Spring/Summer 2018 Special Presentations

*Free and Open to the Public*

If you plan to attend, please call the OLLI office at 434.923.3600 / toll-free 877.861.9207. You can also register online by clicking here.

(L13) Life as a Ballerina: Tutus, Tears, and Triumphs       

Friday, January 26, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Unity Church – 2825 Hydraulic Rd, Charlottesville


Have you ever wondered what life is like as a professional ballet dancer? There aren’t many careers from which you retire at the age of 35, but this is exactly what Valerie Tellmann-Henning did. From dancing the role of Clara in The Nutcracker at the age of 12, to the Sugar Plum Fairy, she has done it all. Join Valerie, in time for the Richmond Ballet performance at Piedmont Community College on March 7th, as she discusses her 16 years in the company, her transition to her new role as the Ballet’s Public Relations and Content Manager and the exciting things coming up in the organization.

Valerie Tellmann-Henning PhotoValerie Tellmann-Henning began her dance training at Tulsa Ballet and Lexington Ballet. She joined the Richmond Ballet in 2000, and while continuing to perform with them, Valerie also joined “The  Suzanne Farrell Ballet” in Washington D.C., where she rose to the rank of Soloist and performed acclaimed Balanchine works from 2013 – 2017. She has performed principal roles in Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, and Cinderella; Balanchine ballets such as, Allegro Brillante, Mozartiana, Stars and Stripes and Emeralds; as well as in Anthony Tudor’s Jardin Aux Lilas and Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo.  Valerie has traveled, performing in London, Chicago, New York City, and most recently theatres throughout China. She just completed her final season dancing with both the Suzanne Farrell Ballet and Richmond Ballet in May of 2017!


(L14) POTUS v. SCOTUS: A Look Back at Nixon and the Supreme Court        

Friday, February 23, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Westminster Canterbury (Rotunda Room) – 250 Pantops Mountain Road, Charlottesville

Richard Nixon won the 1968 election with a promise to appoint “law and order” justices to the Supreme Court.  He named four members of the tribunal, including the chief justice. Ironically, the high court forced his 1974 resignation with its decision in US v. Nixon, the Watergate tapes case. This presentation will explore the political and judicial issues that led to this ultimate constitutional check on presidential abuse of power.

Henry AbrahamHenry J. Abraham is the James Hart Professor of Politics, emeritus, at UVa, specializing in constitutional law, judicial politics, civil rights and liberties, and the nature of the judicial process. He was the winner of UVA’s Thomas Jefferson Award in 1983 and of the first Lifetime Achievement Award of the Law and Courts section of the American Political Science Association in 1993. He has written numerous books and articles and lectured widely abroad on US State Department assignments between 1964 and 1991. His PhD is from the University of Pennsylvania, and he holds five honorary degrees.

Barbara PerryBarbara A. Perry is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Ethics and Institutions at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, where she is Director of Presidential Studies and Co-Chair of the Presidential Oral History Program.  She is also the Project Director of the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project. The author of more than 35 articles/book chapters, Professor Perry has lectured throughout the United States and is a frequent media commentator on public affairs. She has been invited to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs and lectures for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for whom she taught a 2015 on-line graduate course on the Kennedy presidency.  From 2010-14 she served as an adjunct faculty member at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, providing seminars to senior federal executives on the Kennedy presidency, the U.S. Supreme Court, and leadership.


(L15) The Racial and Ethnic History of Charlottesville      

Friday, March 30, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Jefferson School African American Heritage Center – 233 4th St NW, Charlottesville

*Watch the video of this presentation here.

Historic Cville

Did you know that in the 1860’s there were more Africans and African Americans than Whites in this area; that there was a group of Black men known as the “Four Hundreds” who owned land and    businesses in Charlottesville after the Civil War; and that Vinegar Hill started out as a neighborhood  populated largely of Irish immigrants? Charlottesville has a long history of being a diverse city and of different people coming together to fight segregation and discrimination. Join us for an important lesson and discussion about the racial and ethnic history of Charlottesville, Virginia.

Charlene GreenCharlene Green has over 30 years of experience in education, working as a teacher in elementary and secondary schools and as an assistant professor at Millersville University in Pennsylvania. She has been a trainer and consultant in Multicultural Education for the past 25 years. Charlene has worked on diversity and cultural competency with numerous school     systems in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania as well as with organizations  such as  the FBI, the US Department  of  Education, and  the Department of Public Instruction in North Carolina. Charlene is currently the Manager for the City of Charlottesville’s Office of Human Rights.


(L16) Enola Gay: The Aircraft and the Atomic Mission      

Friday, April 27, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Unity Church – 2825 Hydraulic Rd, Charlottesville

Enola GayScott Willey will discuss the history of the B-29 Enola Gay, the mission on which it dropped the first atomic bomb used in combat, the aircraft’s restoration by the National Air and Space Museum, and a brief overview of the development of the Little Boy bomb that was used against Hiroshima on  August 6, 1945.

Scott WilleyScott A. Willey is a retired USAF colonel. During his more than 27 years on active duty (1968-1995), he served in a variety of command and staff positions in acquisition, aircraft maintenance, education, and operational requirements. After retiring, he was a consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses and Burdeshaw Associates working on NATO programs and the KC-46 tanker  proposal. He became a volunteer docent at the National Air and Space Museum in 1977 and served during assignments in the Washington D.C. area. Upon retirement, he also became a restoration and collections volunteer and is currently restoring a Goodyear blimp control car.  Col. Willey holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from San Jose State University and an MS in Systems Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology.


(L17) Journalism: Then & Now                                             The people and experiences encountered over four decades

Friday, May 25, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Unity Church – 2825 Hydraulic Rd, Charlottesville

Joe Junod will talk about life as a journalist and the many ways the journalism profession has changed over the years. He will also share anecdotes about the amazing array of people he encountered in a career spanning four decades as a newspaper reporter. Hear about his encounters with Al Neuharth, founder of USA TODAY, newspaperman Joe Collins, and Garland Gaither, entrepreneur extraordinaire, among others.

Joe Junod

Joe Junod spent 40+ years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor, and senior corporate executive. For the final 15 years of his career he led a Fortune 100 company’s customer service and quality improvement efforts. He founded the company’s Leadership Academy, which trained hundreds of mid-level supervisors and managers to take on executive roles. He is the author of INK: A Life in Letters, available on Amazon.


(L18) Songs of Greenwich Village

Friday, June 22, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Unity Church – 2825 Hydraulic Rd, Charlottesville

From the arrival of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger in 1940, through the 1960s and into the present, Greenwich Village has provided a strong and independent voice in America’s musical landscape. From the tradition-steeped singers of Washington Square to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to Bette Midler’s “From a Distance” and more recent work, the Village’s singers and songwriters have chronicled our history in folk and popular song. Join Rod MacDonald for a special “performance lecture” with live music and information about the characters and music of this unique society.

Rod MacDonald

Rod MacDonald (UVA ’70) began his singing career in the 1970s in Greenwich Village, where for twenty years he was one of the Village’s top club headliners, recording 21 songs for Smithsonian/Fast Folk records, and co-founding the Greenwich Village Folk Festival. The composer of songs recorded by such artists as Shawn Colvin, Jonathan Edwards, and many others, MacDonald has made 12 solo CDs and appears in major festivals throughout N. America, Europe, and Australia. He lives in Florida, where he is Music Americana lecturer at Florida Atlantic University’s OLLI Program, and was named Distinguished Faculty Member in 2012. Mr. MacDonald appears courtesy of The Songmaker Series at Charlottesville Coffee, where he is appearing in concert this same Friday evening in June.