EIN September Newsletter


New EIN Web Postings for September




Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Richmond, Virginia
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Granite State College, Conway, NH

Be sure to read the newsletter from the LLI at SUNY New Paltz in New York. There are several interesting articles in it, including one about their upcoming move, and a profile of their founder, Lyn Mayo. Along with those two articles, check out the news on page 2 about members being eligible to win a free weekend Intensive Language Class. Very interesting. On this fall's registration form, they have asked people two questions about email mailings:

  1. If they want to receive catalogs, newsletters, and other official notices by email (not the confirmation letter, which is sent by post).

  2. If they also want to receive additional notices that might interest them (other happenings around the area, for example).
    Their newsletter is an excellent example of using the Internet to keep in contact with those members who have email, and as a way to keep mailing costs down.

Check out the excellent example of a press release that announces the start of a new Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in New Hampshire. Press releases can be tricky to produce and even trickier to get read. This format is one of the most popular.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Granite State College in New Hampshire has been awarded a $1million grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation. They have just opened up yet another location in the State and more are planned. Congratulations!

Congratulations to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg. With over 1,500 members, and another 500plus people on their waiting list, they have been awarded a second $100,000 grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation

Looking for a new way to promote your program? Two members of the Lifelong Learning Institute at James Madison University in Virginia came up with a unique way. Don and Alice Krech made a donation to their local Public Radio for a “personal day sponsorship,” which they designated for on-air public announcement spots about LLI. What a great idea!

The University of Minnesota, Duluth is celebrating their "Roaring Twenties" with a year long celebration after 20 years of University for Seniors. Each month will have a different celebration. The opening is September 6th at the University with Dr. Arthur Peterson (brother of their president, Gertrude Jacobson and who helped start the organization). He will speak on "Learning in Retirement and our Successor Generations". In October they entertain the Minnesota Lifelong Learning group, with a train ride up part of the North Shore of Lake Superior. In October there is a tour to New York theater, and in the Spring a trip to Iceland, with a study class of Iceland prior to the expedition. It truly will be an exciting year. This coming fall they have 46 study classes offered, with over 400 members, and over two-thirds of the classes are peer-led. Congratulations, University for Seniors!

The Academy for Lifelong Learning at Empire State College in New York has been offering architectural courses for several years. The leader is a practicing architect and selects notable structures in the region, then organizes tours led by an architect, contractor, etc., who was involved in its construction. The study group always fills and is being offered again this fall. Each time it's offered, the group visits different structures.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Maryland and its Center on Civic Literacy in association with the Kettering Foundation is presenting a Deliberative Democracy Moderator Training Workshop on September 24 and 25. This workshop will prepare members to use deliberation as an effective method for considering important issues and setting the stage for citizens to act together to make democracy work. Books published by the National Issues Forums Institute will provide a basis for practical training in how to moderate forums on significant public policy issues. Participants will develop skills that are needed to bring people with diverse views and experiences together so that they can seek a shared understanding of a problem and search for common ground for action.

Overheard at a recent gathering of LLI members – create a buddy system for members who don’t have a PC. That way one person is responsible for seeing that information which comes in over the computer from a program reaches the other person without a computer. A great way to keep everyone in the loop and make new friends too.
Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Yavapai College in Arizona took a serious look at films this past summer. They explored Foreign Films, Food as Metaphor in Film, and Films About the American Political Scene.

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of North Florida are taking part in the Jacksonville Senior Games this month. Annually, this event is held to promote healthy and active lifestyles for men and women 50 years of age and over. The Senior Games are designed for the seasoned athlete to take part in various sports on a competitive level or the not so seasoned athlete to take part in various sports for their own enjoyment. The Jacksonville Senior Games is sanctioned by the Florida Sports Foundation and is a qualifier for the Florida Senior Games State Championships. Last year, the Jacksonville Senior Games had approximately 500 participants, this year they expect to approach 1,000. Members who don’t take part in the sports activities can help out by volunteering their time.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Coastal Carolina University has put out a call to their members (men over the age of 70) to participate in a free research study at the Smith Exercise Science Lab at Coastal Carolina University. Although the study is focused on folks over the age of 50 who perform at least some physical activity weekly, the sample size for the cohort of “Men 70+” needs more subjects. The purpose of this research is to examine relationships between muscle strength, balance, anxiety and fear of experiencing an unintended fall. As part of the project, participants will be asked to come to the CCU Smith Exercise Science Lab on three separate occasions, each session lasting no more than one hour. During these visits, they will be instructed regarding the use of five pieces of strength training equipment, participate in a clinical balance test, and finally, a measure of maximal muscular strength on the computerized strength testing system. All information collected in the study is confidential.

Lifelong Learners at the Fairfield Senior Center, which is affiliated with Sacred Heart University in Connecticut are studying “Hungary: From the Ural Mountains to Fairfield” this fall. The class will include the history and geography of Hungary, the nature and development of the Hungarian language, Hungarian poetry and music, Hungarian contributions to world civilization and the story of the Hungarian migration to the Bridgeport and Fairfield areas of Connecticut.

Don’t know a proton from a protozoan? Well members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the University of S. Florida, Sarasota/Manatee got the opportunity to sort things out over the summer by exploring recent advances in science in a relaxed environment. The Institute for the Scientifically Timid used readings from Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything as a starting point for the lecture and discussion sessions. Topic included Cosmology, Astronomy, Astrobiology, Quantum Physics, Earth Systems, Genomics and Evolution.

Recently, the Mankato Area Lifelong Learners at Minnesota State University in Mankato, explored Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Human Needs” with a panel of experts in the field. A Q&A followed this very informative session.

The Intergenerational Planning Committee of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama in Huntsville prepared a three-day event for kids of all ages this past June. Members were encouraged to bring their grandchildren or come alone. On day one they stepped back in time to walk Laura Ingall’s cabin, roll down the river with Huck Finn on a keel boat and board a wagon headed west. On day two they went back to 1819 when Alabama became a state. They learned the part herbs played in people’s lives, wove on the Friendly Loom, tin punched, participated in a Native American Craft, and had a picnic. Finally, on day three they revisited the Civil War at the Depot. They also danced and sang songs by the camp fire where they roasted hot dogs and marshmallows.

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh recently studied Stargazing: An Introduction to Observational Astronomy. This course was designed to give the aspiring backyard astronomer the skills and knowledge needed to enjoy and understand the basics of observational astronomy. Members learned how to observe the moon, planets, constellations, and many other wonders of the heavens as well as methods for locating these objects with the naked eye, binoculars and telescopes. They also discussed how astronomical observation has shaped current understanding of the universe.

2008 was a remarkable year for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Not only did they reach the 500 member level required by the Osher Foundation, they topped that by hosting 600 members before the fiscal year ended. Well done, OLLI!

Members of the McGill ILR in Montreal studied the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, this past summer. The “settler countries,” USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand voted against the UN declaration. Canada expressed regret but had “significant concerns” about the language in the document. Participants reviewed the declaration with special reference to the demographic, economic, legal and political issues facing Canadians. They also looked at the validity of various concerns.

This past winter, the Northwest State Community College’s administrative link to the Center for Lifelong Learning in Archbold, Ohio drew on the recollections of the members to create an oral history of the days of the Great Depression. Answers to carefully prepared key questions were recorded by student interviewers as they created a primary source for the Heritage Room archives. Members whose memories went back to those days were valuable volunteers on the project.

“Baroque Music: A Prelude to the Modern Age,” will be the topic of a 6-week fall lecture series at the OMNILORE program at California State University, Dominquez Hills. This series will explore the culture and history of the 17th century/baroque period, performance practices, instruments and a holiday presentation of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Members of the Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia were treated to a Forum presentation by the owner of the local Cinema Arts Movie Theater. Movies are a huge business and a major part of our cultural and entertainment life. Like the vanishing dinosaur, every year it seems that there are fewer independent movie houses which show the kind of cinema we love to see. Mark O’Meara, owner of Cinema Arts and the University Mall Theatres described the joys and challenges of operating an independent theater. He spoke about his passion for cinema, his methods for selecting films, his best practices in managing employees, and the current artistic and business trends in the movie industry. At the end he tested attendees knowledge with a light-hearted movie pop quiz.


Thanks to the OMNILORE program at California State University, Dominquez Hills for these suggestions:

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, by Lewis Buzbee. Both a memoir and a history of his life in the book business and the history of book publishing and bookstores, this writing is for people who love reading, love books, love browsing in bookstores and can’t resist adding books to the stacks already at home.
Life is So Good, by George Dawson. This is the story of 101 year-old Dawson, the grandson of a slave in Marshall, Texas. Dawson started work at the age of 4 and finally learned to read at the age of 98.
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan. The book examines our unhealthy preoccupation with everything dietary. He looks at the diet bullies, the processed food industry, marketers, nutritional scientists and while he doesn’t preach to the reader, he implies that change is necessary.



A Report Provided to the United States Congress - This 2008 report "is provided to the U.S. Congress to further assess contemporary anti-Semitism by exploring anti-Semitic themes and practices. [It] is meant to be used as a resource for increasing understanding of and informing public discourse." Dedicated to the memory of Congressman Tom Lantos, the report focuses on definitions of anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic incidents and discourse, government-sponsored anti-Semitism, and similar themes.


Companion to an exhibit about Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), who "became the leading British artist of his era." Provides an exhibition feature with selected images of Turner's landscape paintings, film clip, downloadable exhibition brochure, biography of Turner, and audio of related exhibit talks and events. From the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C .


Companion website to a 2008 PBS Frontline documentary that looks at the factors behind "the [failure of the] executive branch of the U.S. government ... to join in climate change agreements adopted by much of the rest of the world." Features investigative reports, a timeline of scientific and political developments concerning global warming, interviews, readings and links, a teacher's guide, and more.


Background about this World Heritage Site in England. Features a FAQ, visual and narrative history, photos, and information about visiting Stonehenge for the summer solstice. Also includes material about the spring 2008 Stonehenge archaeological dig, "the first excavation inside the stone circle at Stonehenge in nearly half a century." Note: Interactive map is not available. From English Heritage, an organization that protects and promotes England's historic environment.


"Archaeologists are carrying out [in spring 2008] the first dig for almost half a century inside the stone circle of [Stonehenge] the world's most famous Neolithic monument. Their aim is to unearth evidence for a startling new theory -- that Stonehenge was built to heal the sick." Site features news and video from the 12-day dig, a panoramic view from within the stone circle, and related material. From the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

That’s all for this month.
Nancy Merz Nordstrom, M.Ed.
Elderhostel Institute Network




"Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence." …Abigail Adams





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