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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.

Editorial Staff Chief Editor/Technical Editor: Irene Osterman Associate Editor: Weekly Editorial Team: Pat Bangs, John Nash, 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.

OLLI E-News September 25, 2015
Print a condensed .pdf copy of this newsletter, two web pages per sheet of paper.
On Friday, Sep 18, Dr. Peter Stearns, Mason Provost Emeritus, presented a between-term lecture on "The History of Shame and Why It Matters" to a well-attended OLLI audience.

September 25, 2015

Editor of the Week: John Nash
Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

* The Board of Directors will meet next Friday, Oct 2, to hear proposals for recipients of our 25th anniversary gift.

* If you've signed up for a class you're unable to attend, please contact the office at and "drop" the class.  Often, there is a waiting list for OLLI classes.

* OLLI has many great special events planned each semester.  If you have a suggestion for a future special event, you’re always invited to attend a meeting of the Special Events Committee and give us your ideas.  The next meeting is Oct 7, 1:45 in the Tallwood annex. Or you can email your suggestion(s) to Florence Adler, chair of the Special Events Committee, at or to Beth Davis, program associate, at

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Board Meeting Summary

By Irene Osterman, Board Secretary

The Board met Friday, Sep 18, where it was announced that Mason will generously fund replacement of the front parking lot at Tallwood. This will correct the drainage problem which has required sandbags along the TA-1 side of the lot. The work is to be done between the fall and winter terms. Details about the project and its impact on operations at Tallwood will be in an E-News article. The Board approved two resolutions. One established a document retention policy. The other allocated $1500 for a scholarship to be used by an employee(s) of the Facilities Management Department at Mason to further his/her education.
Fun Facts to Celebrate OLLI’s 25th Anniversary

By Ray Beery, Member, Board of Directors


The first location of LRI/OLLI was Mason’s Commerce II Building at 4085 University Drive, free of charge. The staff would move into the hallway during class times. Later, other scattered sites in Fairfax City were offered free, including City Hall, the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program, the Gold’s Gym Building, and the Juvenile Justice Courthouse of Fairfax County.

OLLI will celebrate 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 through the end of the fall term, 2016.

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Learning and Retirement Institute (LRI) Grew from an Idea to Serve Active Retirees in the Community

By Ken Plum, Virginia Delegate and OLLI Instructor

Editor's Note: Ken Plum, currently a delegate to the Virginia General Assembly, played a major role in creating LRI/OLLI. Here are his comments about the beginning of our outstanding organization.
“I was Director of Adult and Continuing Education for Fairfax County Public Schools from 1970 to my retirement in 1996 during which time the program became one of the largest public school adult education programs in the nation. While the FCPS program offered numerous opportunities for adults to learn basic skills, it did not have offerings for adults who were educated but who wished to pursue courses to satisfy intellectual curiosity and share their own knowledge and experiences.
I employed Carol Ferrara as a part-time member of my staff to investigate possibilities for the expansion of programs to meet this broader interest and need of senior adults. At the same time the Fairfax County Commission on Aging became interested in expanded programs for seniors and assigned one of their members, Kathryn Brooks, to explore the possibilities.
I knew Kathryn personally, and we started to have meetings to discuss possibilities of programs for seniors. Lilyan Spero, who was on my Adult Education Advisory Committee, joined us. Our early discussions led us to conclude that the seniors we wanted to serve would be more interested in a program affiliated with a college or university rather than a public school system. We looked at program models at American University and other colleges where "learning in retirement" programs existed
The initial plans for a learning and retirement institute to be proposed to George Mason University were drawn up at the dining room table in Kathryn's home by me, Kathryn, and Lilyan. I agreed that Carol Ferrara would continue on my office payroll but would work with the new institute.
Once a Board was identified, I conducted some training sessions and helped them with a mission statement and set goals and objectives. Once the program started taking membership and had some revenue, Carol Ferrara transferred from my staff to LRI. I remained as an advisor to the new entity.”

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The OLLI Players: Outreaching More and More


By Michelle Blandburg, Member, Board of Directors and Member of OLLI Players

To quote Shakespeare: “The play’s the thing!” 

For the OLLI Players, it doesn't matter whether it’s a play, a poem or song lyrics. The Players simply love to perform. You may have seen us at many OLLI parties and events.  However, you may not know that we often take our shows on the road! The OLLI Players have performed throughout the Northern Virginia area at senior residences and community centers, including Greenspring in Springfield, the Fairfax at Fort Belvoir, and the Senior Centers in Manassas and Woodbridge.

Our passion goes beyond acting and performing. We use our public shows as occasions to meet and mingle with our audiences. Besides entertaining, we spread the word about OLLI’s learning program as well as the social interaction we share.

Led by long-time OLLI members Kathie West and Wendy Campbell, our offerings run a full gamut from original plays, like The Seasons of Life, to comedic skits, and dramatizations of song lyrics. The troupe is easily recognized by our custom tee-shirts bearing the bright red-curtained OLLI Players logo.

The OLLI Players welcome opportunities to share our talents wherever fun-loving seniors gather. If you know of or are affiliated with a senior residence, church, or community center where a show would brighten their day, please contact us. Requests for performances can be emailed to, subject: The OLLI Players.


You Missed It!  Liaison Training

By Martha Powers, Liaison Committee Chair

It happens at least once per term...and you are ALWAYS invited! Liaison training covers all the tricks of the trade: how to make our instructors feel at home, what to do in an emergency, where to find the walkie-talkies, and much, much more. Even OLLI member instructors who take liaison training are surprised when they learn the behind-the-scenes liaison duties They agree that “it’s not just reading the announcements!”

Being a liaison is a fun, easy way to help “pay back” OLLI as a volunteer, so come and learn all about it. Our next liaison training Class is on Friday, Nov 13 (last day of the fall term) at 1:30 PM in the Cottage. Join us! Sign up for #1103 It’s Not Just Reading the Announcements: Liaison Training for Everyone.

            OLLI members take the liaison training class on Sep 17.

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Photo of the Month

The September Photo of the Month theme was open (i.e., unspecified). We selected Ed Marion's photo "Prancer 1" 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 Dan Feighery, Photography Club Coordinator

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Poet's Corner
                              Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop
An 'Aha’ Moment 
Some of us cannot recall
that ‘aha’ moment when first we knew
that letters learned made words, made sense,
that what we spoke could also be written,
could be read by someone outside ourselves.
Perhaps a For Sale sign cleared the mist,
or a series of Burma Shave signs,
mysteries rhymed in a father’s voice,
or odd letters on a grocery list,
milk, bread, butter, ordinary things,
that made us know, deep within,
we were like others: we could read.
                                        Jan Bohall

Joanne M. Tucker, a long time resident of Fairfax County, passed away on Sep 6, 2015. She was a member of OLLI from 2001 to 2014. Joanne was an instructor for sketching and drawing classes for many years.

Robert E. Simon, OLLI member and Reston founder, passed away peacefully at his home in Heron House on Lake Anne in Reston on Monday, Sep 21. He was 101 and had signed up this fall for his favorite OLLI course, "The Ongoing Pleasures of Music" taught by Gloria Sussman. During that class on Mar 31, 2014, OLLI president Martha Scanlon presented Bob with a certificate granting him attendance to any OLLI courses or special events of his choosing.

Reston OLLI members will miss seeing him in class and on his regular walks around the Lake Anne neighborhood. We’ll be comforted by “Bronze Bob,” a bronze statue of Bob sitting on a bench in his favorite place, Lake Anne Plaza.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Terio Simon, who has taught classes for OLLI. Information about a memorial service is not yet known.

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Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, next ten days

By Shelly Gersten, OLLI E-News Staff Writer

For 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 page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.
At the Fairfax Campus Venues

An Evening with Bernadette Peters
Sat, Sep 26, 8:00
This performance is part of the ARTS by George! benefit.
Concert Hall
Admission: $100, $85, $60
Fall for the Book
Sun, Sep 27 - Sat, Oct 3
Various venues
Admission: Free
Virginia Opera: Orpheus in the Underworld
Sat, Oct 3, 8:00 and Sun, Oct 4, 2:00
Pre-Performance discussion: Member of the company
Concert Hall
Admission: $98, $80, $48

Mason Student and Faculty Performances
(see for additional student recitals)
Brian Binder, Graduate Trumpet Recital
Sun, Sep 27, 4:00
deLaski 3001
Admission: Free
Composer's Week Recital
Sun, Oct 4, 6:00
deLaski 3001
Admission: Free
Jacob Lash, Music-Ed Vocal Recital
Sun, Oct 4, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free
Curt Christensen, Doctoral Trumpet Recital
Mon, Oct 5, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free
At the Hylton Center

The Story of E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology)
Aug 17 - Oct 4
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.
Gallery Reception: Thu, Sep 17 from 6:00 to 8:00. RSVP to
Admission: Free
Manassas Chorale: Princesses and Pirates
Fri, Oct 2, 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: $20
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: To Swing Through the Sky
Sat, Oct 3, 8:00
There will not be a Pre-Performance Discussion for this performance.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26
Nature Visions Traveling Exhibition
Oct 5 - Nov 15
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 - 6:00, Thur., 10:00 - 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Gallery Reception: Thu, Oct 8 from 6:00 to 8:00. RSVP to
Admission: Free
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 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 Sep 26 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Tue Sep 29 10:00am Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Wed Sep 30  1:45pm
Bridge Club–TA-3
Spanish Club–N/A
Fri  Oct 2  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Board of Director’s Special Meeting-TA-1
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex
Sat Oct 3 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Oct 5  1:15pm Executive Director Conversation and Coffee–Annex
Tue Oct 6 10:00am
Knitting and Needlework Club–Panera, Herndon
Executive Director Conversation and Coffee–UCP Reston
Wed Oct 7  1:30pm
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Special Events Committee–Annex
History Club–TA-1
Fri Oct 9  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Religious Studies Club–Cottage

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