Osher Institutes are member-driven organizations, and volunteer assistance is a key ingredient in the success of OLLI at the U of A. Without the assistance of volunteers we could not offer such a wide breadth of high quality opportunities for engagement. Your time, talents and resources are valuable to ensure that OLLI is able to provide the highest level of educational experiences to adults in northwest Arkansas. Volunteers have the opportunity to attend training sessions to receive detailed information about program policies and procedures and each year they are recogonized at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s annual member celebration! Volunteering is an ideal way to connect, serve and give back to your OLLI.

OLLI at the U of A Volunteers

The OLLI at UA Advisory Council members, Committee members, Part time Office Staff, Instructors, and Class Ambassadors all serve on a volunteer basis. Each member of OLLI is encouraged to volunteer where ever their time and talents best fit! Members of OLLI also may have an opportunity to serve as volunteer mentors to UA students and interact with University faculty and students on research projects.

We always need and appreciate volunteers just like you for:

Class Ambassadors/Greeters

OLLI classes are held at various venues across the region so we need your help to check-in participants, take attendance, greet new members, make announcements, introduce instructors, and collect course evaluations. Class Ambassadors are the primary interface with OLLI for students and instructors. If you are planning to register and attend a course consider being a class ambassador! Typical activities for Hospitality Coordinators include:

  • Provide support to instructor for class needs
  • Contact each class member by e-mail or phone to remind them of class date, time and location
  • Make any last minute copies needed by the instructor
  • Greet participants as they enter classroom and introduce to the group
  • Introduce instructor
  • Pass out evaluation forms to class and instructor, and collect forms when class is over
  • Recruit OLLI members to assist in cleanup

Office Support

At OLLI-UA we have a hard-working, but small staff. Volunteer a couple hours of your time helping in the OLLI office compiling packets, bulk mailings, photocopying, filing, answering the telephone, or other various administrative duties.

Community Outreach

Help OLLI grow by spreading the news of all the great opportunities at OLLI-UA. Assist OLLI staff in distributing catalogs, flyers and promotional materials. Connect us with community stakeholders who have an interest in supporting or sponsoring our programs. Present information on OLLI at your next club meeting!

Special Projects & Events

Periodically throughout the year OLLI has special events, fundraisers and exclusive programs. Be a part of making these moments special by helping plan, coordinate and facilitate these events.


If you like getting out and about then consider driving an OLLI van on one of our courses that offers transportation.

Be an OLLI Leader

Serve on one of OLLI’s committees and help shape future programs, courses and the direction of OLLI at the U of A. Committees assist with developing courses, planning and facilitating social events, recruit new members, plan special events and provide feedback to OLLI administrators and staff.

About volunteering on an OLLI UA committee:

Creating a community of learners is an important aspect of all OLLI organizations. A great way to get involved is volunteering within the organization’s various areas. The following are descriptions of OLLI committees at the U of A.

Curriculum Committee

The purpose of this committee is to develop and evaluate course proposals for upcoming semesters; to ensure quality programs are devised for our members; to develop special events and interest groups; to identify and contact possible instructors and presenters; and to gather member interests’ information. This committee meets the first Wednesday of each month for 2 to 3 hours.

2015-16 committee members: Barbara Wilson (Chairperson), Candy Harrell (Co-Chair), Hugh Earnest, Trisha Beland, Carol Wooten, Frances Jones, Rick Hinterthuer, Joyce Richards, Linda Doede, Doug Cummins, Ross Hooper, Fred Paillet, and Tim Schatzman

Advisory Committee

The OLLI Advisory Committee is made up of Committee Chairs and At-Large Members.  Its purpose is to define, review, and update Committee responsibilities, review the performance of the OLLI program, and report recommendations to OLLI staff.

2015-16 committee members: Tom Paradise (Chairperson), Matthew Musial, Denise Garner, Georgena Duncan, Cathy Case, Ross Hooper, Anne Henry, Marilyn Collins, Marilyn Heifner, and Gary Peters.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee works to engage and strengthen the OLLI member network through focus on recruitment, orientation, and retention; as well as communicating to members and representing member interests to OLLI staff.  They meet approximately once per month.

2015-16 committee members: Cathy Case (Chairperson), Susan Lancaster, Matt Musial, Sarah Thompson, Brooks Garner and Taylor Hurst

Social Committee

Volunteers for the Social Committee work together to create and develop opportunities for OLLI members to interact and get to know each other outside of the classroom. Committee members propose, plan, and coordinate events, outings, and special interest groups. This could involve socializing before and after class meetings and/or joining together to attend cultural events such as concerts, plays, art exhibitions, lecture series, etc. offered by other organizations.

2015-16 committee members: Gary Peters (Chairperson), Joye Gartside, Marvin Singleton, Melinda Nickle, Karen Jacobsen-Mispagual, John Rago, Ned Downie, and Hugh Earnest

Nominations Committee

The Nominations committee is responsible for recruiting and vetting OLLI members as  nominees for elected member leaders.

2015-16 committee members: Anne Henry (Chairperson)

Development & Marketing Committee

Volunteer Committee

Matt Musial (Chairperson)

Retired Faculty Committee

The Retired Faculty committee is responsible for recruiting emeritus faculty members from the Northwest Arkansas University settings as potential instructors. They are responsible for building and maintaining relationships and networks with the current academic units within the areas’ Universities.

To volunteer or for more details, contact the OLLI office at (479) 575-4545 or email us at olli@uark.edu.