2020 OLLI Board Meetings
Normally all 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.
Because of the COVID Pandemic - your OLLI Board will be meeting by ZOOM.
- Tuesday, May 12
- Tuesday, June 09
- Tuesday, July 14
Message from the President
April – May 2020
Greetings, OLLI Friends,
This President’s Message comes to you in two formats – e-mail and video! We are trying to reach everyone, every way we can, so that we’ll all know what’s happening with OLLI even though we can’t gather for classes, bonuses, and social events at our usual locations. But, please know that OLLI is here and that we’re busier than ever making sure that you have instruction, programs, and social networking – all through the use of technology that is free, easy to use, and available to all of us who have a computer, tablet, or smart phone. Our overarching aim is to keep our members close while we keep ourselves safely apart.
How are we handling OLLI business these days? And what’s this Zoom?
OLLI staff are working from home, and your leadership group is working, too. Through Zoom, an interactive platform that enables online meetings, classes, and other group activities, your board of advisors, a special emergency task force, and several committees have been meeting regularly. In Zoom classes you will see other members of your classes as well as the instructors, and you will hear the presentations of your teachers in real time. What’s more, you will be able to ask questions, make comments, and even express opinions using online icons or by simply speaking through the virtual microphone. You’ll have the opportunity to chat with classmates and exchange pleasantries just as we do in face-to-face classrooms and you’ll see members of the class as well. Zoom orientation sessions and training have been held almost daily for the past two weeks. More opportunities exist, so if you have not yet been introduced to Zoom, sign up for a session and come learn! Then you’ll be ready for online activities for the foreseeable weeks.
What programs, classes, and activities are coming up?
Thanks to a group of enthusiastic and flexible instructors, the Curriculum Committee has been able to craft an excellent schedule of online opportunities. You’ll be jumping out of bed and onto your device for these “virtual activities” almost every day!
To start the ball rolling, each Tuesday and Thursday beginning April 21, Ted Sexton, Tuscaloosa’s former sheriff and officer in Homeland Security, will teach “A State of Emergency.” There is no cost for this program and you can register online. Following this eight-session program, beginning May 18th
, we will begin a series of bonus-type presentations each day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The topics will vary wildly, so you can learn about Jellyfish with Peggy Hamner, Crimson Tide players in WW II with Ken Gaddy, Tuscaloosa Symphony with Jenny Mann, and Cyber Security with Jacob Blackwood. Philip Malone, Francine Marasco, and Dot Martin will provide “armchair travel” since we’re not able to travel just now! Watch for a full schedule of a dozen more programs. These will also be detailed in the summer course catalog now under preparation. To attend the May sessions, you will need to register even though these opportunities to learn are free!
In June we will begin our regular summer session of 8-week classes. During June all classes will be online via Zoom and you will register for summer classes just as you usually do. You will pay the course fee of $50 for as many classes as you wish to take. The good news is that OLLI is waiving the membership fee for summer term since offerings are limited. Due to this great bargain, summer is a great time to try some courses and to invite friends to come try OLLI before joining.
By July we’ll know whether we can complete the summer term face-to-face or whether the term will finish up online. Either way, you can expect OLLI classes to be high quality, informative, and fun.
An additional plus for the online delivery of instruction is that all OLLI members will be together for classes, so regardless of which chapter you belong to, you’ll be able to meet folks from the other chapters in the online classes. So OLLI continues, in spite of our stay-at-home mode, to enable us to make new friends and broaden our social networks.
But what about social activities?
On Friday, May 1st
, we’ll be having “virtual happy hours” between 4 and 5 p.m. ONLINE through Zoom. Watch for e-mail instruction for signing up. The idea is to just visit online while enjoying a beverage and snacks with friends. No formal business will be transacted, nor will there be a structured program. This is just to see one another and to exchange greetings while we are still sheltered at home.
What else is new?
In two personnel changes, we welcome Ruth Mamola to our staff. She joins Kathy, Lois, and Jennifer in the OLLI office. We also welcome Ashley Olive who has taken the position formerly held by Leroy Hurt who left the College of Continuing Studies earlier this month.
Finally, SAVE THIS DATE!
AUGUST 20, 2020 will be OLLI Day in our region. Plan to spend the afternoon with us. More news to come regarding programs and locations!
That’s about all for now. Dear friends, stay safe at home, wash your hands, and wear your masks when you must go out.
See you all at ONLINE OLLI. Elizabeth Aversa, OLLI President
UA OLLI President
Board of Visitors
Elizabeth Aversa, Ed.D.
Richard Rhone, Ed.D.
Vice President for Long-Range Planning
Shirley du Pont
Member-at-Large, Greater Birmingham