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. The spring semester lineup promises to be equally terrific, with courses on the 2018 midterm elections as seen through the lenses of policy and the media, U.S.-Russia relations at a key moment in our history, the devastating political and humanitarian situation in Yemen, and considerations of what it means to be mortal in the 21st century. We are pleased to welcome first-time instructors who are teaching courses on modern dance and representations of Inuit in popular culture. Or you might enjoy exploring the worlds of opera, jazz on film, literature from Victorian novels and Philip Roth to Lolita and American tall tales, the musical from stage to screen, or highlights from the early history of photography. We also have several offerings in the area of wellness, including ballroom dance, chair yoga, and the popular and long-running tai chi course. 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 and remain physically as well as intellectually active.

There are several complementary courses on natural sciences, from bees’ production of honey and its uses in beverage production to the Earth’s biological origins and natural resources, and from watersheds to climate change. All of this, and so much more, is possible in the spring semester!

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 join us – and how to give a gift of OLLI membership to someone special. I hope you’ll join us for this exciting new semester!

Signature, Christine Catanzarite
Christine Catanzarite
Director, OLLI at Illinois