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President's Corner


How did this happen? How is it that my photo and byline are atop the President’s Corner? OLLI impacts us all, but is my story unusual?
Some eight years ago, for reasons I can’t recall, I attended a Saturday OLLI registration event and enrolled for the first time.
I signed up for a single course on financial planning. Thought that would be good for me. Two weeks later an office volunteer called to tell me the course had been canceled. Not wanting to refund my money, she suggested I instead take the next closest match, a stock market course. That didn’t interest me, but I agreed to take another look at The SUN. There was a hybrid literature/movie course taught by retired English Professor Arthur Axelrad. It was called Barking up the Wrong Tree and dealt with film treatments of Arthur Conan Dolye’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. It was my first humanities course in nearly forty years. This former science and math major fully enjoyed it.
Now you’re wondering why the new president is rambling on about some minor incident from years ago. Because I’m struck by the similarities between my experience and those of our new members to this day. Newcomers still show up at Saturday registration. They still pay the same amount as years past. We still have talented and entertaining instructors like the late, much missed,
Dr. Axelrad. And that office volunteer who convinced me to stick around? It was Karin Covey, who still works in the office every week. Karin is the longest serving member of the OLLI Executive Council, which I’m now privileged to lead. Volunteers like Karin and Arthur are the lifeblood of OLLI. I still haven’t taken that financial planning course, but it’s on my
to-do list.


From the Executive Director

By Dr. Barbara White

barbIt’s the time of year to reflect back and to think forward. 2015 at OLLI was the year we approved a new strategic plan and revised bylaws to support the changes in the structure of our Governing
Council. The strategic plan for the next few years focuses on member communication, classroom space/convenience, technology modernization, and university collaboration. In addition to offering over 200 classes this year, we held our 3rd Instructor forum last July, and used The Point at CSULB meeting space for the 2nd annual Don and Lori Brault Successful Aging lecture.

We celebrated our volunteers with a Rock
and Roll luncheon, held our 10th annual art show, purchased new assistive listening technology for our large classroom, installed new equipment in the podium in HSD 119, new flooring in our classroom and office on Pine Ave, and began holding art classes at Leisure World.
We also held our first New Member Welcome gathering. We are grateful to our instructors and other volunteers who make our OLLI strong.
And as the year ends we are completing our annual fundraiser. To meet one of our strategic goals we are raising funds to provide a scholarship to a matriculated student, or students, at CSULB to celebrate our 20 years of lifelong learning on campus. Thank you for your support.
Looking into 2016, we have several things on the horizon in addition to new and exciting classes. These include completing our donor wall and installing new, comfortable seating in the lobby, and additional seating outside our front door. We are also investigating software that will allow us, like several other OLLIs, to register online, and collaborations with the Long Beach Library and a foray into a travel program. Please join us as a member and volunteer to help us expand our vision!