President Mark Killingsworth presided over today’s meeting. A.D. Hunt provided the opening prayer. Stephen Utroska led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The meeting was held at the Holiday Inn North and on Zoom.
Joe Bost thanked those who helped with today’s meeting. Mark has Nick Adams as his guest.
Mark then introduced today’s guest speaker, Paula Mathis. Paula is the Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Southern Mississippi. She took that position in the fall of 2018. Prior to that she taught in the USM Honors College for 17 years.
Our guest, Paula Mathis (OLLI) and Club President, Mark Killingsworth.
OLLI began in 1991 when a USM professor submitted a proposal to Dr. Aubry Lucas. She proposed establishing an Institute of Learning and Research at USM. It is the only such institute in the State of Mississippi. One-hundred and thirty volunteers showed up for the organizational meeting and OLLI was established in 1994 with ninety-four charter members. Today there are six hundred eighty-nine enrollees who participate in some of the one hundred forty-five classes, trips and social events each year.
The Institute’s goals including learning just for the fun of learning, participating in exercise classes, travel, developing meaningful friendships and discovering new interests and passions.
The Institute is supported through annual membership fees and class and program fees. Over the years, OLLI has received several grants and recently acquired an endowment. There are occasional fundraising events. The very first campaign set and reached a goal of $750,000.
OLLI’s thirty-year anniversary is being celebrated throughout 2021. A reception is being planned for September.
OLLI remained open during the pandemic, however, classes were offered via Zoom. There are now one-hundred-fifty individuals participating in the Zoom programs.
OLLI is open to anyone fifty years of age or older. You can learn more and join by visiting or by calling the office at 601-264-2780.
Mark reminded members that the Rotary Foundation is the club’s fourth quarter cause. Members are encouraged to make a $125 donation to the Foundation before the end of June. He also reported that Rotary award presentations will be made on July 6.
There being no further business to come before the club, Mark adjourned the meeting with our motto: “Service Above Self.”