Special Presentations – old

 Below are examples of past Special Presentations

U.S. Immigration – The Basics

Friday, March 29, 2019 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Unity of Charlottesville (Sanctuary) – 2825 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville

Did you ever wonder how the US immigrant population has changed over time?  Are you curious about the history and consequences of our shared border with Mexico?  Do you know how US policy has affected our immigration situation today?

Join us for a fact-based presentation and discussion of the history of US                 immigration, our current laws and procedures, and the national immigration questions we face today.

Alyson Ball is a resident of Charlottesville, Virginia and spends her winters in Green Valley, Arizona.  Alyson volunteers for the International Rescue Committee and makes presentations about refugees throughout Central Virginia.  Having studied the           broader topic of US immigration, Alyson is eager to provide the general public with an overview of this important topic.

If you plan to attend, please call the OLLI office at 434.923.3600 / toll-free 877.861.9207. 


Time with Children: Your Fountain of Youth, Old and Young Together

Friday, April 26, 2019 – 1:30 – 3:00pm – Unity of Charlottesville (Sanctuary) – 2825 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville

Spending time with youth is not just a pastime or a chore: it’s our evolutionary niche as seniors. It is a chance to make a significant   difference in other people’s lives and to feel socially engaged. In this presentation, John Surr illustrates the mutual benefits and difficulties, delights and outcomes of senior’s involvements in the lives of  children. He focuses on what these caregiving relationships do for seniors and children. He and other volunteers provide exciting opportunities that are available locally to mentor and nurture these types of relationships.


Women and Leadership

Friday, May 17, 2019 – 1:30-3:00pm – Unity of Charlottesville (Sanctuary) – 2825 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville

This program is intended to honor American women leaders past and present, for their courage, energy, and lasting contributions. We will discuss some American women whose contributions we may have heard about and some we may not have. We will identify both women and cultural issues at the time. What can we learn from these women? We will also look at leadership issues for women in the present.

This should be an interesting and enjoyable afternoon for all.

Dr. Bunny Sheppard has served as a volunteer with OLLI since it began. She received her doctorate from UVA and has worked in senior positions in the public sector (Federal Executive Institute, National Defense University,  the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and senior advisor to a US Senator); private sector (Martin Marietta Corporation and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and the academic sector (University of Virginia, University of Michigan Business School, and the University of Southern California).  She has served as an executive coach for over 20 years.  She has also taught in numerous university executive development programs and one of her areas of on going study has been Women and Leadership.


Poets of the Piano

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

Please join us for a special lecture-recital celebrating the magic and poetry of piano music that  transcends the instrument. The music in this program explores the evolving art of piano music, as composers tried to express more moods, scenes and characters on the instrument. Behind each great piece, there is a story that will enrich your experience and open your ears to new possibilities. A thirty minute lecture is followed by a one hour concert.

Nathan Carterette is a classical pianist who trained at Yale University and in private study in Munich, Germany. He has performed around the world, and is known for his performances of Bach; his work with composers of today; and his educational initiative Poets of the Piano. For more information, please visit: http://www.nathancarterette.com

 Transforming Adversity into Positive Action

Friday, December 7, 2018 –  1:30-3:00 p.m. – Unity Church – 2825 Hydraulic Rd, Charlottesville

Please join us for a special presentation in which Joe Giarratano will discuss his journey from death row to Charlottesville and the Innocence Project at UVA. He will explore the issue of capital punishment, the need for criminal justice & prison reform, peace studies, non-violence, and how as citizens we can make a difference.


Joe GiarratanoJoe Giarratano was sentenced to death in 1979 for a double   homicide. He was later granted a conditional pardon by then governor, Douglas Wilder, citing serious doubts concerning his guilt and strongly recommending he be given a new trial. Shortly thereafter, the Attorney General denied his appeal for a new trial–a decision that was widely condemned by those on the right and left.

During his almost 40 years in prison, Joe became a self-taught legal scholar, was published in the Yale Law Journal, and has written many articles about the death penalty and prison reform. He has had several successful cases determined by various courts on a range of issues, including a case that traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court. While in prison, Joe founded the non-profit, “Peace Studies/ATV,” a highly successful program designed to introduce prisoners to non-violence, conflict resolution,      personal responsibility, job training, and victim-offender workshops. Since 1989, Joe has been on the Board of The Center for Teaching Peace, in D.C., and since his release on December 20, 2017, has been employed by the Innocence Project at UVA.