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From Sheila Rocker Heppe, OLLI Director

What a difference a decade can make!

This year OLLI at HSU is celebrating ten years of lifelong learning in Humboldt County. In a decade OLLI has grown into a vibrant community of over 1200 learners. OLLI is a place to connect, try new things and learn more about a wide variety of topics. OLLI at HSU is a place for you.

10 Years

We want to celebrate with you over the next ten months! Our 10th Anniversary kicked off with the Fall Open House on Saturday, August 22.

As a special anniversary gift from our faculty, you will find a robust selection of $10 classes marked with the OLLI 10 year anniversary logo (on the right).

OLLI at HSU has much to celebrate! The first month of our anniversary year will honor Bernard Osher, the founder of the Bernard Osher Foundation which supports 120 Lifelong Learning Institutes throughout the nation. You can also look forward to celebrating with us: TWO endowments from the Osher Foundation, THREE OLLI Directors for our program, FOUR free brownbag presentations each month, FIVE Center Arts shows with special discounts for OLLI members, SIX years of North Coast Artist Showcases, SEVEN special interest groups, EIGHT original President’s Club supporters and NINE primary member benefits. It has been a productive TEN years.

At this pivotal moment, a huge thank you goes out to the Friends of OLLI. The generous donors you see listed on this website enable OLLI to make lifelong learning opportunities available to everyone in our community. Friends of OLLI have also grown our scholarship program and expanded the geographic reach of our classes.

There are many ways to deepen your relationships within the OLLI at HSU community. Please consider becoming a volunteer, or attending some of the exciting performances in the community this fall. Through existing and new partnerships with Center Arts and the Arkley Center for the Performing Arts, OLLI members can take advantage of special ticket discounts and class series.

We hope to see many OLLI members at Arts Alive on Nov. 7, when Eureka Studios will feature OLLI artists and North Coast Dance will preview scenes from The Nutcracker. (Special discounted tickets to two performances of The Nutcracker in Dec. are available to OLLI members.)

Looking forward to many celebrations with you,



From Sheila Rocker Heppe, OLLI Director

Summer 2015

OLLI at HSU is looking forward to an active summer. We invite you to get out and about with OLLI and explore our beautiful community. We have trips to the Bald Hills, Salmon Pass in the Headwaters Forest, Bull Creek, Blue Lake and some of our local rivers. If a trip to Ashland sounds like fun, see the summer courses page for more information on the Shakespeare festival.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend the Summer Open House on Saturday, June 6 from 1-3 p.m. Like last summer, we will hold the OLLI Open House at Humboldt State University in the beautiful College Creek complex on lower campus. Parking is free. Come learn more about OLLI summer lifelong learning experiences, meet our amazing faculty, and see what is new at HSU.

OLLI is pleased to announce a new community partnership with Humboldt Light Opera Company. It promises to be a wonderful match of philosophies and purpose.

HLOC, a community theater with a 40-year history, has opened its new Sunny Brae Performing Arts Center for Education (SPACE). With a commitment to providing a supportive and positive learning environment, HLOC has always encouraged people of all ages to participate in its productions, classes, and learning opportunities. Now, with its new SPACE, HLOC can pursue one of its primary goals: to expand theatrical classes and experiences for people over 50! Maybe you explored the theater as a kid and are curious about getting back into it? Do you have interest in designing and/or building sets? Perhaps you’ve been singing in the shower for years and are ready to learn more? Want to try your hand at writing for performance? Many of these classes are in the works! And the ultimate goal of HLOC? To create a troupe comprised of people over 50 that will entertain people of all ages throughout our region.

The first HLOC SPACE classes are happening this summer. Monday morning Soulful Yoga will be available in June and July (page 17). The Magic of Mary Poppins offers a behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved in bringing the summer production of Mary Poppins to the stage ... where the real magic takes place!

Finally, this summer OLLI at HSU is placing the final touches on the plans to celebrate its 10TH ANNIVERSARY. With the kick-off at the Fall Open House on Aug. 22, OLLI at HSU will fill the 2015-16 year with special events as we look forward to our next 10 years of lifelong learning. (Renew your OLLI membership by 10/10 to be entered in a drawing. We will be giving away TEN prize packages!)

In celebration,



From Sheila Rocker Heppe, OLLI Director

Spring 2015

I find myself surrounded by Wisdom as we launch 2015.

Last November OLLI at HSU celebrated Wisdom in the Spotlight, a show produced by Tracey Barnes Priestley, featuring ten members of our community and the wisdom they had to share. Abundant thanks to Scott Robbins, Diana Herberger, Bob Bloch, Maggie Kraft, Charmaine Mosher-Carbiener, Kate Ward Lehre, Cat Koshkin, Jan Ostrom, Barry Evans and Valerie Gillet Bourne. These wise individuals helped us to see the world in new and thoughtful ways. This benefit for OLLI at HSU deeply enriched our souls.

The Wisdom of OLLI members was also shared at the Full Membership Meeting in August. Led by OLLI Leaders from the Curriculum Committee and the Finance and Fundraising Committee, the meeting included sharing ideas for future OLLI classes and celebrating our successful fundraising campaign. Thank you again to the over 200 people who contributed to help us exceed our $20,000 goal!

The OLLI at HSU Scholarship program is made possible in part by these generous gifts (see the FAQ for more information about the scholarship application process). Also, our classrooms have new computers and projectors, and work continues on the installation of a loop system in our classrooms to enhance sound through hearing devices equipped with T-coils.

I am deeply grateful to all Friends of OLLI. The names of current and past donors can be found here.

At the Full Membership Meeting, members made requests for new courses and we listened. On this website and in the OLLI at HSU catalog, you will find Wisdom shared on these suggested topics: evolution, exploring death and dying, current events, theater and opera, music appreciation, documentary photography and digital storytelling, iPad/smartphone, travel, backpacking in the Sierras, Native cultures, art appreciation.

Join us for FREE brown bag lunch discussions each Wednesday at the Humboldt Bay Aquatics Center. Topics can be found on this website. These gatherings are highly informative and provide a lively place for exchange and to gather Wisdom.


The night before we were sending the OLLI catalog to press, Humboldt State held a festive Holiday Party for all campus employees. The new HSU president Dr. Lisa Rossbacher addressed the crowd and talked about HSU’s work in the community. Then she read a letter she had received from the Bernard Osher Foundation. In that moment my colleagues and I learned OLLI at HSU has received a million dollar endowment. It was quite a wonderful surprise!

The money will be invested through the HSU Advancement Foundation account, and OLLI at HSU will receive 5% or $50,000 annually toward its base budget. This gift from the Osher Foundation will support OLLI at HSU now and into the future.

There are eight criteria which must be met in order for an Institute to be considered for this million dollar gift. I had the opportunity to speak with the Director at the Osher Foundation, and he commended us on our successful fundraising campaign; ongoing stellar curriculum reflecting commitment to the community; YOU, our devoted and consistent members; strong campus involvement; and the exuberant spirit of OLLI at HSU –- which is evident in all our work. The Osher Foundation feels certain OLLI at HSU has a bright future ahead.

Thank you to the entire OLLI community!

Celebrating Lifelong Learning in 2015,

Sheila Rocker Heppe