Letter from the Director


Welcome to OLLI!

Have you ever wanted to delve into a wide variety of timely and timeless topics – and discuss your ideas with an inquisitive, deeply engaged community of people who share your passion for learning? At OLLI, you have the opportunity to explore a diverse lineup of courses and exciting new worlds, presented by exceptional faculty in an environment that encourages active participation.

Perhaps you would like to learn more about the history of the war on terrorism or the state of the news industry in a changing media landscape; or look at some of the planet’s “vanishing Edens” or 4 billion years of biomineralization; or survey literature from Edith Wharton to Richard Powers; or look at the contributions of women to the worlds of film and jazz. You might wish to explore stone age art and archaeology, the history of the Oscars, medicine and healthcare, folklore, the microbial world, or the films of Ingmar Bergman. And you might want to keep your body as well as your mind active by taking tai chi, or ballroom dance, or one of our other wellness courses. At OLLI, all of this and more is possible!

We have designated 2019-2020 as the “Year of the Challenge” at OLLI, and we hope that you’ll consider challenging yourself with something new. You might want to sign up for a course that’s off the beaten path for you, whether that means embracing a new subject or even engaging in a new physical activity. Exploration is the hallmark of lifelong learning, and this semester’s lineup provides a rich buffet of offerings in all areas!

If you are a current OLLI member, you already know about our amazing courses, study groups, lectures, and other activities. If you are not yet a member, I invite you to join now – and become a part of an extraordinary community that fosters deep intellectual and social engagement. The pages of this website describe OLLI at Illinois’ many opportunities, including information on how to become a member. I hope you’ll join us for this exciting new semester!

Signature, Christine Catanzarite
Christine Catanzarite
Director, OLLI at Illinois