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OLLI Walking Group at Ranger Road Park,
September 6; L to R are Doris Bloch, Elaine Erlich, Ute Cristoph-Hill, and Charley Silver

October 21, 2016

Editor of the Week: John Nash

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

DON’T FORGET: Passwords for the member portal are now strictly case-sensitive. From here forward when you login, be careful to type in your password exactly as it was originally set up – this includes capital and lower case letters.

Be assured, you do not need to create a new password unless you can’t remember your original or you want a new password.

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OLLI President’s Message: A Chat With the Provost
By Ray Beery, President

It has been my privilege this month to sit down twice with Dr. David Wu, Mason Provost, and talk about OLLI. It warmed my heart to hear his praise of our quarter-century old institute. Moreover, he renewed the commitment of Mason leadership to helping us as we move onward. We are fortunate to have his leadership.

You won’t be surprised that Dr. Wu presents us with a challenge to send help in the other direction, to marshal the talents and experience we possess as a result of, well, living so long! He turned to his vision of preparing Mason students for careers of fulfillment and service to society. That view is considerably more grand than just cranking out computer programmers, teachers, nurses, more professors. He sees the successful graduate leaving here with not just 120 credit hours in the field engraved on the diploma. Time at Mason will also have been spent in co-curricular activities, leading toward one of four general fields of endeavor. I find these fascinating.

You know where I’m going with this narrative. How can we at OLLI help mentor and guide students in this broadening activity? Think this over, and let’s talk about it in the coming weeks.
These are the four rubrics:

  •      Research and discovery. Are you a scientist or an author?
  •      Global engagement. Were you in the foreign service or a
    multi-national corporation?
  •      Entrepreneurship. Did you build or help create an enterprise
    from the ground up?
  •      Social impact and innovation. Were you a legislative assistant or
    on staff of a government agency striving to improve some huge
    taxpayer-funded programs?

Let’s go for it.

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OLLI Celebrates 25th Anniversary in Grand Style
By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate/Registrar

OLLI rolled out the red carpet for its VIP 25th anniversary celebration at the Country Club of Fairfax October 14. Policymakers, founding members, and Mason directors all paid homage to a quarter-century of OLLI Mason excellence in inspiring the hearts, minds, and souls of active and intellectually curious older adults.

Mason Provost David Wu hailed OLLI as a “gift” to the community, a key part of the university’s strategic plan to extend its learning mission into the neighborhoods of Northern Virginia. OLLI’s success over 25 years mirrors that of George Mason, he said; in many ways, “we grew up together.”

Provost Wu joined OLLI officials and university representatives in presenting the 25th OLLI Anniversary Gift to the Office of Military Services. OMS Director Jennifer Connors raved about OLLI’s generosity, revealing that she will use the $26,650 to set up an emergency scholarship for student veterans to afford basic necessities like rent while attending school. She surprised OLLI with the OMS “Spirit of Hope” trophy for enduring dedication. The picture shows (left to right) Mason Provost Dr. David Wu; Emmett Fenlon; City of Fairfax Mayor Steven Stombres; Mason Rector, Board of Visitors Tom Davis; Executive Director Jennifer Disano; U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly; Virginia Delegate Ken Plum; Virginia Delegate David Bulova; and President Ray Beery.

Showcased at the event were eight commemorations, ranging from resolutions from the VA General Assembly, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, and the City of Fairfax, to statements of support from members of the U.S. Congress. Government officials heaped praise on OLLI programming and the extraordinary dedication of the membership to lifelong learning and volunteerism. U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly quipped that when he decides to “hang it up” he too will join OLLI.

The 25th anniversary celebration continues with a membership party November 4, featuring entertainment, prizes, surprises, and a special video on the history of OLLI. Sign up now via the member portal (special event 1104). Today is the last day for registrations!

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Books + Party

By John Nash, E-News Editor

While this may sound like a law firm, OLLI members know that both are opportunities to review and celebrate twenty-five years of OLLI.

Copies of the 25th anniversary book, The Story of OLLI, are available now at the Tallwood office. The book includes lively text and photographs documenting the dramatic success story of our institute over the past 25 years. For just $25, you will receive a memento to enjoy for years to come, so stop by and pick up your copy now.

But you really won’t have time to read your new book if you attend the OLLI 25th anniversary party! It’s Friday, November 4 from 1:30–3:30 at the Church of the Good Shepherd. This promises to be one special OLLI event you won’t want to miss! But you’d better hurry as noon today, Friday, October 21, is the deadline for reservations! Space is limited to 200 people.

If you already signed up for this event, please check the member portal or call the office to confirm your registration.  Some registrations may not have been successfully completed.

To confirm your registration yourself:
1) log into the member portal;
2) click “current registration” on the left hand green toolbar;
3) look for the anniversary party in your registration listings.

If the anniversary party is not there or you would like to register for the first time for the party, click the party icon at left. Remember to finish your registration by going to your cart and checking out.

So here’s your chance to review history (OLLI’s) and make history (25th Anniversary Party). Just don’t forget: party registration closes at noon today!

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Changes and Challenges in Technology Support

By John Lax, AV/Technical Support Team Chair

The summer hasn’t seen just changes and challenges in the OLLI parking lot. There has been a lot going on “behind the scenes” to ensure that the OLLI technology front is at its best.

First, there were a couple of unexpected surprises when the cables handling OLLI’s audiovisual resources were cut by the contractors! But the repairs were made and OLLI was quickly functioning again. Then, members of the AV Technical Support team helped upgrade the equipment in two classrooms thanks in part to the generous donations for TA‑3 from Bob and Beverley Persell, and Rod and Susanne Zumbro.

The challenges – and our work – continued as the team helped relocate the email/internet server to the new staff offices in the cottage. And, OLLI members will be glad to know the team has been working on updating the asset list to ensure computers in the classrooms are replaced to meet the needs of speakers.

The AV Technical Support team would like to recruit more volunteers. The team is looking for anyone with AV experience (do you help with the AV at your church?), PC familiarity, Apple technology experience, networking experience, cyber security… or just desire to learn about some of the things we do. If you are interested, then please email me at and let’s talk!

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Science, Technology, and Health Planning Group Meeting

By John Acton, Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group ChairmanThe OLLI Science, Technology, and Health Program Planning Group will meet on Wednesday, October 26, from 1:30-3:30 at Tallwood, in the Annex (social break-room). We’ll be reviewing planned courses for the coming spring 2017 term and planning for the summer and fall terms and beyond.

Please come join us to share your thoughts on course topics that would be of interest to you and other members of the OLLI community. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at

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Photo of the Month

The October Photo of the Month theme was “Texture.” We selected Ed Rader’s photo “Kenilworth Gardens” 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

Mark Irchai Performs Program of Piano Works
By Ed Marion, OLLI Member

On October 11, attendees in Dr. Kate Hearden’s F104 Music Sampler class at Lord of Life Fairfax were treated to a diverse program of solo piano works by Mozart, Scriaben, and Bach. The performer was Mark Irchai, a 20-year-old junior piano performance major at the Mason School of Music under the guidance of Dr. Anna Balakerskaia, Mason professor of piano and chamber music. An accomplished pianist, Mark is also a recipient of a scholarship from the Friends of Music at Mason, and one of twenty-five University Scholars, named from all disciplines across the university. His performance was one of four programs in Dr. Hearden’s class in fall term 2016.

Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop


I don’t blame the hydrangea
for not producing a single bloom
for three years running. It had its reasons:
snapped by extreme cold,
dug up and relocated, pruned at the wrong time,
improperly pinched.
It’s a wonder it produced leaves.

I fertilized and hovered,
awaiting the clusters of tiny,
pale green buds
that will unfold into violet blue splendor.
None appeared.
My hope for a bush
thick with blossoms
sputtered like a candle
on a breezy porch.

Mid-July brought heat and resignation,
another flowerless year,
but, wait—
I glimpse
one scanty cluster of petals,
a watercolor wash of delicate pink,
almost hidden under the foliage,
tentatively peeking out

One is a bounty
one unforseen development
one unbridled leap of heart.

Sandy Myles

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Barbara F. Sanders of Clifton, VA, passed away at Fairfax Hospital on Wednesday, October 12. Born August 6, 1940, in Washington, DC, and raised in Arlington, she was an accomplished interior designer who owned First Impressions Interiors, Inc. Funeral services were held on Thursday, October 20.

For those OLLI friends who care to recognize Barbara’s friendship, contributions may be made in her name to Band of Parents, a childhood cancer foundation at

Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, October 21 – 31
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
No Professional Events Scheduled

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

Fall Choral Invitational Concert
Sun, Oct 23, 4:00
University Chorale will perform a concert of music though the ages along with guest choirs from Chantilly and McLean high schools.
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $8Mason’s School of Theater and School of Music: The Threepenny Opera – PREVIEW
Wed, Oct 26, 8:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Pay what you can

Mason’s School of Theater and School of Music: The Threepenny Opera
Thu, Oct 27, 2016 – Sat, Oct 29, 8:00
Sat, Oct 29, 2:00
Sun, Oct 30, 4:00
A Talk Back/Q&A with the cast will take place after the Friday performance.
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $30; seniors, $15

Laurie Sokoloff Flute Master Class
Oct 29, 10:00
DeLaski – Room 3001
Admission: Free


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At the Hylton Center

Mason School of Art: Alumni Exhibition
Oct 3 – Nov 6
The Gallery is open to the public Tue-Sat, 10:00 – 6:00, Thu, 10:00 – 8:00 and two hours before performances.
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
Admission: Free

Manassas Ballet Theatre: Frankenstein
Fri, Oct 21 and Sat, Oct 22, 7:30
Sun, Oct 23, 3:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $55, $45, $35, $25, $15

Prince William Little Theatre: Bat Boy: The Musical
Fri, Oct 21 and Sat, Oct 22, 8:00
Sun, Oct 23, 2:00
Fri, Oct 28 and Sat, Oct 29, 8:00
Sun, Oct 30, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adults, $25; children, $20

Reduced Shakespeare Company: The Complete History of America (abridged): Election Edition!
Fri, Oct 28, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Austin Tichenor and Reed Martin.
Merchant Hall
Admission: $44, $37, $26.

Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Il Virtuosi
Sat, Oct 29, 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $1

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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 Oct 22 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Oct 24  1:15pm Reston Program Planning Group–UCP
Wed Oct 26  1:30pm


Science, Technology and Health Planning
Bridge Club–TA-3
Spanish Club–TA-2
Fri Oct 28  9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation–Annex
Theater Lovers Club–TA-1
Classic Literature Club–TA-2
Homer, etc–Annex
Photography Club–TA-3
Religious Studies Club–TA-2
Dr. Who Club–Annex
Sat Oct 29 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Wed Nov 2  1:30pm
Mah Jongg Club–TA-2
Bridge Club–TA-3
Special Events Committee–Annex
History Club–TA-1
Fri Nov 4 10:00am Town Hall Meeting–TA-1

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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: 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: Rebecca Jann, 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:
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 “” without the quotes.

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