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Message from the Director of OLLI at Penn State

Brynn RousselinWelcome! Our fall 2021 semester begins on Tuesday, September 7, and we are so excited to welcome you back to OLLI! Though spring is often thought of as a time for renewal, we are looking toward our fall semester as a refresh and renewal for OLLI. As we emerge from the pandemic, arguably the most difficult time period this century, we have taken an opportunity to brush off the dust that may have accumulated over the last year and a half. Over the last six months or so, OLLI staff and numerous member volunteers have been collaborating to identify potential updates, improvements, and changes that will enhance our organization. I would like to take this time to share a few of the key initiatives we have identified and addressed:

  • COVID-19 Protocols: We are pleased to share that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need a mask indoors or out, while partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals will continue to be required to wear a mask indoors. We will no longer collect a signed acknowledgment form for in-person attendance of OLLI programming, nor will we inquire whether you have completed a self-health assessment. We will continue to maintain a safe and healthy environment and ask you to please stay home if you are not feeling well.
  • Updated Website: Our new web presence brings a fresh new look, layout, and experience for those familiar with OLLI as well as for those interested in exploring what we have to offer. The website contains updated and brand new content, and I encourage you to visit and explore the site. You will find information such as our course catalog, descriptions of our social and special interest groups, opportunities for you to volunteer with OLLI, and a listing of upcoming events.
  • Nonmember Registration: Beginning this semester, nonmembers will be able to register for OLLI courses at an increased rate. This new practice will replace the free trial membership, which allowed nonmembers to sample OLLI courses. They will not be eligible to join social or special interest groups or attend social events unless they choose to become a member. Registration will also open two weeks later for nonmembers, thus providing a two-week priority period for member registrations.
  • Committee Refresh: Each of our member volunteer–driven committees have taken a step back, reviewed their missions, and made updates, and they are seeking new recruits. Please be sure to visit the Volunteer Opportunities page on our website to read about each of the committees and explore your options for getting more involved with OLLI!
  • Travel: While the pandemic halted our planned travel for the past year and a half, OLLI’s Travel Committee is gearing back up and excited to share some very interesting travel plans with you. Stay tuned for more information as we begin to plan and promote more day trips this year, longer-term domestic trips in the near future, and our ever-popular international excursions beginning in the fall of 2022.
  • Curriculum: Whether you are planning to attend courses in-person, online, or in a combination of both — we are sure you will find something this semester that piques your interest and meets your comfort level. We want your time with OLLI to be enjoyable, thought-provoking, and fulfilling.

I encourage you to keep up-to-date with all that is happening with OLLI. Be sure to read our weekly newsletters, visit our website, and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on upcoming events, new courses, and important deadlines, and to learn more about the members, instructors, and volunteers who are the heart of OLLI.

Looking forward to seeing you around this semester!