Hello Sun Devil community!

Richard C. Knopf

We are back in more ways than ever! With this fall semester, the doors to our classrooms spring wide open! Once again, the familiar sounds, sights, and energy of live OLLI experiences beckon us to the joy of face-to-face encounters with world-class faculty. We are back to our good, old, familiar places — ASU West, ASU Downtown Phoenix, and Tempe Connections.

And, there is more. Your OLLI at ASU now has a new intellectual hub at the sparkling new ASU-Mayo Health Futures Center, adjacent to the Mayo Phoenix campus. The Health Futures Center is a crucible for medical breakthroughs, where ASU and Mayo scientists work side-by-side at the cutting edges of science for the advancement of human life quality. As our programming grows there, we will be emphasizing breakthroughs in medicine, and, holistically, all things that propel us to thrive — physically, mentally, and spiritually. We are eager to share all that is known about the relationships among health, longevity, human connectivity, curiosity-seeking, and living out lives of purpose.

During the past six months, we have been developing more structure and more pathways for our members to be centrally involved in shaping the very character and essence of OLLI at ASU. Our new Leadership Council, chaired by member Dr. Wendy Hultsman, is spearheading the development of an OLLI at ASU strategic plan that will solidify the vision you wish to have for your OLLI at ASU. New committees are being formed, centering on six areas of emphasis: Innovation, Community Connections, Member Engagement, Membership Growth, Financial Resources, and Organizational Structure. Your voice — and your ideas — are critical. As the semester progresses, look for many ways to become involved and to grow with others in the pursuit of excellence.

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 $44,000 was raised, with one in seven members participating. As was true last year, your donations guaranteed the very survival of OLLI at ASU through the pandemic, and your financial support has never been more important than during this time of change. Every dollar is important and stewarded for the benefit of all. In addition to your continuing gifts, please consider joining 27 of your fellow members in the OLLI at ASU Leadership Society, a society dedicated to help your OLLI at ASU community catapult itself into yet unimagined ways to help us all achieve yet unimagined destinies in our own lives.

Finally, we welcome to our OLLI at ASU family program coordinator Nate Sawyer, a dedicated community builder who will help us all blossom as he carries out the duties of program design and hospitality on behalf of all of us. The same is true for the ever-favorite Jolene Gosling, the spark-plug for our wonderful site at Tempe Connections. Importantly, we can’t help but give a tip of the hat to Nora Mandel, our beloved North Scottsdale program coordinator. All of the success that you have enjoyed at our Scottsdale site over many, many years is a direct result of her love for OLLI, and for you. Please find ways to express your gratitude to Nora as she moves into retirement with a lasting legacy.

We will see you very soon online and in the classrooms! Let us fuel our curiosities together and search out opportunities not only to understand our world, but discover new ways to thrive and serve within it!

Keep Learning! Keep Growing! Keep Serving!

Yours in the love of learning,

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

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at ASU