OLLI at NC State
Lifelong Learners Are Captivated by the
Coastal Virginia "Classroom"
Background: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at North Carolina State University provides non-credit short courses, study trips and special events for adults aged 50 and over. Topics are wide-ranging in the liberal arts and sciences with an emphasis on learning for the joy of learning. OLLI’s study trips are offered throughout the year and throughout the region.
Opportunity: OLLI at NC State contacted Discover Coastal Virginia when planning its 2017 catalog. Steeped in history, arts and culture, the region was recognized by OLLI at NC State for the educational and cultural experience it could provide its members. OLLI at NC State was particularly interested in visiting around one of our country’s most popular patriotic events: the Virginia International Tattoo (one of the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events). Our team was excited to share Coastal Virginia in the springtime with OLLI at NC State’s members. We created a custom, four-day itinerary, which included a dedicated guide, visits to some of Virginia Beach’s and Norfolk’s top attractions, a variety of meals featuring local cuisine, a three-night hotel stay, and, of course, a VIP tattoo experience.
Result: Thirty-four OLLI at NC State members, along with their program director, enjoyed four days in Coastal Virginia in April 2017. With spring in full bloom, we welcomed them to our region and shared many educational experiences and local attractions. From the famous Cape Henry Lighthouse to dinner along the lively Virginia Beach boardwalk, to the majestic ships homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, to a peaceful tram ride in Norfolk Botanical Garden and a viewing of the grand MacArthur Memorial, our guide shared stories about the region’s deep-rooted history, woven into the greater story of America. The culminating event was our exclusive “Taste of Tattoo” dinner with live entertainment, followed by the colorful Virginia International Tattoo. To top it off, OLLI at NC State members were treated to reserved seating at the Parade of Nations, as well as a farewell jazz brunch cruising on the iconic Spirit of Norfolk.
OLLI at NC State members and their program director were so pleased with the program, they quickly made plans to return to Coastal Virginia. In October of 2018, we were thrilled to welcome them back to our region, this time exploring the Virginia Peninsula and Historic Triangle, including the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, the College of William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg. Being selected for a second year as an OLLI at NC State study-trip destination was the best return possible!
“Phillips DMC was great to work with on both programs we offered our participants. They were very efficient and attentive, which is one of the many reasons I came back for a second tour! Our guests had a wonderful experience exploring their region’s arts, cultural and historical attractions.”
– Joan Hardman-Cobb, Assistant Director, OLLI at NC State