Letter from the President, Frank Alarcon August 2017


My motto this (and every) OLLI year is:  “Learn and Connect for the Health of It.

A growing body of research teaches us that certain habits can help us to improve cognitive function.  A few of these habits include openness to new experiences, being curious and creative, and acquiring and sustaining social connections.  OLLI at FSU is a perfect venue to exercise these habits.

Last Spring I had the pleasure of listening to a talk on “Aging Reconsidered”, by Dr. Bill Thomas, a geriatrician and President of the Center for Growing and Becoming.  One of the things he said that really stuck with me was:  “’Aging’ is not decline.  It’s the name you give to ‘growth’ when you are no longer young.”  I am sure you will find plenty of growth opportunities this fall through our many classes, activities and groups.  Be open to taking classes you might not normally consider, and tap into your natural curiosity.

Social connections through OLLI are acquired both subtly (as a result of classroom interactions) and more formerly (from membership in clubs or groups).  Of course, sustaining those connections, if desired, is left up to each of you to do so in your own way.  However, one of my goals as your President this year is to look for ways OLLI can support and connect with other organizations in our community to further fulfill our respective missions.

Speaking of missions, your OLLI Advisory Board will soon revisit our strategic plan.  We will review previous efforts, assess our strengths and opportunities, and set achievable goals for the future.  If you would like to contribute your knowledge and skills to this process, please let me know.  In the mean time, Learn and Connect for the Health of It!


Advisory Council Voting Members

Name Title
Frank Alarcon President
Cindy Foster First Vice President
John Kilgore Second Vice President
Sylvia Byrd Member Representative
JoAnn LaMaster Member Representatives, Westminster Oaks
Harriet Waas Member Representatives
Robin Brinkmeyer Member Representatives
Kristine Lamont Member Representatives
Winnie Schmeling Co-Chair, Development Committee
Ruth Cates Co-Chair, Scholarships Committee
Nancy O'Farrell Co-Chair, Philanthropy/Scholarships Committee
Mary Irvine Chair, Volunteer Committee
Susan Yelton Chair, Curriculum Committee
John Van Gieson Co-Chair, Communications and 
Marketing Committee
Fran Conaway Co-Chair, Communications and 
Marketing Committee
Ramona Bowman Chair, Senior Leadership Advisory Council
Linda Fairbanks Chair, Succession Planning Committee
John Kilgore Chair, Membership Satisfaction Committee
Cindy Foster Chair, Special Interest Groups Committee

Special Interest Groups

Name Title
Susan Barnes Chair, Afternoon Book Club
Ramona Bowman Chair, Noon Book Club
Jan Smith Chair, Culture and Arts Activities
Randy Soule Chair, Field Trips
Frank Alarcon Co-Chair, Men's Group
Carroll Bewley Co-Chair, Men's Group
Karyn Hornick Chair, Walking Club
Harriet Waas Co-Chair, Travel Club
George Waas Co-Chair, Travel Club
Wendy Johnston Co-Chair, Friendship Force
Anita Olivier Co-Chair, Friendship Force
Laura Morris Chair, Spanish Club
Tom Pelham Chair, Writers' Group
Denise Zabelski-Sever Co-Chair, Social Committee
Joanne Taylor Co-Chair, Social Committee
Mary Irvine Co-Chair, Social Committee

Membership Board Non-Voting Members

Name Title
Debra Herman OLLI Executive Director
Harriet Waas Recording Secretary
Legacy Sort
Legacy Priority