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Board of Directors Meeting, Tallwood, November 18

December 2, 2016

Editor of the Week: Sheri Siesseger

Table of Contents

Alerts & Notices

Please note that priority registration for the winter term begins TODAY and ends December 9 at noon. Register via the OLLI Mason member portal.

Make note of this just-added offering for winter term! “The Failure of the Arab Spring and the Growth of Extremism in the Arab World” presented by Mason Visiting Scholar Seyed Mohammad Ali Taghavi (associate professor at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran). Sign up with your winter term registration (Special Event 970).

Give the gift of OLLI. An OLLI eGift Card makes a great gift and will help you avoid the shopping mall! The card can be bought in any denomination to apply toward an OLLI membership or event/materials fees. Order your eGift card by clicking here: Need more information? Contact the OLLI office: 703-503-3384.

Register for the bake sale, lunch, and a movie Joyeux Noël (“Merry Christmas”); December 13, Tallwood, TA-1. Event 1004BT.

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A Message from OLLI’s President and Executive Director

By Ray Beery, President, and Jennifer Disano, Executive Director

As we come to the close of our momentous 25th anniversary year, let us join to appreciate our friendship and accomplishments of 2016. The countless learning experiences, the joyful socials, the happy conversations, the few sad losses, the promise of an even better future … all these flood to mind as we pause now for our holiday break.

Take time to turn the pages of The Story of OLLI. Find the closing words, so apt, of talented and hardworking volunteer editor, Carol Henderson:

“As OLLI Mason expands its presence in the community, members and staff will continue to grapple with issues of facilities and space posed by growing numbers of members. Building a strong program of courses will always be a top priority. But perhaps the greatest challenge facing OLLI in the future will be to maintain, and indeed increase, the spirit of volunteering that has brought the organization such great success for 25 years.”

Now, as you ponder 2017 New Year’s resolutions, consider how you too can volunteer at OLLI! It’s good for you! “Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published this month in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers.” It’s good for your mind! “One key for deriving health benefits from volunteering is to do it for the right reasons. A 2012 study in the journal Health Psychology found that participants who volunteered with some regularity lived longer, but only if their intentions were truly altruistic.” (Harvard MS Blog, 2013). It’s good for OLLI! OLLI is a volunteer-run organization. Some institutes make volunteering a condition of membership. We don’t do that. (It wouldn’t really be volunteering if we did!) But volunteering is central to our existence. Our bylaws sum it up: OLLI “is governed by its members and functions as an intellectual cooperative in which members volunteer in administration and as planners, instructors, organizational officers and committee members.” Share your talents with us in 2017. You will love it!

Summary of November Board Meeting

By Irene Osterman, Member, Board of Directors

The Board met on November 18 at Tallwood. President Ray Beery announced that in the discussions that will take place with Mason regarding renewal of our space and facility agreements, we will look at making the maintenance obligations of the university more explicit.

It was decided that the budget report to the Board should more clearly present what our income is, what our approved expenditures are, and where we stand as the year progresses. The Board will also study the amount of risk that should be factored into the reserve fund.

At the January meeting, the Board will come to an agreement on what needs to be in the minutes for members to understand decisions and what each Board needs to know about decisions made by previous Boards.

Several resolutions were presented for approval.

  • The Board approved a draft budget for 2017 which will be finalized in January. The preliminary budget, presented to the Board in October, was reduced by the finance committee. Among the changes made was elimination of a contract to study our A/V needs and a reduction in the amount allocated for staff recruitment and training. We are now projecting a 2% growth in full memberships rather than 4%, resulting in lower projected income.
  • A resolution to establish a Mason Support Fund for charitable giving to Mason programs such as the Office of Military Services and arts programs which members could choose to contribute to was defeated.
  • A resolution was passed to amend the Board Guidelines to have the development committee once or twice a year prepare a list of proposed uses for FOLLI funds which the Board can use to prioritize such uses.
  • A resolution was passed allocating $18,500 from FOLLI funds for scholarships to the Mason departments that provided instructors to OLLI in the past year.
  • Additional resolutions were approved to use FOLLI funds for printing our literary publication, OLLI Ink, in the amount of $600 as well as donating $2,000 to Fall for the Book, which provides OLLI events.
  • A resolution listing potential 2017 allocations of FOLLI funds was withdrawn with a sense of the Board agreement that we have not yet determined the full range of specific uses for these funds.

Take Note: OLLI Staff Shuffle for 2017!

By Alice Slayton Clark, Communications Associate

Hold onto your cards; OLLI is shuffling the staff deck. Make note of these changes so you can work with a full hand when it comes to winter term registration!

Shannon Morrow is the new registrar. Hired last year as an administrative assistant and ace organizer of our wonderful 25th anniversary events, she will now shift her responsibilities to anything involving registration, membership and related payments. She will also continue to serve as staff support for the liaison committee. If you have any questions about 2017 winter term registration, you can find her most mornings at her cottage desk.

Alice Slayton Clark will continue as communications associate, but, starting in the new year, will also work alongside Beth Davis as a new program associate handling special events, clubs and “things that crop up at the last minute.” The rest of the program portfolio remains in Beth’s fabulous hands. Alice will be working 30 hours per week and can be found Tuesday-Friday 9:00-3:00 at her desk in the cottage. Contact her if you have questions about events/clubs, e-blasts, the communicator, social media or outreach efforts.

Finally, Mike Emory will be joining the OLLI staff in January as site assistant at remote campuses (mostly Fairfax) to provide audiovisual support. He is a computer specialist retiring from a federal government career. Welcome Mike!

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ALOHA! Got talent?

OLLI’s annual talent show will be held during the Ice Cream Social and Hawaiian Luau on Friday, February 10, from 1:00–3:00 in TA-1. (The snow date is Friday, February 24, same time and place.)

We’d love to see new acts (no repeats from the 2012-2015 shows, please) and the Hawaiian theme is encouraged, but not mandatory. The five-minute time limit will be enforced by a time keeper this year, and the MC will once again be Manny Pablo.

If you’d like to be part of the show, please email Manny at and provide a description of your act. Thank you!

Thank You to the History Book Work Group

By Carol Henderson, Chair, OLLI History Book Work Group

Before OLLI’s 25th anniversary year concludes, I’d like to thank the great team of volunteer members who helped put The Story of OLLI together to celebrate OLLI’s remarkable history. While I chaired the group and did most of the research and wrote the first draft, I’m particularly grateful to Martha Scanlon, who turned the text into a sparkling story of volunteerism, and to Paul Van Hemel, who was a magnificent photo editor. Others on the history book work group were Pat Bangs, Ray Beery, Bob and Jan Bohall, Emmett Fenlon, Beverly George and Irene Osterman. They searched out early and pioneer members, contributed history details and took on editing and proofreading tasks. Other members who were particularly helpful include Kathryn Russell, Gordon Canyock, Rod Zumbro, and OLLI staffer Alice Slayton Clark.

The book could not have been produced without the amazing amount of material on the OLLI website, so thanks to many newsletter writers, photographers and editors, to video creators, and to those who produced Board minutes and committee reports. Finally, thanks to founding member Shirley Fox for the early history she compiled, to executive director Jennifer Disano for great support throughout the two-year process, and to Zine Graphics for an attractive book design.

Don’t have your copy yet? It’s the season for gifts, either to treat yourself or to suggest to relatives a gift that would please you. Just $25 for 25 years of lively text and photos covering every aspect of an Institute that has enriched all our lives! If you would like a copy of the book, what better time than now to ask your children, grandchildren or best friends to purchase it for you as a holiday gift? Have them click the following link to buy it online: Story of OLLI. They may also contact the OLLI office to purchase a copy of the book as a gift: 703-503-3384.

Photo by Ed Marion

History Club to Hear About Pershing in Mexico

By Beth Lambert, History Club Coordinator

The December meeting of the History Club will take place on Wednesday, December 7 at 10:15 in TA-1. Please take note of the time. Patrick McGinty will speak on “Pershing’s Punitive Expedition into Mexico in 1916.” As Pat will explain, the object of Pershing’s expedition was to pursue and eliminate the primary source of friction between the United States government and that of Mexico; in a word, eliminate “Pancho Villa” and his band. The lessons learned in that exercise were successfully applied in World War I.

As History Club members know, Pat’s presentations are always informative and dynamic, and, as always, History Club meetings are open to all OLLI members. We can promise you an excellent meeting at 10:15 on Wednesday, December 7.

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Computer Club: Amazon Echo & Some Apple Stuff; Technology to Overcome Low Vision

Saturday, December 10th
By Paul Howard, OPCUG Program Chair

The Computer Club (OLLI Personal Computer User Group, or OPCUG) will meet with its partner, the Potomac Area Technology and Computer Society (PATACS), on Saturday, December 10 at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. Program activities begin at 1:00.

Lorrin Garson will discuss and demonstrate the Amazon Echo home voice assistant. The device responds to the “wake word” “Alexa” followed by a wide variety of commands to provide information about the weather, play music, listen to a radio, buy goods and services from, control linked home devices, and more. Arguably, Amazon Echo is currently the dominant voice-controlled information resource device. Competition includes Google Home, Samsung Scoop, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. They are based on remarkable advances in voice recognition and artificial intelligence. Garson will demonstrate the Amazon Echo and Apple’s Siri.

Lorrin Garson has been making presentations to our joint meetings since our first session in January, 2009. His “Musings of an Apple Tyro” column is a regular feature of the PATACS Posts newsletter.

A Learn in 30 presentation by Phillip Linz will discuss the challenges of low vision, suggestions for countering its onset, and technologies for assisting individuals dealing with its impacts to improve their lives.

Phillip Linz is the owner of Atlantic Low Vision, a small business devoted to helping those with vision loss regain their independence.

PC Clinic in the Annex (Club Membership and Registration Required)
Get hands-on help with your computer problems from OPCUG and PATACS experts. Bring in your computer, and we’ll help you lose the ‘blues’—system slowdowns, unwanted programs, virus and malware. We can help install new RAM, optical drives, hard disks, and software. Be sure to read the Clinic rules at this link:

See full details on this meeting by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2017 will be collected at this meeting.

Can’t make the meeting in person? Dues-paid club members may attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android: Zoom Meeting ID: 772 616 321

Homer, etc. Announces Change of Plans
By Jan Bohall, Homer, etc. CoordinatorOLLI’s Homer etc. book club will shortly begin The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol, contrary to the description in the winter catalog. We made the change with an eye to a spring theater production at Mason. Drop-ins are always welcome at Homer meetings on Friday mornings at 11:00 in the Tallwood Annex. Upcoming between-term meeting dates are December 9 and 16 and January 13. We’ll loan you a book!

OLLI Veterans Recognized on Veterans Day

By Martha Powers. OLLI Vice President

On Friday, November 11, TA-1 was the site of the Second Annual OLLI Veterans Day Event. The program was covered by a reporter from the Fairfax Connection. You can read the complete story at:

Thanks to Our Winter Catalog Volunteers

By Sheri Siesseger, Publications Committee Chair

We hope that you are enjoying your winter 2017 course catalog. Many thanks to my supporting cast of volunteers on this edition: Joan Axilbund, Doris Bloch, Leti Labell, Karen Murphy, Marilyn O’Brien and Susan Van Hemel. Thank you also to Leigh Knox and Beth Davis of the OLLI staff whose contributions are critical to the production of the catalog. And finally, thanks to Toni Acton for shining a spotlight on Member Services volunteer opportunities. Did you see it? If not, please check out the inside cover of your catalog.

The Publications Committee needs volunteers to edit upcoming catalogs. If you would like to learn more about this opportunity, please contact me:

Poet’s Corner

Courtesy of the Poetry Workshop
Cool SeaFrom the wrack line watch the dolphins
Graceful, curve through near-shore waters
Heading south in early morning
Returning north when dark appears
Like sea life unseen under surface currents
They keep their counsel, move straight on
Then realize they should communeKeep our oceans clean, they say
Don’t let them get too hot for us to live

We are trying to speak your language

Betty Smith

Arts & Music at George Mason

Performances, Dec 2 through Dec 22
By 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 page or the Hylton ticket purchase page.

At the Fairfax Campus Venues

Virginia Opera: The Barber of Seville
Sat, Dec 3, 8:00
Sun, Dec 4, 2:00
Pre-performance discussion: Glenn Winter.
Concert Hall
Admission: $110, $90, $54.
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Fri, Dec 9, 8:00
Featuring the Fairfax Ballet
Concert Hall
Admission: $65, $53, $39.American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season
Sat, Dec 10, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Bryan Kidd, arranger in residence
Concert Hall
Admission: $55, $47, $33.

Alexandria Harmonizers: A Family Christmas
Fri, Dec 16 and Sat, Dec 17, 8:00
Sat, Dec 17, 2:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $40, $30; seniors, $35, $25.

A Canadian Brass Christmas
Sat, Dec 17, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: David Srebnik, classical music program director, SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Concert Hall
Admission: $60, $51, $36.

Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
Sun, Dec 18, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: David Srebnik, classical music program director, SiriusXM Satellite Radio
Concert Hall
Admission: $55, $47, $33.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Mon, Dec 19 and Tue, Dec 20, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: $175, $122, $88, $68, $48, $28.

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Mason Student & Faculty Performances

(see for additional student recitals)

Dance Innovations
Fri, Dec 2
and Sat, Dec 3, 8:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $10.
Mason’s School of Theater: Bouncin’ – A Kid Pan Alley Musical
Sat, Dec 3, 8:00
Staged reading of an original musical by Paul Reisler.
Admission: Pay what you can – $5 increments.Mason Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Sun, Dec 4, 3:00 and 5:00
Old Town Hall, Fairfax
Tickets: $12, $8, $5.

Dr. Anna Balakerskaia Studio Recital
Sun, Dec 4, 6:00
Choral Room A323
Admission: Free.

Baroque Ensemble Concert
Mon, Dec 5, 7:30
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Healing Arts Ensemble Concert
Wed, Dec 7, 5:00
DeLaski Choral Room A323
Admission: Free.

Jazz Combos/Steel Pan Ensemble Concert
Dec 7, 8:00
DeLaski Room 3001
Admission: Free.

Guitar Ensemble Concert
Sat, Dec 10, 7:00
Harris Theatre
Admission: Free.

Mason Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert
Sun, Dec 11, 7:00
Concert Hall
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $15.

Dance Performance Studio
Mon, Dec 12, 6:00 and 8:00
DeLaski Room A301
Admission: $7.

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At the Hylton Center

The Arts and the Military: Moving through Memories of Service and Conflict
Through Dec 11
Buchanan Partners Art Gallery
The Gallery is open to the public Tue
Sat, 10:006:00; Thu, 10:008:00; and two hours before performances.
Admission: Free.

Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra featuring New York Voices
Fri, Dec 2, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Bryan Kidd
Merchant Hall
Admission: $55, $47, $33.

Mason Opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Fri, Dec 2 and Sat, Dec 3, 8:00
Sat, Dec 3, 3:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adults, $12; seniors, $8.

Manassas Chorale: Rejoice and Be Merry!
Sat, Dec 3, 5:00
Merchant Hall
Admission: $20, $18.

Asaph Dance: Clara’s Christmas and Handel’s Messiah
Sun, Dec 4, 3:30 and 7:30
Merchant Hall
Admission: Adults, $30; seniors, $20.

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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 Dec 3 10:30am Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Dec 5 10:00am
What’s in the Daily News, cont’d–TA-1
Art&Music Program Planning–TA-3
Finance Committee–TA-2
Serious Acting Group–TA-3
Tue Dec 6 9:30am
Annex Art–Annex
Writers Group Organization Meeting–TA-3
Wed Dec 7 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Mah Jongg Club–Annex
History Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Special Event Committee–Annex
Fri Dec 9 9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Photography Club–TA-1
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Homer, etc–Annex
Sat Dec 10 10:30am
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Computer Club–TA-1
Mon Dec 12 10:00am What’s In the Daily News cont’d–TA-1
Tue Dec 13 9:30am
Annex Art–Annex
Spanish Club–TA-2
Wed Dec 14 10:00am
Bridge Club–TA-3
Tallwood Book Club–TA-2
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Dec 16 9:00am
Recorder Consort–TA-3
Craft and Conversation Group–Annex
Theater Lovers Group–TA-1
Homer, etc–Annex
Dr. Who Club–TA-3

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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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