller’s blistering drama All My Sons, broadcast live from the Old Vic, London’s independent theater.Set in 1947 America, All My Sons stars Sally Field and Bill Pullman. The Kellers have lived the American Dream–a home, a family, a thriving business, albeit shadowed by the loss of a son in the war–when a figure from the past returns and forces out long-buried truths that lay bare the price of their American Dream. Optional dinner after the show (TBD). Go online to www.angelikafilmcenter.com to purchase tickets ($20), see a trailer, and get directions. Parking is free.
Our second meeting will be Wednesday, February 26, with OLLI member Terri Ritchey speaking on Prince William Little Theater. Of course, we will continue supporting efforts of our OLLI family as well as revisit some of our faves, e.g., 1st Stage and Creative Cauldron. As always, all OLLI members are welcome to join us along with guests. To be sure to get TLG emails, sign up for Theater Lovers’ Group at the OLLI member portal ASAP. You won’t want to miss out on theater, dance, music, fine dining, and theater friends.
Besides the meetings mentioned above, watch E-News for other upcoming events:
American Shakespeare Center (ASC) class “Exploring Shakespeare’s English Renaissance Stages” in February
American Shakespeare Center (ASC): A Midsummer Night’s Dream in March
Lisa Vroman, Broadway star and classical soprano comes to Mason in April
Overnight trip to ASC’s Blackfriar’s Playhouse in June
Join OLLI on Facebook to Get More Involved Our Community
By Donna Gough, OLLI Outreach Committee Member, and Alice Slayton Clark, Communications and Program Associate
OLLI created a Facebook group several years ago as a virtual “gathering place” for members to post pictures, feature articles, and share commentary on non-OLLI events of interest to other members. The group offers a unique opportunity to communicate and interact online exclusively with your OLLI cohorts.
If you are a current Facebook user, log into your Facebook account and search “OLLI Mason.” The first group that appears will be our OLLI Facebook group. Click on the group name to view our group, then send us a “join group” request to get full access so you can begin to post items and be notified when others do the same.
If you do not already have a Facebook account, you can sign up following these few simple steps. Go to the Facebook website and fill out the “signup” form. Pick a password and click “Sign Up.” Facebook will send you an email to confirm you are registered. Click the confirmation link to complete the process. Then follow the steps above for joining the OLLI group.
We also have an OLLI Facebook page where we post major OLLI Mason happenings of interest to the wider public. Feel free to share this page with your friends and neighbors who might be interested in OLLI. It is a great way to keep informed of our great institution, recent developments and current offerings.
To access the OLLI public page, log into your Facebook account and search for “Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University.” Click on either the page name or OLLI icon to be routed to the OLLI public page. Once you “like” the page, you will start receiving periodic notifications on your Facebook newsfeed whenever we add new posts.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get connected with OLLI Mason on Facebook!
On Being a Board Member
By Marguerite Johnson, Board Member and SecretaryMy first exposure to volunteerism was watching my pretty mother dance across the stage as a member of the chorus line of rats in a Parent Teacher Association production of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. In my teens, my father and a friend started the Medical Committee Concerned with Civil Rights to document police brutality in Philadelphia, PA, during the Rizzo years. From childhood I learned that whenever there was a cause that spoke to me, I had to volunteer.When I first retired nine years ago, I was broken in body and spirit. It took a year before I was willing to join my husband Harry as a member of OLLI. Slowly I added to my list of classes, started asking questions of instructors, and even began making new friends. I felt whole again. And then… I was asked to run for the OLLI Board of Directors. For the usual reasons (e.g., who’s going to vote for me, what can I contribute, I travel) I turned down the opportunity. However, the invitation sparked an interest.I started reading the minutes from previous Board meetings, reviewed the OLLI by-laws, and gave serious thought to what I could do to help others be as rejuvenated by OLLI classes and supported by OLLI members as I am. So when asked a second time to run for the Board I agreed. I survived writing a resume, giving a short speech, and facing members who were interested in questioning the candidates. Running for the Board is an interesting experience and worth stepping out of one’s comfort level.
This is my second year on the Board. I currently serve as Secretary and am also working with fellow Board member Diane Stanley to find ways to encourage new OLLI volunteers and recognize current volunteers.
Editor’s Note: This is one of a series of articles by current Board members to give readers some insight into what is involved in serving on the Board.
The January 2020 Photo of the Month theme was Circles. We selected George Bradshaw’s photo “What Tipsy Astronauts See,” 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 Angela Talaber, Photography Club Coordinator
His photo in the hallway greets me each day
Being in my life was an extraordinary gift
He left my world leaving a huge vacuum
Still I feel his ever presence in my life
Triggering a burst of smiles and tears
Looking at the gardens he built for me
Coming across a book we read together
Hearing the evening news and imagining his comments
Knowing he would re-load the dishwasher if he were around
An accomplished writer of research papers but not love letters
He’d spend hours searching for my perfect greeting card
Now assembled in a large basket I select one daily
Before I used to read them quickly and thank him with a kiss
Now I read them slowly, sometimes over and over again
Savoring each written word and signed “Love, Charles”
Yet to me his actions spoke more softly
Than the words on any card
For tickets for either Center for the Arts Concert Hall (CFA) or Hylton Center, 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 pageor the Hylton Centerticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues
Sat, Jan 18, and Sun, Jan 19, 2:00
Friday, Jan 17 and Sat, Jan 18, 7:30
Admission: $85 to $205.
Virginia Dance Coalition: DanceFest 2020 Gala
Fri, Jan 24, 7:30
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Commemorating Rachmaninoff and Debussy
Sun, Jan 26, 7:00
The Young Artists Musicale begins at 6:00 in the main lobby.
An interactive question and answer session will conclude this program.
Admission: $44, $37, $26.
Gallery Exhibition: John Grunwell
Closes Sat, Jan 18
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.
Gallery Exhibition: 9th Annual Prince William County Public Schools Student Exhibition Opening
Tue, Jan 21, 10:00
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00-6:00.
RSVP to email@example.com.
Pied Piper Theatre: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Sat, Jan 25, 2:00 and 7:00
Sun, Jan 26, 3:00
Admission: $20 Adults; $16 children.
The Siberian State Symphony Orchestra
Fri, Jan 31, 8:00
A pre-performance discussion begins in Merchant Hall one hour prior to the performance.
Admission: $55, $47, $33.
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, meetings of the Board of Directors, committees and resource groups, kick-off coffees, etc. (bolded below).
Sat Jan 18
Tai Chi Club–TA-2
Personal Computer Club–TA-1
Tue Jan 21
Wed Jan 22
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Jan 24
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex Humanities and Social Sciences Program Planning Group–TA-2
Sat Jan 25
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Jan 27
Coffee and Conversation in Loudoun–Room 208
Wed Jan 29
Fri Jan 31
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.