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Our Committed Curriculum Committee

by Linda Fuchik

It just keeps getting better and better. When OLLI (formerly Senior University) started in 1996, there were about 50 people, which included students and instructors. Now there are about 1,400 students taking more than 60 classes (excluding computer classes). This phenomenal growth continues to come about because of the many volunteers who put in countless hours of hard work.cc
What attracts more and more people to OLLI? The classes, of course! How does it happen that such a selection of classes with far-reaching interests becomes available to us four times a year? Each time we open the bright yellow brochure, the volunteers who make up the Curriculum Committee are the ones we have to thank for “a gift that keeps on giving”!
This group, which meets on the third Monday of each month, presently has 18 members. With four campuses now, the committee tasks include discussing with instructors their intended content, arranging schedules and finding spaces for the ever-expanding classes in each location. The committee has been successful in broadening the curriculum as well as making it more flexible. Most of the classes are eight weeks long. Additionally, there are also one-day special events, which are free to members and their friends. Each session, the variety of classes continues to expand... music, drama, art, exercise, literature, performance, metaphysical pursuits, bridge and investing. . . with the committee carefully considering diversity and how new offerings will fit into the total range of classes. The present members are Jane Adair, Carole Atkin, Richard Black, Rachel Card, Donna Cole, Don Friedman, Nancy Hathcock, Jan Kuhl, Dale Lieberfarb, Karen McDonough, Ken Nakagana, Kathe Repasi, Bea Roth, Joan Smith, Stu Span, Neil Steinhandler, Dolores Volpe and Pat Wrenn. Participating guests are Dr. Barbara White, Malcolm Green, Bill Fitzpatrick, Carl Curtis and Garland Holt.
Karen McDonough and Pat Wrenn are the vibrant and enthusiastic co-chairs. Both agree that their volunteer jobs are enjoyable and rewarding and they credit their extraordinary ability to complement each other as a huge factor in their success. Indeed, Don Friedman, a member of the committee since the “early days” says that these two women are outstanding in creating an atmosphere that makes it easy for instructors to teach their passions. Is there anything better?
We can celebrate and thank the dedicated volunteers of the Curriculum Committee each time we open a new schedule of classes. From the early beginnings of the group, one of the enduring goals has been to listen to suggestions in order to keep growing -- so, don’t hesitate to speak to one of the many members -- or better yet, join up and help to make OLLI better and better!

Annual Membership Meeting

The OLLI annual membership meeting held on Saturday October 16th had a good turnout of members. Prior to the meeting, representatives from Long Beach Transit and the Rider Relief program explained that since free transportation is no longer available to OLLI members, they would now need to apply for and use the TAP (Transportation Access Pass) system for public bill smithtransportation. The new system and eligibility was explained, then a number of OLLI members were enrolled for TAP cards. For further information call 562-591-2301, or visit the Transit office at 1st & Pine, in downtown Long Beach.
President Malcolm Green, in his “State of OLLI” talk, related that our current membership is at 1600, 30% higher than five years ago. Classes are held from early morning until the end of the day, five days a week, and 17 classes are filled to capacity. In the near future we can look forward to a lobby with comfortable chairs for use during class transitions and social periods. Because volunteering is the backbone of our success, Malcolm also noted a special current need: a Membership Committee members.malcolm
V.P. Bill Fitzpatrick discussed the newly adopted 5 year Strategic Plan. The article on page 3 summarizes the plan.
Dr. Barbara White, Executive Director, spoke about the student survey conducted last spring (pages 10-11). Our student survey indicates that activities such as day trips, travel programs, theatre programs and the ability to audit university classes are the most popular. Parking is a major complaint.
Financially, in addition to distribution from the Osher Endowment, the balance of our income is from fees, tuition, and contributions. A fundraising campaign is underway to replenish the Scholarship fund.
As always, thanks to Janie Payan and team for providing delicious snacks.