Hello Sun Devil community!

Richard C. Knopf

In the 14-year history of OLLI at ASU, we have never experienced greater pride in the fact that we serve as an institute within Arizona State University. Immediately at the onset of the pandemic, ASU energed as a global leader for its decisive action and scientific breakthroughs to bend the curve of the pandemic downward. At the same time, ASU mobilized communities to rebound in the face of adversity – choosing hope rather than despair, incubating spirit and resiliency rather than defeat. Almost overnight, ASU reshaped its vision as a learning enterprise with new ways of learning, new ways of reaching, and new ways of empowering. Never changing its goals – yet ever-changing in the mechanisms for achieving those goals.

And so it has been with your OLLI at ASU. Never changing our goals of world-class learning, building community, and devising pathways for impacting society – yet ever-changing in the way we provide learning opportunities.Recruiting world-class instructors with diverse portfolios. Building a multi-model class delivery system with dual face-to-face and livestream capacities. Reworking our mission statement to emphasize inclusion, access, community formation, and lives of purpose. Energizing our members to view the world through hopeful lenses. Activating the gifts of members to address the most vexing challenges of our era. Restructuring our organization to provide innovative, adaptive, flexible, and fast-paced solutions to member needs. Complementing the skills of current staff with new hires to champion our multi-cultural, multi-generational vision.

So here we go! Moving into our future together with even bolder vision.

• This fall, we are offering over 130 classes online and testing multi-modal learning platforms at our Tempe Connections site, located at the Tempe Public Library.

• We fully expect to have large-scale in-person campus presence at many of our sites with our new multi-modal learning capacity by Spring 2022.

• Our expanding network of LEGs (Learning Enrichment Groups) will be offered face-toface for the first time since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.

• Our Community Care Letters – which have evolved into a vital life force for all – will continue and expand with opportunities and new ways of learning.

• And, plans are being made to restore the OLLI Corps travel programs – offered virtually this past summer – back to live cultural immersion experiences

I also wish to express deep gratitude for how you rallied around OLLI at ASU during our annual giving campaign this past academic year. Over $85,000 was raised, with over 380 members participating. Your donations guaranteed the very survival of OLLI at ASU through the pandemic, and your financial support has never been needed as it is during this time of change. And, please consider joining over 50 of your fellow members in the OLLI at ASU Leadership Society, a society dedicated to help your OLLI at ASU community catapult itself into new ways to help us all achieve yet unimagined destinies in our own lives. See page 24 for details.

In closing, I take a cue from ASU President Michael Crow, who has been our cheerleader throughout the experiences of the past year: “We did this all and more … with the spirit and resilience that flourishes in the Sun Devil community.” Thank you, members of our beloved OLLI at ASU community! Thank you Sun Devils! Together, we will do more than we have ever imagined

Yours in the love of learning,

Richard C. Knopf
Richard C. Knopf, PhD, Director, 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU

Fall 2021