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Study Groups

Develops and leads an OLLI Study Group in an area in which the SGL has special expertise or interest to share with other members. Describes the breadth and depth of the study group, determines the format and extent of required reading, and sets expectations for the study group. If you're interested in teaching at OLLI and select this volunteer role, someone will reach out to you shortly. (Please note: if you're a previous/current SGL at OLLI, you do not need to select this volunteer role in order to teach again.) For more information about being an SGL:

Serves as a liaison between the Study Group Leader and the office. Makes announcements of OLLI news, weekly lectures, and upcoming events. Monitors attendance and takes attendance by making sure people place a check by their name on attendance sheet. Collects money from class members (as applicable) for photocopy fee. Reminds members to check their email regularly. Informs the office of problems with the classroom, including heating/AC, lighting, and sound. Picks up SGL thank you card from office to have class members sign at the end.

The Curriculum Committee plans and reviews the academic programming for fall, spring, and February Shorts, and recruits study group leaders. Committee members acknowledge receipt of study group proposals, offer any suggestions of improvement/edits, and communicate with and support study group leaders to ensure a successful experience. Committee members preferably have interest and/or experience in at least one of the subject areas, as a minimum of one committee member is assigned to each area.

Help coordinate OLLI's summer academic programming by recruiting new and previous Study Group Leaders for the June Minis and July Shorts. These programs run four weeks and one week, respectively. Summer Curriculum Coordinators will work closely with OLLI staff and be responsible for soliciting proposals, acknowledging receipt of proposals, and communicating with potential Study Group Leaders. Interest and/or experience in at least one of the subject areas is preferable but not necessary. A love of OLLI’s academic programming and a desire to help it grow is necessary.

Lead the orientation session for new Study Group Leaders.

Recruit Study Group Representatives (SGRs) for each study group in a given academic session - Fall, Spring, February Shorts, July Shorts, and June Minis. There are up to 98 SGRs in a given session. Some Study Group Leaders select their own SGRs directly. Otherwise, SGR Coordinators are provided with a list of members who have expressed interest in being SGR for each study group, or the attendance list if there are no volunteers. Coordinators then call members before classes start in order to find an SGR for each study group. (SGRs play a vital role in ensuring classes run smoothly: taking attendance, making announcements, letting the office know of any technology problems in the classroom, and circulating the class thank you card, among other duties.)

Appointed Committees

Work with American University senior staff to further develop and improve OLLI's relationship with the University.

Recommend appropriate investments of all OLLI funds to the Board. With the Executive Director, recommends to the Board the appropriate division of financial assets between funds for operating needs and funds invested for savings.

Review, at least annually, the OLLI Bylaws and the OLLI Policies and Procedures, and, as appropriate, recommend changes to the Board of Directors. Conduct an orientation session for new Board members. Assess the needs of the Board in terms of skills, knowledge and experience to be considered in filling Board vacancies. Oversee a Nominations and Elections subcommittee responsible for identifying candidates for the Board and managing the election process.

Volunteer Committees

The Development Committee is responsible for CAMPAIGN 2020. We are actively seeking OLLI members who have interest and experience in various fundraising activities that are essential for a successful fundraising strategy, including solicitation, grant-proposal writing, and campaign development.

Our mission is to recommend policies and activities to enhance the racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity of OLLI at AU. We're especially looking for members who have ties to organizations, alumni groups, etc. in the greater Washington community or those who would proactively conduct outreach and other programs to attract new members to increase the diversity of OLLI at AU.

The Innovative Program Committee is one of the newest OLLI at AU committees. It was established after the 2017 national OLLI meeting during which several other OLLIs presented their innovative programs. One idea that was presented was an OLLI-wide book club. The OLLI at AU Innovative Programs Committee adopted that idea and led a very successful book club meeting with a panel discussion on Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. We will have another book club event this Fall. Put your creative hat on and join us in creating new and exciting OLLI programs.

Identify a roster of possible speakers for one- and one-and-a-half-hour lectures during the daytime without honoraria. Ascertain whether proposed lecturers 1) have previously given lectures, 2) are engaging speakers, and 3) live in the area or travel here frequently. We seek volunteers who know OLLI members and their interests, are willing to make appeals to speakers on behalf of OLLI, and recognize trends, topics, and experts on a wide range of subjects.

Recommends policies and activities to the Board to grow and maintain OLLI's membership base. Conducts media and outreach initiatives to expand awareness of OLLI at AU in the local community and greater Washington area.

Review applications for scholarships/financial assistance to attend OLLI at AU. Determine how to allocate scholarship funds.

The main responsibility of the Social Committee is to plan and implement events so that OLLI members feel welcome, get to know each other, and become enthusiastic participants in OLLI. Tasks include assisting in the planning and preparation of the New Member Orientation, the OLLI Holiday party in December, the Spring Volunteer Appreciation, and other events. We seek volunteers who are cheerful, friendly, and interested in strengthening the OLLI experience for all.


Reach out to up to four new OLLI members to make them feel welcome, orient them to OLLI, and answer any questions they may have. This can be over e-mail or phone. Contact is made before the start of classes, during the session, and as a follow up at the end to see how things went. If inclined, Welcomers can offer to meet their new members for a coffee in the Social Space or even during time outside of OLLI.

In Spring 2018, OLLI and the International Accelerator Program at American University launched the OLLI-IAP Partnership Program. It seeks to connect OLLI members with international graduate students to foster friendship and to promote intercultural dialogue. We seek volunteers with intercultural experience who would like to partner with an AU international student meeting once a week when possible for a minimum of one semester, or preferably two semestrs.

Volunteer Coordinators

Trips Coordinators assist with coordinating trips each semester. Duties include: suggesting new trip locations; helping decide upon the trips for each semester; and contacting the location to find out details about the exhibit/site and inquire about dates available, docents, accessibility, admission cost/group discounts, and food options


If you have or had a relationship with American University, please check one or more of the boxes below to indicate the relationship(s).


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