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.

Last year, OLLI offered 70 courses over two semesters - and 96% of them were rated overwhelmingly “excellent” by the students. This fall’s lineup promises to be equally terrific, with courses on the contributions of women in early cinema, the 2018 elections, the Persian Gulf in the modern era, the poets of Tin Pan Alley, and controversies in art, just to name a few. Perhaps you would appreciate an overview of some of the cutting-edge research being conducted at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology – and a separate but complementary course on manipulating genomes. Or you might enjoy exploring World War II abroad and at home, the science and art of air transportation, maintaining quality of life in your later years, or Edith Warton on film. And there is so much more!

There are also multiple offerings in the area of wellness – tai chi, meditation/mindfulness, ballroom dance, ballet, and even the old soft shoe. As the prevailing research tells us that physical activity is an important component of resilient aging, we urge you to consider the mind-body connection. I hope you’ll think about adding one or more of these courses to keep active. They are all designed for over-50 practitioners!

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. This website outlines OLLI at Illinois’ many opportunities, including information on how to join us – and how to give a gift of OLLI membership to someone special. I hope you’ll join us for this exciting new year!

Signature, Christine Catanzarite
Christine Catanzarite
Director, OLLI at Illinois