The Board met on Friday, February 19, at Tallwood. The nominating committee, led by Michelle Blandburg, has recruited a number of people to run for the Board and will present a slate of candidates at the March Board meeting. The parking lot renovation is still scheduled to take place between July 22 and September 9. Treasurer Stan Schretter reported that increased funds will be needed for the Capital Technical Fund and a dues increase is possible.
OLLI’s 25th Anniversary Gifts By Glenn Kamber, President, Board of DirectorsMason Office of Military ServicesObserving OLLI’s 25th anniversary throughout 2016 affords us an opportunity to display and highlight the many enrichment, social, and civic aspects of our organization. To demonstrate our continued support of George Mason University, its programs, and students, OLLI is raising Friends of OLLI (FOLLI) funds to help veterans served by Mason’s Office of Military Services (OMS). We gave a similar gift to the OMS during our 20th anniversary in 2011.The OLLI Board of Directors voted to designate OMS as the recipient of a one-time 25th anniversary gift because
Mason officials nominated the OMS as one of four programs whose students need, and could truly benefit from, OLLI support. In this case, OLLI funding will help meet “emergency” academic and daily life expenses of veterans enrolled at the University.
Many OLLI members and/or their families have military backgrounds and understand difficulties often faced by veterans and their families in stretching monthly benefits, often not enough or not delivered on time, to cover daily expenses and respond to crises such as a broken washing machine or family car in need of repair.
OMS has been a frugal and effective steward of our initial 20th anniversary gift, finding ways to stretch it out over five years through careful allocation and successful fund raising from other community resources.
The Board of Directors decided not to set a specific fund-raising goal for the 25th anniversary gift to Mason because many OLLI members voiced concern over setting ever-higher funding targets for future anniversaries. Since launching the annual FOLLI fundraising campaign late last year, we have raised an initial $5,000 in FOLLI contributions specifically dedicated to the 25th anniversary gift.
Your support is needed now. You may contribute via credit card on the OLLI website (olli.gmu.edu) or by check made out to FOLLI.
FOLLI Scholarships to Mason EIP Students
In addition to awarding OLLI’s 25th anniversary gift to the Mason Office of Military Services, the Board of Directors voted to contribute separate FOLLI scholarship assistance to graduates of Mason’s Early Identification Program (EIP) who are now enrolled at Mason. The EIP was also nominated for OLLI anniversary assistance by Mason administrators.
The EIP was established in 1987 by Mason and seven Northern Virginia school districts to help academically promising students starting in 7th grade become the first in their families to complete high school and go on to college. Over the past decades, the EIP has sponsored special enrichment classes, summer programs and tutors for participating students, and academic environment strengthening activities among student families. Students that “graduate” from the EIP are helped to enroll at Mason. Many need and receive scholarship assistance in order to stay in school and complete their degrees.
As with the 25th anniversary gift to the Office of Military Services, the OLLI Board has not set a funding amount for the EIP. The Board voted in January to postpone decision on specific EIP assistance until April 2016 when we will have more time and information on FOLLI fundraising.
Several corporate and community entities may be willing to match OLLI contributions to the EIP. These entities have already scheduled fundraising and gift allocation decisions during April and have asked OLLI to move up our decision regarding EIP to March instead of April.
If you are interested in learning more about the EIP, please check its website (http://eip.gmu.edu/).
Fun Facts to Celebrate OLLI’s 25th Anniversary By Ray Beery, Member, Board of DirectorsFor our 25th anniversary, we are raising funds for a gift to the Office of Military Services. We did this for the 20th anniversary and saw the amount reach $20,000. Let’s do it again.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 2016 fall term.
On February 23, members of OLLI and Mason gathered on campus at the university’s HUB to hear a special event lecture as a part of OLLI’s 25th anniversary year celebrations.
Co-sponsored with Mason Office of Global Studies, OLLI hosted Dr. William E. Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, to give his insights on the political climate surrounding—and created, for the most part, by—the Russian leader, President Vladimir Putin.
Understanding Russia today continues to be as challenging as it was during the Cold War when it was a part of the former USSR. Noting the Russian leader’s desire to make that country a major player in world politics, Dr. Pomeranz focused on two important aspects of the country’s character: economic and international.
“The Russian economy is in bad shape,” said Dr. Pomeranz, noting the impact of dropping oil prices and the effect of economic sanctions resulting from Russia’s adventurism into Ukraine.
While the Russian people are feeling a serious economic pinch, Mr. Putin’s popularity within the country remains high, as he has been able to mask the deteriorating economic situation faced by the Russian people with a strong sense of nationalism resulting from international adventurism, especially in Ukraine and the Middle East. How long this imbalance can continue is unpredictable.
One of Mr. Putin’s diplomatic goals is to split the United States and European Union’s solidarity in applying economic sanctions as a result of conflict in Ukraine. The sanctions come up for review this summer and already some EU businesses want them relaxed to open markets.
Other internal problems Russia is facing are a poor technology base, continued government and business corruption, declining international trade and investment, and minority population unrest. “Russia must begin to solve these and many other internal problems before they can present a serious opinion on the world stage,” said Dr. Pomeranz. Mr. Putin wants to maintain an internal status quo and hopes that time is on his side. Both remain to be seen.
As part of an ongoing effort to extend the talents and expertise of OLLI members to Mason students and academic programs, OLLI is now a “client” of writing and public relations classes in the Mason’s Communications Department. OLLI members serve as both tutors and beneficiaries of student “on the job” training in which they practice public relations skills with real organizations such as OLLI.
On February 23, six Mason students who have chosen OLLI as their class project—Kelly Damato, Jennifer Daniel, Cynthia Guevarra-Henriguez, Margot Koppier, Shelby Tyler, and Kelsey Yates—presented a written PR plan outline for OLLI to OLLI President Glenn Kamber and Board members Michelle Blandburg and me.
Previously, along with other volunteer clients, Glenn had addressed Professor Kathy Rowan’s public relations class, telling them about OLLI, our unique membership, and our interest in further developing a relationship with the Mason community, its students and faculty, as well as the broader Northern Virginia community.
The student committee built on the results of a survey of Mason students that had been conducted last fall by students from an earlier class taught by Professor Rowan. A major finding of that survey was that students showed strong interest in being tutored or mentored by OLLI members, in either a one-on-one or group format.
The comprehensive PR plan outline for OLLI that the committee developed focused on the following two goals: to showcase OLLI to the Mason and the broader community and to create a pilot tutoring and mentorship program for Mason students involving eight to ten OLLI volunteers.
The student committee also plans to capitalize on OLLI’s 25th anniversary and the many celebratory events planned for it to generate considerable coverage in local and regional media.
You have probably seen the OLLI Players perform at many OLLI events or in our annual Murder Mystery play. You may not realize that we also take our shows on the road to local senior centers and residences, assisted living facilities, etc.
The OLLI Players’ mission includes reaching out to organizations serving mature citizens. Among these groups are the Shepherd’s Centers of Northern Virginia, a volunteer network of interfaith community-based organizations that provide their participants with lifelong learning, health enhancement and cultural enrichment opportunities. The centers also give support by providing seniors free transportation to medical appointments and essential shopping.
Representing OLLI, the Players’ artistic director Kathie West spoke at a meeting of the Shepherd’s Centers’ leadership on February 23 at the Vienna Baptist Church. Kathie was accompanied by OLLI Board of Director members Wendy Campbell and Michelle Blandburg. Attendees included Shepherd’s Center Executive Director Michelle Scott and Don Park of the Connections Newspapers network.
Kathie used this opportunity to promote OLLI and to familiarize the Shepherd’s Centers’ leadership with the entertaining theatrics our Players can offer their groups at no charge. Her presentation was well received and is likely to generate even more performances in the community.
If you are affiliated with a seniors-focused community group or residence that would like to book a show by the OLLI Players, contact Kathie West at firstname.lastname@example.org; please write “The OLLI Players” in the subject line.
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of OLLI and emphasize the relationship OLLI has with George Mason, I plan to write an article for Mason Spirit, the magazine for Mason alumni and friends.
In addition to being an OLLI student, I am a Mason alum (MA in history in 1989 and MEd in 2006). The article would be enhanced by the OLLI experiences and outlooks of any other GMU alums. Please share your thoughts, your degree, and your year of graduation from Mason with me at email@example.com or (703) 244-9046.
I will ensure that you see a copy of the article in draft form before I submit the final article to Mason so you can provide any final thoughts.
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, March 19, at Tallwood. Join us at 12:30 for soft drinks and socializing in the social room. Presentations will begin at 1:00.
Ancient History/Modern Destruction—Using Science and Technology to Study Cultural Heritage Loss, presented by Jonathan Drake, AAAS
The growing availability of high-resolution commercial satellite imagery provides unprecedented capabilities for monitoring around the world, shedding light on events in remote locations. The current conflict in Syria and Iraq serves as a dramatic case study and has involved widespread reports of intentional destruction of cultural heritage designed to erase the presence and history of rival social or ethnic groups. This presentation will discuss the methods and means by which the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Geospatial Technologies Project is systemically monitoring sites across Syria and Iraq using high-resolution satellite imagery.
Jonathan Drake is the senior imagery analyst at the AAAS Geospatial Technologies Project. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and a master’s in planetary science from Arizona State University. A former research assistant at the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Hawaii Institute for Geophysics and Planetology, he has over ten years of experience spanning the domains of planetary and terrestrial remote sensing.
Learn 30: Apps for iOS and Android, presented by Stan Schretter
Stan will continue his discussion of apps for both iOS and Android. A recent study showed that use of mobile apps to obtain information is greater than the use of all web browsers for that purpose, both mobile and PC based, combined!
Since he introduced “education” apps during his last presentation, Stan will continue on that theme and discuss his favorite apps for turning your mobile device into a “learning” machine versus just a bandwidth and time waster! You may be surprised by what is out there and by Stan’s favorite “education” app.
Stan Schretter is an OLLI member and has been avidly exploring technology since attaching ham radio antennas to his parents’ house roof at age 13.
See full details on these meetings by clicking here. For information on the Computer Club, see the OPCUG website. OPCUG dues of $5 for 2016 will be collected at this meeting.
Can’t make one of the meeting in person? Dues paid club members may attend via Zoom’s cloud meeting service, beginning at 12:45. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend in this way. Join from PC, Mac, iOS, or Android—https://zoom.us/j/951256815.
OLLI Book Club By Ceda McGrew, Book Club CoordinatorThe OLLI Book Club will meet on Wednesday, March 9, at 10 at Tallwood. The book for discussion is Moon Tiger by British author Penelope Lively. Winner of the 1987 Booker Prize, it tells the story of an elderly historian who, as she is dying, wishes to tell the history of the world, but instead documents her own personal history. It is the subject of an OLLI course taught this spring in Reston by Nancy Sheeler, R413 Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger. The book for discussion in April is A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman.All OLLI members are welcome.
After our very successful OLLI class on the Reston Museum we thought we’d follow up with exciting news!
The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is a nonprofit organization that preserves the past, informs the present, and influences the future of Reston through its educational programs. Our goals are to engage the public in an exploration of community history; promote Reston as a destination; and collect, preserve, and interpret the documents and artifacts of Reston’s history.
Here are just some of the programs coming up at the museum.
Thursday, March 10, 7:00 to 9:00: “The Cartography of Northern Virginia,” a presentation on the evolution of the area’s road network and settlement pattern from early Colonial times. Presenter: Shelley S. Mastran, Ph.D., Chair of the Reston Historic Trust and Professor in Practice in Urban Planning at Virginia Tech in Alexandria.
Wednesday, April 6, 7:00 to 9:00: “The Future of the American Suburb: Lessons from Reston,” a presentation on the unique characteristics of Reston that influenced suburban development in the United States. Presenter: Patrick Phillips, CEO of the Urban Land Institute.
Both programs will be at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery, Reston Community Center Lake Anne. For more information, contact email@example.com.
We invite you to join us by becoming a member of the Reston Historic Trust. Senior membership is only $30 a year. Visit our website, www.restonmuseum.org, where you will find lots of information about the museum, programs, and volunteer opportunities.
Performances, next March 4 through March 21By 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
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra: Caribbean Rhythms—Journey to the Islands
Sat, Mar 5, 8:00
Pre-performance discussion: Member of the company
Admission: $44, $37, $26.
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: An Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein
Sat, Mar 12 , 8:00
Admission: $58, $46, $34.
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Splendor from Silence
Sun, Mar 13, 7:00
Admission: $40, $34, $24.
Celtic Nights: Spirit of Freedom
Sun, Mar 20, 4:00
Pre-performance discussion: Member of the company
Admission: $48, $41, $29.
Mason Student & Faculty Performances
(see music.gmu.edu for additional student recitals)Mason Improv Show
Fri, Mar 4, 8:00
Admission: Free.New Sound Collective Concert
Fri, Mar 4, 7:00
Admission: Free.Dance Gala Concert, School of Dance
Fri, Mar 18, and Sat, Mar 19, 8:00
Prior to the performance on Mar 19 the School of Dance will host the Dance Gala. Tickets start at $150 per person. For information, contact Cody Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-993-4749.
Admission to concert: Adults, $25; seniors, $15.
The 5th Annual PWCPS Student Exhibition
Feb 1—Mar 20
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.
Manassas Symphony Orchestra: From the British Isles
Sat, Mar 5, 7:30
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $16.
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: The Golden Age of Piano
Sun, Mar 7, 4:00
Admission: $40, $34, $24.
Manassas Ballet Theatre: Dances and Divertissements
Fri, Mar 11 and Sat, Mar 12, 7:30
Sun, Mar 13, 3:00
Prince William Little Theatre: Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror
Fri, Mar 11 and Sat, Mar 12, 8:00
Sun, Mar 13, 2:00
Fri, Mar 18 and Sat, Mar 19, 8:00
Sun, Mar 20, 2:00
Gregory Family Theater
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $17.
Manassas Chorale: Voices United
Sat, Mar 19, 7:30
Admission: Adults, $20; seniors, $18.
Mason Dance Company Dance Celebration
Sun, Mar 20, 4:00
Admission: Adults, $25; seniors, $15.
Land Beyond the Water, Peter Stern, Artist
Mar 21—May 15
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, Apr 7 from 6:00 to 8:00. RSVP to email@example.com.
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 Mar 5
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Mar 7
What’s in the Daily News, cont’d–TA-1
Tue Mar 8
Wed Mar 9
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Mar 11
Photography Club–TA-1 Loudoun Program Planning Committee –Room 209
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
Religious Studies Club–Cottage
Sat Mar 12
Tai Chi Club–TA-3
Mon Mar 14
What’s in the Daily News–TA-1
Tue Mar 15
Wed Mar 16
Tom Crooker Investment Forum–TA-1
Fri Mar 18
Recorder Consort–TA-3 Board of Directors Meeting–TA-1
Craft and Conversation–Cottage
OLLI E-News was created by Rod Zumbro, who served as its editor from 2005 to 2013.
Chief Editor/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, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.