OLLI Café Presentations

OLLI Café is a venue for the exchange of ideas and experiences focusing on improving the quality of life. These are not courses, and cost no additional charge – OLLI Cafe is one of the benefits of your annual membership. Pre-registration IS required. Cafe events feature a guest speaker followed by a short Q&A session.


OLLI Café Location and General Schedule:

Fridays – Multipurpose Rooms (113 – 119)

11:45 am – 12:00 pm: Arrive & Get Seated

12:00 pm – 1:15 pm: Speaker Presentation



Please Note: Due to ongoing campus renovations in the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR 113-119), there will be no OLLI Café presentations during the entire month of March. However, if you would still like to meet up with your OLLI friends and eat your lunch, then the UConn Student Lounge will be available. The Student Lounge is located on the ground floor directly off of the main lobby by the main entrance.

Jack Levine presents How a Playwright Writes Plays for the Stage

Event Details: Friday, April 5, 2024 from 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Event Description: One of Jack Levine’s 10-minute plays will be performed. This will be followed by a discussion of the creative process.


Benjamin Lord presents Risk Delight: A Guide to Finding Joy in the Apocalypse

Event Details: Friday, April 12, 2024 from 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Event Description: Life is funny. It shows up on your doorstep whether you ordered it or not with a sign that says “some assembly required.” There is no instruction booklet or manual, but somehow everyone else seems to know how to put it together, so you must smile, wave and pretend you know how to use an Allen wrench. In this talk, essayist and storyteller, Ben Lord, considers how to live a life of adventure and joy when you have no idea what is going on.

Reggie Marra presents Healing America’s Narratives: What Politicians and Performance News Celebrities Don’t Know or Won’t Acknowledge

Event Details: Friday, April 19, 2024 from 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Event Description:Based on his book, Healing America’s Narratives, Reggie will present a trans-partisan look at the mood of America in the third decade of the 21st century. Drawing on history, current events, and developmental psychology, and much else, we’ll consider where we’ve been, where we are, and the healing that’s necessary to bring us to a healthier, more integrated future.

Michael Griffin presents The Great Breathing Place Of The City: A History of Hamilton Park In Waterbury

Event Details: Friday, April 26, 2024 from 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Event Description: Author Michael Griffin will tell the history of Hamilton Park, the first purpose-built park in Waterbury and the subject of his third book. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the park was home to a small zoo, an acclaimed rose garden, and one of the state’s top dance/music halls. Once described as “the great breathing place of the city,” it was a prominent center of activity throughout most of the 1900s, providing memories for residents.

Please Note: Due to UConn’s final exams, there will be no OLLI Café on Friday, May 3rd, 2024.

Howard Grayson presents A Short History of Juries, Jury Rights and the Fully Informed Jury Association

Event Details: Friday, May 10, 2024 from 12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Event Description:The trial in London of the Quaker William Penn in August 1670 laid the foundation for many of the freedoms later incorporated into our Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the right to a trial by jury. After discussing this trial and what it established, Howard will end with a short discussion of the “Fully Informed Jury Association,” also known as the “American Jury Institute,” a contemporary non-profit educational organization headquartered in Montana.

Please Note: Due to OLLI at UConn’s end-of-semester celebration, there will be no OLLI Cafe on Friday, May 17th, 2024. Instead, please join us in celebrating the end of our spring semester! The link to register for this event will be posted closer to the event date.