OLLI at FSU Receives $1 Million Endowment to Enhance Lifelong Learning Prograam

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Florida State University has been recognized for its excellence with a $1 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation of San Francisco. 

The highly competitive award, attained only by the elite institutions of the 119 OLLIs throughout the country, required meeting stringent criteria, including membership of more than 1,000, curriculum, leadership, staff excellence, sustainability and volunteerism. 

”Florida State University is proud of our commitment to lifelong learning and the 1,300 OLLI students who are such an integral element of our campus as learners, supporters and volunteers,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “My wife, Jean, and I have just become OLLI members ourselves, and we are looking forward to the intriguing classes and activities that OLLI offers.” 

With more than 1,300 members, OLLI at FSU annually offers an exciting, challenging, scholarly program of more than 100 classes and programs tailored for mature adults who love to learn. 

“We recognize that the program’s success represents the collective achievement of its excellent staff and dynamic community of intellectually vigorous members, who give generously of their time, talent and financial resources,” said Mary Bitterman, president of the Osher Foundation. “We applaud the university’s leadership for its steadfast support of the Institute and for embracing the notion that — at its best — education is a lifelong pursuit that has the power to elevate, delight and forge our connection to one another and to a larger world.” 

“We are most grateful for the Osher Foundation award and Florida State University’s ongoing support of lifelong learning,” said OLLI Director Debra Herman. The Osher endowment will be used to support and sustain OLLI at FSU in the years to come. It will help underwrite our ambitious plans to expand course offerings, lecture series and other activities and to maintain affordable membership fees and tuition rates.” 

Florida State University has sponsored a lifelong learning initiative since 1991, when seven eager students assembled to establish and participate in two classes. Growth since that time has been exponential, and 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of lifelong learning at the university. The organization is celebrating this landmark throughout the year, with special events, lectures and classes. NPR commentator on aging Ina Jaffe will be a special 25thanniversary presenter at a community event Sept. 19.

Carroll Bewley, 2016-2017 OLLI member president, said, “The timing of this endowment award could not have been better — during the 25th anniversary of lifelong learning at FSU — and it will make the celebration even sweeter. The award recognizes the quality program we’ve been able to create here through the dedication and hard work of a lot of people. It has been a true team effort.”

The program became part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute network in 2008. This is OLLI at FSU’s second million-dollar endowment from the Osher Foundation. The first was granted in 2012, based on membership growth to 500 and related criteria.

Over the past 25 years, OLLI members have participated in hundreds of classes offered by current and retired FSU faculty members, as well as many graduate students.

FSU faculty-taught classes during OLLI’s three-week “Maymester” include: history Professor Emeritus Jim Jones, cinema series: “Submarines and World War II”; English Professor Maxine Montgomery, “Talking Back to Pecola: Rereading Toni Morrison”; jazz studies Professor Leon Anderson, “The Evolution of the Rhythm Section in Jazz”; and communication science and disorders Professor Erin Ingvalson, “Healthy Cognitive Aging.” 

OLLI faculty also come from Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College and include experts in a wide variety of fields.

For more information about OLLI at FSU, visit olli.fsu.edu.

Six reasons why Florida is the best place to retire

Sunshine, beaches and a laid-back lifestyle have made Florida one of the top destinations for retirees looking to live out their golden years in peace and comfort.

Now a new study from WalletHub.com has named the Sunshine State the best place in the U.S. to retire based on its affordability, quality of life and healthcare. The website pointed out that nearly a third of non-retirees have no retirement savings or pension and said it made its choices to help retirees find the states that offered the most bang for their buck.

Read full article

‘Choose Tallahassee’ winners announced


WTXL — http://www.wtxl.com/news/choose-tallahaassee-bringing-baby-boomers-to-town/article_9e96ce78-b41c-11e3-9452-001a4bcf6878.html


Tallahassee Magazinehttp://www.tallahasseemagazine.com/TMAG-Blog/News-2014/Couple-Trades-Frostbite-for-Florida/

The Tallahassee Democrathttp://www.tallahassee.com/article/20140320/BUSINESS02/140320006/Update-New-Hampshire-residents-trade-snow-year-Tallahassee

The New Hampshire Union Leaderhttp://www.unionleader.com/article/20140324/NEWHAMPSHIRE1409/140329658

The Washington Economics Group Picks Tallahassee, Fla., as Number One Retirement Destination for Baby Boomers

~  Study Cites Climate, Cost of Living/Taxes, Health Care as Key Factors ~

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A revealing new analysis of trends and preferences indicates that tens of millions of Baby Boomers searching for the ideal place to retire should look to Southern college towns for the best combination of climate, cost of living, health care and other top priorities, according to a report from The Washington Economics Group (WEG). And in the scientific comparisons of 20 prospective ideal “Boomer” retirement communities, Florida’s capital city, Tallahassee, ranks number one in the country.

The WEG report, “Best Choice for Retiring Boomers: Head South – An Analysis of Selected U.S. Cities,” builds on the first major survey in 10 years of retirement relocation preferences, which was recently conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. The survey found that fully one-third of Baby Boomers would consider moving to another state to find the desirable conditions they most value. Chief among those conditions identified by “Boomers” in the poll are a mid-sized town that offers a pleasant warm climate with a mild hint of winter, a low cost of living and favorable tax rate, and a top quality health care system, among other key priorities.

“Through the Mason-Dixon Poll, we’re learning exactly what Baby Boomers are looking for as they near retirement and where they can find it,” said nationally renowned economist Dr. Tony Villamil, Founder and Principal Advisor with The Washington Economics Group. “The Mason-Dixon survey provided an intriguing snapshot of what matters to this important group of 78 million Americans. We thought it would be beneficial to take the analysis a step further and ask the key question of which cities come closest to offering Baby Boomers what they’re looking for.”

The answer, at least in large part, appears to be Southern college towns. The top-ranked community in the WEG analysis is Tallahassee, Fla., capital of the Sunshine State and home to two state universities. Tallahassee’s winning assets also include quality affordable housing, the nation’s top-rated Medicare program in its Capital Health Plan, an ideal array of outdoor activities and the highest percentage of other key attributes that Boomers identified as priorities. Three of the next five cities are also homes to ‘Deep South’ universities: Athens, Ga. (3); Tuscaloosa, Ala. (4); and Oxford, Miss. (6).

However, the WEG analysis of potential retirement destinations does not point exclusively to the South: Tied at Number 9 on its list of favorable retirement destinations is Pittsburgh, Pa., due to a lower-than-average cost of living and its highly regarded health care system.

The remaining cities in the top 10 are all located in the South. In order, the top 10 cities are: Tallahassee, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; Athens, Ga.,; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Atlanta, Ga.; Oxford, Miss, and Charleston, S.C. (tied); Louisville, Ky.; and Richmond, Va., and Pittsburgh, Pa. (tied).

After the Mason-Dixon survey was released on February 1st by the Consumer Federation of the Southeast, WEG identified 20 cities for its deeper drill-down analysis based on the overall criteria identified by Baby Boomers. In addition to climate, economic and health care considerations, other factors included a community’s size, supportive senior services, arts and cultural opportunities, proximity to a beach and robust higher education opportunities for life-long learning. The 20 cities evaluated by WEG have an already high number of retirees or are classified as typically popular destinations for retirees; have populations consistent with or close to the size favored in the Mason-Dixon poll; or feature more than one factor favored by those surveyed.

“Finding the right mix can be tricky for retirees – because they want to live in a community that is big enough but not too big, warm and cool enough but not too warm or too cold, and with the amenities and resources of a big city but not the annoying traffic and congestion,” said WEG’s Villamil. “College towns in Southern states, with their dynamic communities and temperate climates, appear to offer the best mix of these many factors.”


The Mason-Dixon poll results pointed to five main factors Baby Boomers consider most important for retirement: climate, cost of housing, quality of health care services, local taxes and recreational options. WEG developed a scoring system that rated these factors among selected communities and then weighted the results to reflect the priorities indicated by Boomers in the survey. WEG noted that even within the five broad categories, certain factors weighed more heavily than others with Boomers who are considering relocation during their retirement. For example, moderate climate and affordable housing mattered more than recreational options.

In analyzing the Mason-Dixon results, WEG experts observed several important trends. When asked about their top priorities, for example, more than half the Baby Boomers preferred a city with a climate described as “warm with cool months,” and more than 70 percent preferred a medium-sized city or small town. More than one in five said the most vital or second-most important factor is proximity to ocean and beach-related recreational activities.

The following table shows the top 10 cities in the WEG analysis, along with the percentage of total possible points each community earned in the weighted scoring system:


Ranking of Retirement Destination Cities (#1-10)




of Points Scored


Tallahassee, FL



Memphis, TN



Athens, GA



Tuscaloosa, AL



Atlanta, GA


6 (tie)

Oxford, MS


6 (tie)

Charleston, SC



Louisville, KY


9 (tie)

Richmond, VA


9 (tie)

Pittsburgh, PA



In all, WEG assessed the retirement potential of 20 cities in the eastern third of the United States. The analysis identified important attributes to many of the locations outside the Southeast, but found that on balance, climate and cost-of-living considerations frequently offset those locations’ high rankings for health care and recreational opportunities.

The following table shows the second group of cities – numbers 11-20 – in the WEG analysis, along with the percentage of total possible points each community earned in the weighted scoring system:


Ranking of Retirement Destination Cities (#11-20)




of Points Scored

11 (tie)

Raleigh-Durham, NC


11 (tie)

Indianapolis, IN


13 (tie)

Lexington, KY


13 (tie)

Toledo, OH



Cleveland, OH


16 (tie)

Boston, MA


16 (tie)

Milwaukee, WI



Washington, DC



Philadelphia, PA



New York, NY


Read coverage from Tallahassee.com / Tallahassee Democrat

The full Washington Economics Group report is available at http://www.scribd.com/doc/89220697/Best-Choice-for-Retiring-Boomers-Head-South-An-Analysis-of-Selected-U-S-Cities.

The previous Mason-Dixon poll results are available through http://consumerfederationse.com/2012/02/01/new-poll-shows-what-baby-boomers-want/#more-382.


About Tallahassee

Tallahassee Skyline

Source: Talgov.com

Tallahassee is a place where Southern hospitality is more than a slogan, it’s a treasured way of life. This is a diverse community that welcomes people of every background, ethnicity and faith. Whatever your background, wherever you’re from, we are very glad you’re here. Check out Choose Tallahassee’s unique Red Carpet Team; making you feel personally welcomed is their mission in life!


Tallahassee, nestled among the rolling hills of northwest Florida, is located in the center of the eight-county “Big Bend” area. Geographically, Tallahassee is close to both the Gulf of Mexico, a mere twenty miles to the south, and to Georgia, fourteen miles to the north.


Tallahassee’s rolling landscape, typical of regions further north, is unique among the major cities of Florida. Some areas of the county, including the downtown ridge encompassing the Capitol complex, City Hall, and the County Courthouse, exceed elevations of 200 feet. The highest elevation in Leon County is 288 feet, found in the northern part of the county, about a quarter mile to the southwest of Lake McBride. To the south of the city the hills yield to the flat terrain that is typical throughout the peninsula of Florida. The northern portion of the county consists of a thick layer of sand, silt, and clay overlying limestone formations, while most of the southern portion is characterized by flat, sandy lowlands.


Tallahassee has the mild, moist climate characteristic of the Gulf States, and experiences a subtropical summer similar to the rest of Florida. In contrast to the Florida peninsula, however, the panhandle, of which Tallahassee is a part, experiences four seasons.

Prevailing winds average 6.5 miles per hour and are from a southerly direction in the spring and summer, then shift toward a more northerly direction later in the year.

Climate Averages

HI LOW Days > 90° Days < 32° Days of Rain Rainfall
Jan 64 40 0.0 10.8 10 4.7
Feb 67 42 0.0 7.7 9 4.9
Mar 73 48 0.0 3.1 9 6.2
Apr 80 53 1.4 0.3 7 4.0
May 86 62 7.8 0.0 9 4.6
Jun 90 69 19.6 0.0 12 7.0
Jul 91 71 23.1 0.0 16 8.6
Aug 91 72 22.0 0.0 15 7.0
Sep 88 68 15.2 0.0 9 5.5
Oct 81 57 1.8 0.3 5 3.2
Nov 72 47 0.0 4.1 7 3.5
Dec 66 41 0.0 9.5 8 4.3
Annual 78.7 55.7 91.0 35.7 116 63.5


Legacy, Leisure and Lore

October 14-19, 2012

Tallahassee Senior Services, in partnership with Capital City Christian Church,
Leon County Senior Outreach , and Tallahassee Community College

For more information contact the Tallahassee Senior Center at 850-891-4000 or www.talgov.com.

L3X is a week of exciting cultural classes, lectures, field trips, and entertainment which explore the “Legacy, Leisure, and Lore” of Tallahassee and its surrounding area.


Tallahassee has such a rich heritage.  So much has been handed down to us over the years, from events, history, and people.  There is so much to explore….examine….experience.  There is so much that makes us unique.  Our culture is unbelievably diverse.  Everything from battles, to Indians, to the Spanish, to African Americans and civil rights, to plantations, to interesting personalities who have made a tremendous impact on our community at large.  There are also those who are currently creating, constructing, and developing new legacies to leave our community….how fascinating to look at what will become a gift to the community in the years ahead.


What community can compete with the tremendous offerings we have in leisure opportunities?  Our parks and recreation are the best….award-winning!  And there is so much more to leisure.  Tallahassee is home to many creative writing geniuses who continue to produce first-class fiction, non-fiction, and drama for leisure reading.  Our film school/industry ranks at the top of the nation…oozing with creativity, offering leisure viewing products to enjoy.  Our creative arts community provides endless and unique experiences for the leisure-minded.  And what about the beautiful and awe-inspiring settings we have scattered throughout the area for leisure meditation and quiet respite.


Wow.  Lore pops out at us from every nook and cranny.  Indian lore.  Spanish lore.  African-American lore.  Ghost lore.  First Christmas lore.  Folk lore.  There are myths and superstitions galore.  There are fascinating stories of our area known and unknown, told and untold.  We have great “story tellers” who are little known but have so much to share.  Names of buildings and streets are both fact and lore.  How Tallahassee became the capital is both fact and lore.  People are fascinated about lore…..it brings a sense of fantasy….it titillates and teases the mind.  It’s fun.


For outdoor sports enthusiasts, Tallahassee and Big Bend are next door to paradise. There’s great salt and freshwater fishing, more than 600,000 acres of Nation Forest right next door, kayaking great hiking trails, wilderness areas an hour away from downtown, outstanding hunting the scores of miles of greenways and great bike trails. Huge stretches of the countryside are public green space. And our canopy roads offer a serene beauty that you can’t find anywhere else.

Tallahasseeans savor life in a beautiful setting of rolling hills, historic live oaks and Southern charm, an hour or so from spectacular Gulf scenery. There’s year-round golf at numerous courses, year-round tennis at city-owned Forest Hills, and a funky local arts scene at Railroad Square. You’ll soon discover a year-round array of festivals and celebrations, ranging from a Saturday downtown art festival and football season’s Downtown Getdowns to farmer’s markets, Tallahassee’s own springtime variation on Mardi Gras, the Seven Days of Opening Nights arts festival, the colorful Red Hills annual equestrian event, and enought fun and quirky small-town festivals within an hour’s drive to keep you having fun every other weekend for a year. Ever been to Mule Day?


After a lifetime of hard work, careful planning and prudent decisions, you’re finally free to think about where you want to live the next phase of your life.

And you’re in luck. As you consider the factors that appeal to you in a relocation destination, you’ve happened upon a wonderful choice that fits all your priorities — Tallahassee, Florida.

Tallahassee invites you to come here and enjoy the best of your life.