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What a wondrous year it has been for us as an ever-expanding community of learners! We have shared with, learned from, cared for, and grown with each other.
Thank you for your encouragement, your support, and the many stories you have shared about how this community has transformed your lives.
Now over 2,100 members strong, our thriving community has been the beneficiary of over 325 classes and field trips this past year. But there are so many other causes for celebration – joys that thread us together and accentuate our many gifts as “learners on the move.” I would like to highlight a few:
• The extraordinary OLLI at ASU Skip Schnierow Class Series, created from a gift made in memory of our cherished co-learner. In the first class during Fall 2018, OLLI at ASU instructor Jamie Valderrama exemplified Skip’s love of learning by magically weaving story-telling, community-building, scientific insight, and hospitality into an unforgettable message on how to live life abundantly.
• The fruits of the $50,000 gift from the CDH Charitable Foundation, for the development of intergenerational programming in the OLLI at ASU community. Look for emerging projects that connect us with traditional ASU students in the arenas of art, creative writing, travel, lively discussion, and small business incubation. We are deeply grateful for this gift, which is a direct result of the proactive work of Patrick Cantelme and Dr. Cathy Eden.
• The creation of the first mural on the streets of downtown Phoenix crafted by our generation. Creative ASU students from the ASU Humanities Lab and acclaimed artist Hugo Medina inspired OLLI at ASU members and international ASU students to construct a mural located at the YMCA on 2nd Ave. and Fillmore. This “living wall” mural will become an annual re-celebration of intergenerationality and multi-cultural collaborations.
• The exhilarating “standing room only” November launch of our prestigious OLLI at ASU anthology entitled “Our Community: A Collection of Writing and Art.” Life wisdoms were shared through art, narratives, poetry, and music in celebration of “us” as a people of many gifts. Thanks to Phoenix Poet Laureate Dr. Rosemarie Dombrowski and OLLI at ASU staff member Abby Baker for their catalytic roles in the production of this creative piece.
• The launch of the OLLI at ASU cultural immersion travel program, filling an educational travel niche otherwise unavailable in the marketplace. We have proudly joined hands with the Peace Corps Association to create OLLI Corps, which will design Osher-specific opportunities to volunteer around the globe. Join us for our inaugural trip in May to Belize! Thanks to OLLI at ASU instructors Dr. Claire McWilliams and Dr. Jessica Hirshorn for leading us to this exciting new horizon.
OLLI at ASU is growing phenomenally, and it is due to the support of you, our cherished members. Thank you for your generous financial gifts over this past year, and for being responsive to this year’s campaign to raise $50,000. All of this will allow us to continue to expand purposefully and greatly.
I am excited to present to you another class schedule packed with classes taught by our world-class OLLI at ASU instructors and arranged and brought to you by our remarkable site coordinators. It is time to gather once again to broaden our perspectives, converse with friends, and become involved in ASU and our local communities.
Thank you, as always, for being part of OLLI at ASU! We cannot wait to see you in classes soon!
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU