BY CHRIS ELLIOTT
The year 2016 has come and gone, and just like that, 2017 is off with a fury. The last year has been a whirlwind of excitement, as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of OLLI at OU. The success of the year could not have been possible without you. Here are just a few of the celebrations:
The year was one of records, as we offered more courses than ever before, each filling with members who were ready to learn! From the returning member favorites, to new and fresh faces, the instructors who led the courses were welcomed with open arms, allowing us to offer 95 Senior Seminars and 29 Mornings with the Professor throughout the year in both Norman and Oklahoma City.
For the first time in OLLI at OU history, we had the opportunity to utilize the largest room available in the CCE Forum because of the high enrollment in Cal Hobson’s course Money, Politics and the Pursuit of Power 2.0. The numbers soared well over 150 enrollees, and the energy in the room was palpable. Various politicians, experts, and presenters joined Cal, as he led a week by week countdown to the historic election. We are so thankful for Cal, his guest speakers and all of the dedicated members that took part in the course.
2016 also offered the first ever Bedlam Series, a collaboration with OLLI at Oklahoma State University and St. Luke’s Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. The series featured OLLI instructors from both universities, each offering 90-minute lectures on specific topics with a discussion and lunch provided for the participating members. After a successful fall semester, we are very happy to continue the series this spring!
In December of 2016, we celebrated the retirement of Dr. James Pappas, the longest-serving Dean at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Pappas is a strong supporter of lifelong learning and helped in shaping the program into what it is today. Though we were sad to see him leave, we are even more excited to help him and his wife, Peggy, enjoy their retirement through OLLI courses.
As 2017 began, the festivities did not stop. We offered MemberMania! events in both Norman and Oklahoma City this January, featuring presenters from both locations. The events allowed OLLI members to bring friends and give them a small taste of all that OLLI at OU has to offer. The events were a hit, and we could not think of a better way to kick off spring 2017. Thank you to everyone who attended!
2016 was a great year, and 2017 is already off to an amazing start. We are so thankful to each and every one of you for your continued support of the program. We cannot wait to see what this year brings.