OLLI Testimonials

"I donate to OLLI because I value the opportunities it provides for both teaching and learning.  I am an emeritus SF State faculty member, and I continue to be involved with research and writing; teaching OLLI mini-classes has provided an opportunity to share some of my current research and, sometimes, get useful feed-back.  I have also taken a number of OLLI classes on topics that interest me, some of them on topics that I know something about and want to learn more and others on topics about which I know almost nothing."
Robert W. Cherny, Professor Emeritus of History, San Francisco State University

"I donate annually because I love learning and OLLI’s been an amazing option for me to explore many different interests.  This year — thinking about our 20th anniversary — I’ve been particularly inspired to give a bit more as I realize just how much I want OLLI SFSU to be thriving 20 years from now! Let’s work together to make this our most successful fundraising year yet!!"  — Kathleen McIlwain

"I donate to OLLI as a way of saying Thank You.   Thank You OLLI for the wonderful instructor/guides leading us on eclectic adventures; Thank You OLLI for the great group of people providing us lifelong learners a safe, comfortable and conducive learning space."  — Wendell Choo

"Through OLLI I have added to my knowledge of long-time favorite subjects.  But most exciting for me has been signing up for courses outside of my usual interests, opening whole new worlds and ideas.  My donation to OLLI is a way to express my appreciation for all that the instructors, the OLLI staff, and fellow students bring to our learning opportunities. Can't imagine life without OLLI." — Kathryn Morelli

"We’ve taken OLLI classes continuously for ten years, and donating to support OLLI’s mission is our way of showing our appreciation for the many opportunities to meet new people and learn new things OLLI has provided us." — Charlene and Ed Lebowitz

"OLLI keeps me interested, informed, and lively. It is vital for everyone who cherishes learning. It’s a must-give on my list of organizations I still donate to." — Doris Bloch

"Since OLLI has given me so much in my retirement years, I feel joy in giving back in the ways I am able. And since I can’t offer my time at this period of my life, I can and do give money. OLLI gives me, structure, familiar faces, close friends, everything I have now learned it seems, and fine teachers. How can I not give back by making a good donation?" — Al Crowell

"How fortunate we seniors are to have access to the vast array of OLLI classes with such terrific professors. There is something to suit everyone's taste and interest. And to me it is inspiring to see so many accomplished contemporaries of mine dive into the material presented with passion and curiosity. I may be approaching my 80th but I sure don't feel it and I'm convinced that OLLI has had something with this." — Michael Gordon

"OLLI is on my short list of organizations that I donate to every year.  The reason for this is that OLLI provides a key service - continuous learning - as well as a community of like-minded people.  I am confident that every dollar I give to OLLI will be spent in a cost effective and transparent way.  I am also very heartened by the commitment of all members to keeping OLLI strong and vibrant.” — Sara Seims

"I give to OLLI because it's given me so much: great classes, wonderful friends, and an opportunity to stretch my mind and be part of a bright and vibrant community. OLLI was the first program I joined when I retired, and though my world has greatly expanded since those early days, I always look forward to attending classes, meeting new people, and reconnecting with old friends." — Judy Goddess

"It’s an exciting time to be part of OLLI. 2019 brought several positive changes to the program, beginning with the appointment of a new director who’s re-energized the program. That’s led to a greater diversity of courses along with new and returning instructors. It’s important to keep that momentum going as we head into 2020. We’ll all get out of OLLI as much as we invest in it. As such, annual donations are an important contributing factor toward OLLI’s overall success." — Monika Trobits

"OLLI has become a big part of my life. I’ve been a multi-course member for eight years and have taken many fascinating classes. I’ve met wonderful people, some of whom have become close friends. I’ve taught five OLLI classes because I’ve enjoyed doing it, so after my expenses, I’ve donated my instructor stipend back to OLLI so that this great program can continue and expand." — Pete Tannen

"I took my first SFSU OLLI classes this past fall. I was thrilled!  What began as a group of strangers to me became a learning and sharing community. I was inspired by what other students had accomplished. I want to support OLLI for its invitation to older learners to be part of an exciting, learning community." — Barbara Applegate‎ 

"OLLI has become a significant and enriching part of my retirement. I often find myself enthusiastically recalling something I have learned to friends and family who are genuinely impressed‎ with the spectrum of class offerings and quality of content. ‎The OLLI program is an unexpected treasure in my life." — Laurie Cameron

"I just made my first donation to OLLI. And why? Because I have enjoyed the benefits of OLLI membership this past year:  stimulating courses about art, music, and politics; brown bag lectures on topics such as gun violence and San Francisco history; shared-interest group discussions about films and books; Sixty-Plus lectures about Bollywood and urban bee-keeping.  I want to see our organization continue to sustain and develop courses, activities, and events that are varied with respect to topics, format, and social activity.  Donating is one way toward those goals." — Julie Vaquilar

"When my wife and I were fortunate enough to retire in 2010, we discovered OLLI San Francisco State University. We were impressed with the breadth and quality of classes in areas of our individual interests. We now understand the term “community of learning.”  And here is where OLLI adds value beyond course offerings. Through OLLI, we’ve made new and very close friendships and have become OLLI member volunteers. Because OLLI has been so rewarding, we want to help ensure that it thrives and becomes a stronger self-sustaining organization. I believe that making an annual donation is my way to support OLLI’s goals of sustainability, high-quality instruction, strong leadership, and the enhancement of our members’ experiences. OLLI is more than a collection of courses — it truly is a learning “community.” — David Perper, Curriculum Committee Chair

"Why OLLI?  I asked the same question 6 years ago and the answer is, knowledge along with friendship and great teachers.  I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.  OLLI opens a world of history, music, movies, art and politics.  All of this comes at a reasonable price whether you purchase each class individually or purchase a prepay option for use over time. I support OLLI as you can see and  to help defray costs it takes to operate the program, I include OLLI in with annual gift giving." — Robin Jaquith

"On-going intellectual engagement and social interaction has been proven to enhance the quality of one’s life. Through our participation in classes at Olli, my husband and I have benefitted from stimulating educational experiences and the development of strong friendships. For these reasons, we make an annual contribution to support SF State OLLI’s on-going mission to enhance the lives of all who seek to continue their intellectual and social growth." — Kathryn Santana Goldman

"I donate to OLLI because it is where I have learned more about music, art, science and the world from fascinating instructors.  My fellow students often ask very insightful questions that bring a deeper understanding to the course.  It is a great way to make friends with the most engaging people who are interested in exploring ideas.  It brightens my world." — Judy Reynolds

"When I retired in 2012, I was at a loss, wondering what to do next.  I had worked nonstop for 40 years in the corporate world.  I actually believed what would make me blissfully happy, was to do nothing but lounge under the Kona sun. It didn’t work out that way! I turned to community service with CASA and RAPHAEL HOUSE.  Emotionally fulfilling? Yes. But I still needed more. Maybe a stimulating learning environment?  I had stumbled upon OLLI.  I found classes in subjects that I loved - Political Science with David Peritz, European Short Stories with Caroline Smadja, and Olli’s array of wonderful writing classes with Diane Frank, Sarah Broderick, and Cary Pepper, to name a few. I even learned how to write Haiku!  How could I NOT give back to OLLI a small measure of financial support for the opportunities and friendships it gave me." — Elsa Fernandez

"Donating to OLLI is a no-brainer to me.  By donating I invest in our community, OLLI staff and instructors, and myself.  That is a win-win-win!  I feel so lucky to be able to donate." — Yane Nordhav

"I've been an OLLI member since 2010 and have served on its Curriculum Committee since 2015. We've been fortunate to have good leadership over the years but Kathy Bruin has taken OLLI to a new level. Our student body has grown, our stable of talented instructors has expanded, and fundraising is better than ever. I hope you'll join me in supporting our progress by renewing your membership and contributing what you can to ensure that our OLLI continues to excel." — Dennis Gale

"I donate to OLLI because I love the stimulating courses on offer at OLLI – from creative writing classes to 'Reparations' to 'Travel the World through Textiles' – all given by excellent instructors.  It’s also where I have met a group of engaging and engaged people!" — Jane Hudson

"I give to OLLI because I realize how important my contribution is right now with the added expense of increased staff and technical capabilities needed for the implementation of Zoom classes - which remarkably occurred at almost a moment’s notice.! I know that each donation of any amount testifies to one's personal support and appreciation for SFSU’s uniquely intimate and affordable OLLI program." — Barbara Barer

"My donations to OLLI reflect gratitude for their consistently engaging and educational programs, managed efficiently and professionally.  Many thanks!" — Joan Saxton, MD

"Over the years I have taken many, many classes at OLLI on a variety of topics. What a great opportunity to take classes in areas in which I know very little!  I have especially enjoyed the camaraderie at the special events:  the Preview of Classes and the Launch Party for Vistas and Byways.  But all that was pre-COVID.  Now, during COVID, I have come to appreciate even more the efforts by OLLI to keep people connected through the ZOOM classes, the Interest Groups ( for me, Spanish Conversation), the opportunity to work on Committees ( for me, Vista and Byways), the Council and the in-person outdoor gatherings. OLLI is definitely a part of my life. I am happy to donate to this valuable organization." — Carol Langbort

"Art, music, film, literature, Oh my what a combination. A passion for life long learning, camaraderie, community, and spirited conversation. And a Big Bang for my Buck. That’s why I donate to OLLI." — Walter Murphy

"I greatly value the opportunity OLLI gives me to explore so many long-dormant curiosities and adventures—educational “itches” I’ve been wanting to scratch for decades—and also really appreciate the perspectives and experiences shared by other students.  But OLLI needs us to do more than just attend classes.  So, I hope each of us will help strengthen OLLI in whatever additional way we can, financially whenever possible and/or by becoming involved in some supporting OLLI activity." — Larry Stites

"This past year I have taken a variety of classes with OLLI.from Art History to Political Science.   Though the classes for the last 6 months had been on Zoom, I still experience the same high quality of learning, camaraderie and networking I enjoyed when I took classes in person.  The staff of OLLI has been very responsive and attentive. They strive to offer classes which help broaden our perspectives and to help us navigate the very complex world that we live in today. I highly endorse everyone to take classes with OLLI." — Jolene Huey

"I love OLLI because it widens my horizons and the students are sassy and have rich, diverse backgrounds." — Graziella Danieli

"Being a part of the OLLI family has been such an integral part of my post retirement life. It has been wonderful to learn, make friends and expand horizons in such a supportive environment. The pandemic online classes are remarkable.   My donation is an expression of gratitude for all OLLI has provided for me." — Ronell Reyna

"Having been a Director at OLLI from 2007 - 2012, I can only say I give to OLLI because I appreciate the quality of classes and faculty and the opportunity for community-building for our members.  Life-long learning is an essential factor in continued growth as we age and I am in support of healthy aging.  I am delighted to give to OLLI to maintain and grow the program." — Debra Varner

"I donate to Olli for two main reasons:  The first is it offers learning opportunities to me that would be unavailable were it not for Olli. The second reason is that by donating I become a part of extending Olli’s reach to others." — Richard Chackerian

"Donations to OLLI generate tremendous returns. After Covid hit, for example, the ability of this organization to shift instantly from in-person to online activities more than justified every dime I have ever donated to it. It also told me everything I need to know about the quality of the people who work at and support OLLI." — Joe Castrovinci