Board meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at noon at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul W. Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.
OLLI means so much to so many people in our growing community that I personally cannot imagine being retired without it. Three recent findings illustrate how OLLI contributes to well-being.
First, Stanford University researchers found that continued learning stimulates the brain and contributes to the learner’s general sense of competence. OLLI is all about learning, so regardless of our interests, learning will give us a greater active mental function. Second, it’s been found that people who keep up with the latest trends tend to age better, so OLLI can give us the little nudge we need to try Facebook, Twitter or emerging social media platforms and technologies to communicate with our younger relatives and friends. Third and most importantly, I believe, is the opportunity for social interaction that OLLI provides. Two researchers reported that social connections — friends, family, neighbors or colleagues — improve the odds of survival by 50 percent. They found that loneliness and scant social contact compare to more well-known risk factors such as smoking, being inactive, drinking to excess or being obese.
All the benefits of OLLI that I listed are nice, and they give us good reasons to come to OLLI, but another excellent reason to participate is that we have so much fun. From the travel far and near to the active classes, from the serious intellectual activity of other classes to the simple pleasure of sharing coffee and chit-chat between classes, OLLI is just plain fun. Supper club, bonus programs, celebratory galas are all part of the sheer fun of OLLI.
In my book, OLLI means OPPORTUNITY – to try new things, to update our knowledge, to volunteer, to make new friends, to develop new interests or hone lifelong skills, or just to have fun.
Please join me and be a part of this great thing called OLLI!
UA OLLI President