OLLI President’s Message, July 22, 2016 By Ray Beery, PresidentWhat you can do for OLLI this summer
Our summer term is at an end. Vacation days beckon, but most of us are looking for that fall catalog and eagerly anticipating returning to the classroom in September.
I have an earnest request of you right now. Ponder this: Many seniors in our area don’t know OLLI and the life fulfillment it can bring. Our mission is to get the word out, and there’s no better way than by word of mouth with friends and neighbors. Will you join me in talking it up?
My pals at my alma mater, Kansas University OLLI, give us the way to tell the story. Here are two quick “speeches” you can use when talking with potential OLLI members, a short and a longer version:
“The Elevator Speech”
Welcome to the Osher Institute where adult learners come to enrich their lives, meet new friends and engage with their community. No homework. No tests. No pressure. It’s just learning for the joy of it. Fall registration opens soon. Welcome. Check out our website, www.olli.gmu.edu.
“The Kaffeeklatsch Speech”
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Mason is an independent non-profit unit. We are committed to creating accessible and innovative learning environments throughout Northern Virginia, with special focus on participants age 50 and over although anyone can participate. Learners from all backgrounds and levels of education are welcome to enjoy the benefits of Institute membership.
Choosing from a diverse collection of courses, learners create their own program of personal development, expanding their views of the world and enriching their lives and their communities.
Faculty and facilitators are carefully selected to assure they have the academic qualifications, a passion for the topic, and a love of teaching to create a meaningful and fun learning environment.
OLLI-Mason is deeply grateful to the Bernard Osher Foundation in San Francisco for partial funding as one of its affiliates in the United States. Check out our website, www.olli.gmu.edu .
– A resolution was passed increasing dues to $425 beginning with the winter term 2017 to deal with a budget deficit and to implement an essential increase in staff hours. Current members will pay the new amount starting with the 2017 term for which their membership must be renewed. The amount of the increase is based on several assumptions including increasing revenue through a 4% increase in membership. Should targets not be reached, another dues increase will be considered next year.
– A resolution was also passed to provide $3,000 from Friends of OLLI funds for publication of the OLLI history book.
– It was also decided to change the appreciation for the late Bill Reader approved last month to giving his family a copy of the OLLI history book signed by all members of the Board. There are several pictures of Bill in the book.
– Jennifer Disano reiterated the importance of everyone understanding that Tallwood will be completely closed from July 23 to September 9. Staff members can be contacted by email and phone during this period.
– Jerilyn Mullarkey has resigned as co-chair of the Special Events Committee.
HO! HO! HO! Santa Visited Tallwood for Christmas in July
By Martha Powers, Vice President
If you heard sleigh bells the afternoon of July 15, it wasn’t your imagination! OLLI held its first annual Christmas in July party, complete with Master of Ceremonies Santa Claus (Jim Dunphy, Liaison Chair and originator of this annual event) and Mrs. Santa (Kathie West).
The audience enjoyed holiday sing-alongs, video clips, several of Johnny Carson’s animal episodes from “The Tonight Show,” and two skits written by OLLI playwrights and performed by the OLLI Players. The Snow Queen (Thelma Weiner) and Snow King (Chester Myslicki) were also crowned with great pomp, and door prizes (donated by Thelma) were won by five members of the audience. We hope to make Christmas in July a traditional event for OLLI in the future.
Santa’s Toy Box remains available in the Social Room through Friday, July 22. Please take this opportunity to donate a new, unwrapped toy so that struggling families in our area can benefit from OLLI members’ spirit and generosity.
The pictures were taken by Paul Van Hemel; more photos are available at this link.
By Jeneé Lindner, Tour Coordinator and Instructor,
Civil War Women in Fairfax
In celebration of the 240th anniversary of the passage of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, June 12, 1776, and authored by George Mason, we went on a Fairfax County two-bus tour (John Murphy, a local historian, was the guide in the second bus) in cooperation with OLLI, Virginia Historical Society and the Friends of the Historic Fairfax Courthouse. Mason’s words, “That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights…” became the foundation for the Declaration of Independence, US Constitution and Bill of Rights, and our tour.
Our stops included the historic Fairfax Courthouse (1800), colonial Pohick Church (1732), Gunston Hall: home to George Mason (1759), and the Workhouse Arts Center, prison (1910) where suffragists were incarcerated.
Based on comments from tour participants, it is safe to say that the tour was a resounding success. Some comments:
“. . . a terrific tour. . . .The operation went like clockwork . . . enjoyed visiting sites which were new to me ─ Pohick Church, Gunston Hall, and the Workhouse Arts Center.”
“. . . wonderful opportunity to view the Washington wills and other historical documents . . . helping bring history alive for our group.”
” Commentary on the bus also excellent… I think the highlight was the church visit with the reenactor.”
” Top rating! . . . extremely hard to select one as being the most favorite.”
” . . . a most wonderful and informative trip.”
Besides the pictures below, there are many more tour photos by Beth Davis, featuring OLLI members, at the Friends of the Historic Fairfax Courthouse Facebook page; click here.
Fun Facts to Celebrate OLLI’s 25th Anniversary By Ray Beery, PresidentA series of annual luncheons in honor of founder Kathryn Brooks began on November 10, 1995. The speaker was Appellate Judge Rosemarie Annunziata, who was introduced by Delegate Kenneth Plum, Director of Fairfax County Adult and Community Education. He had been instrumental in the establishment of LRI, as was Carla Pitman, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, who introduced Kathryn Brooks. The series ended with the 1999 event. A plaque was ordered in Kathryn Brooks’ honor.
OLLI is celebrating its 25th year of classes for seniors in 2016. We’ll be publishing fun facts and interesting milestones about the Institute each week that OLLI E-News is published from now until the end of the fall term, 2016.
Often, a really good book vaults to the best-seller list, is turned into a block-buster movie or even becomes a popular OLLI class! The latter happened this summer session when the book, The Boys in the Boat, received lots of OLLI attention.
The book, by author Daniel James Brown, relates the story of nine Americans who developed their rowing skills to win the gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. More than 95 OLLI members registered to attend two sessions that discussed the book, and explored the main characters, the nature of rowing, and the historical atmosphere surrounding these Olympic Games.
Making this course especially interesting were OLLI members and instructors Mike McNamara, retired Army colonel, and Barbara Nelson, retired teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School. Mike rowed with his Rutgers University team and competed in the 1956 Olympic four-man boat trials. Barbara, who herself took up rowing in “later life,” became the coach of the freshman boys rowing program at Jefferson. Both gave wonderful insights into the sport of rowing, citing its complexity and ability to instill both personal achievement and team work in its participants.
One of the benefits of programs like this is time when audience members can comment or share observations. “I always learn much more through book discussions than I do just by reading the book,” said one OLLI member. “It’s nice to hear other’s opinions and insights on things I have missed.”
Barbara noted that on Saturday, Aug 2, at 9 pm, the Public Broadcasting System will present a special program on the remarkable story of these nine young men and their quest for the Olympic gold.
In addition to occasional classes like this, the OLLI Book Club, chaired by Ceda McGrew, meets at 10 am the second Monday of each month to discuss popular books. The selection for Sept 14 is Wild Ones, by John Mooallem. All OLLI members are invited to attend the Book Club meetings or you may get more information by contacting Ceda McGrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration Fee Raffle: Johnnie Hicks (see accompanying photo) is the very lucky winner of her next Annual OLLI Registration Fee. Her name was drawn at the Christmas in July special event on July 15. Congratulations, Johnnie. Thank you so much to all of you for your strong support of this very popular fundraiser. Kudos to our amazing raffle ticket sellers: You did very, very well!
Bake Sale: The July 15 bake sale was a profitable and a thoroughly enjoyable fundraiser. We certainly do have some amazing bakers at OLLI. Home-baked goodies galore, a variety of beverages, and gorgeous festive holiday decorations complemented an abundance of great socializing opportunities and fun.
Silent Auction: A silent auction on July 15 featured a spectacular display of pictures to view, enjoy and purchase. Gorgeous pictures and a portrait from a photograph were generously donated by our photography club members for the first OLLI silent art auction. The annex was decorated, the pictures were lovely, it was an amazing special event. Many thanks to our talented colleagues for their awesome support for this profitable fundraiser.
These three fundraisers heated up the thermometer by $2,648.00. Don’t forget to lighten your pockets/purse by making a deposit in the Change 4 OMS jar in the Tallwood Office and thereby helping bridge gaps for Mason’s veterans. Thank you!
Carolyn Radcliff, an OLLI member from spring 2015 through winter 2016, died June 17, 2016. Her friends at OLLI will remember her with an ever-ready smile on her face. She was an avid reader who was a member of the OLLI Book Club and attended a great many literature, poetry, and drama classes.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 1:45 on Sunday, July 24, at Fairlington United Methodist Church, 3900 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia (at the intersection of Interstate 395 and Route 7/King Street; handicap accessible). A reception will follow in the church hall.
More information is available at this link.
Performances, next ten daysBy Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff WriterFor tickets for either Center for the Arts (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 pageor the Hyltonticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues
Judith Lapple Summer Woodwind Camp Final Showcase Concert
Sat, July 30, 7:00
Admission: Free.EMOJI! Summer Concert
Sat, Aug 6, 7:30
Admission: $15.Festival de Niños presented by Comite Pro Bolivia
Sun, Aug 7, 5:00
Courtney Shelton Solo Exhibition, Best in Show, 2015 Hylton Center 2nd Annual Juried Exhibit
July 11 – Aug 28
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 – 6:00, Thu, 10:00 – 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Prince William Little Theatre: Cabaret
Fri, July 22, and Sat, July 23, 8:00
Sun, July 24, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adults, $25; seniors, $20.
Rootstone Jug Band: Can You Kazoo?
Thu, Aug 4, 11:00
Admission: Adults, $15; children, $5.
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 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 Jul 23
Tai Chi Club–Lord of Life Fairfax Fellowship
Wed Jul 27
Bridge Club–Lord of Life Fairfax Fellowship
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–Lord of Life
Fri Jul 29
Recorder Consort–Lord of Life Fairfax Sanctuary
Homer, etc–Lord of Life Fairfax Parlor
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor: Paul Van Hemel
Technical Editor: Irene Osterman
Associate Editor: Sheri Siesseger
Weekly Editorial Team: Jean Boltz, John Nash, Sheri Siesseger, Leslie Vandivere,
Paul Van Hemel Proofreaders: Nancy Michel, Lorna Moran, Marilyn O’Brien, Susan Van Hemel
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 – 6:00 Tuesday for that week’s issue (6:00 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 “site:olli.gmu.edu/” without the quotes.