A busy fall is behind us, and now we’re in the thick of things with our spring course offerings. If we could get the weather to cooperate with our class schedule, we’d be in great shape!

I hope you’ll continue to communicate what you have found interesting in this spring’s lineup, or what classes you’d like to see offered in the future. Summer course planning is going on now.

The Osher Institute Strategic Plan

The research and development phases of our strategic plan have been completed. We met with Dean Narduzzi on December 19, at which time he accepted and approved our plan. Many thanks to Osher members George Pangburn, Dave Frimpter, Bill Bailey, Jamie Lou Hawthorne, and Bill Bateman for their great leadership in this effort.

Now, for the tough part: implementation. Our new Leadership Council chair, George Pangburn, will be working with me and the council to take on new and different activities, based on the initiatives outlined in the plan. Additionally, each of the Osher volunteer teams (Development, Curriculum, Leader Support, Marketing, Newsletter, and Membership) will have specific suggestions to consider and possibly incorporate into their assigned work. Here in the Osher office, we will also look at new or different ways of doing business to better serve our members. 

Osher Art Gallery

I hope you have received the notices about our Osher Art Gallery. We have been honored to have Osher members display their art in our “revolving show.” As you’ll read in another newsletter article, Richard Hollands took the lead on this and was the first to exhibit his work. We have enjoyed his varied media, diverse subjects, and certainly his great expertise and good eye. 

We’ve just announced a new show, this time with Bill Bailey’s and Sheryl Smith’s works. You’ll want to stop by and view this newest exhibit by our talented members.

We look forward to enjoying even more works of Osher members in the coming months. If you are an artist of almost any medium (photography, painting, mixed media, quilting, but probably not sculpture or large crafts!) and you have works you’d like to exhibit, we hope you’ll get in touch with us.

Getting Involved

Through the strategic plan, we heard from Osher members that you want to be involved, especially within Osher as well as the greater UR community. We can help you with this!

First, take full advantage of your Osher membership by joining our interest groups. Take as many classes as you can fit into your schedule, and be especially mindful of those that are free for all members.

Second, volunteer to serve on an Osher team. We are always looking for members to give their time and expertise to one or more of these teams:

  • Curriculum: Find Osher course leaders and develop Osher classes
  • Development: Fundraising for the Osher Institute (in cooperation with UR Advancement)
  • Leader Support: Provide technical and classroom support to Osher class leaders
  • Marketing: Promote the Osher Institute to the public and recruit new members
  • Membership: Provide member services and encourage members to renew
  • Newsletter: Osher Insider features stories about the Institute and its members

The work is fun and interesting — and serving on these teams is a great way to meet other Osher members.

Third, we are compiling a list of Osher members who are willing to volunteer at large UR events. This new “volunteers list” is a direct result of the strategic plan’s focus group meeting, during which members said they wanted to be more involved with campus events.

Throughout the year, we can contribute to UR’s large events by providing directions, giving out materials, water, box lunches, etc., and serving as hosts/hostesses. Sign on to this new list simply by emailing me at margaret.watson@richmond.edu, then say “yes” when asked to help at graduation, alumni weekend, homecoming, and other activities. These events require many people to make them special, and who better to do so than Osher members?! 

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. My first months — almost a year now — on the job have indeed been rewarding, but only because of you. I am grateful to be a part of this great institute, and I truly enjoy working with each of you.

Peggy Watson, Director
Osher Institute