Spring 2023

OLLI Springfield Members
Wade Smith, of Mill Hollow Craft School, explains features of traditional hand tools to a group of OLLI participants.

Welcome to our OLLI Springfield program.  This semester our program will be six lectures, held at 2pm Tuesday afternoons on the dates listed below at the Nolin Murray Center, next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 40 Pleasant Street, Springfield VT.

For weather related schedule changes, check the website. Also check SAPA TV, 802-885-6248, Comcast Channels 1077 & 1087, and VTel Cable Channels 160 & 161.

Health & Safety: UVM sponsored non-credit functions/activities/offerings, whether held at UVM or at a non-UVM facility or location, are governed by the same health and safety policies. As such, UVM expects event participants, visitors and guests will be vaccinated. Masks are optional and welcomed. If the event is taking place at a non-UVM venue, consideration must be given to the requirements of the host site and the more stringent requirements will apply.

NEW REGISTRATION PROCESS! We can no longer take any payments at the door/onsite. All attendees/members should pre-register prior to the start of the program.  

Semester Membership: Sign up as a member and attend all 6 lectures at the discounted price of $35! Single lecture fee is $8 each.

To register, click on the “REGISTER NOW” button below and you will be brought to our online system where you can register using your credit card for the semester membership ($35) or for individual lecture(s) ($8 each).

February 28

Vermont vs Hollywood: 100 Years of Vermont in Film
Amanda Gustin – Vermont Historical Society

Vermont has been a featured location in Hollywood movies for nearly a century. It has represented many different ideals during that time, and its portrayal reflects both Vermont’s own history as well as American history. Examining those films provides interesting and fun insights into the hold Vermont has had on imagination in the media age.

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March 14

Jennie B. Powers: The Woman Who Dares
Jennifer Carroll – Education Director, Cheshire County Historical Society, Keene, NH

Jennie Powers took a stand against social vices in New Hampshire and Vermont in the early twentieth century. She was a humane society agent in the region from 1898-1936 and arguably the first female deputy sheriff in New Hampshire. Jennie was known across the country as “The Woman Who Dares” cited by the Boston Post newspaper in 1906 as having arrested more men than any other woman in America.  As a photographic activist, she used her camera to document animal cruelty, family violence, and widespread poverty in New Hampshire’s Monadnock region and beyond. This illustrated presentation introduces us to Jennie’s life story, the work of humane societies at the turn of the twentieth century, and the politics of the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) from a local perspective.

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March 28

It’s Ghana Be Good
Hank Kaestner – Retired Spice Buyer and International Birder
Co-Sponsored by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society

We’ll take a trip to the West African nation of Ghana where  we will learn of Ghana’s history, which is mainly about slavery, its culture, agriculture, tourism, geopolitical issues, and of course, lots of birds and wildlife. Co-Sponsored by the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society.

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April 11

Supporting Native Plants Supports Bird Populations
Desiree Narango, Conversation Biologist, Vermont Center for Ecostudies.
Co-Sponsored by the Springfield Garden Club

Birds depend on insects from NATIVE plants to feed their young. We’ll consider the disappearance of many bird species in our area if the plants aren’t here to provide their usual food source. By planting and encouraging more native plants in our gardens, yards and fields we will support the native fruits and berries and insects that feed on them, thus providing the food source that our local birds are accustomed to for raising their young.

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April 25

“Government of the People, by the People, for the People”: The Making and Meaning of an American Proverb of Democracy
Wolfgang Mieder – University of Vermont German and Proverb Professor Emeritus

We’ll investigate the origin, history, and significance of the triad “Government of, by, for the people” and how it became an American proverb defining the concept of democracy in a most succinct manner. The survey deals with John Adams, Daniel Webster, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Barack Obama, and others. The survival of the “people” proverb in the modern age will also be discussed. Even though Lincoln’s name is often attached to it, the proverb is also cited as an anonymous piece of wisdom that encompasses the fundamental principles of a democratic government.

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May 9

80+ Years of Changes in the Connecticut River Valley
Steve Taylor – Newspaperman, Farmer, Public Servant

We’ll enjoy the recollections of the ‘good ole days’ as witnessed by Steve Taylor, of Plainfield, NH.  Our memories will resonate with his experiences as he relates changes during his lifetime in many aspects of our lifestyles, including such topics as the use of farmland and the disappearance of dairy farms, transportation and road conditions (think mud season), how the interstate highways have affected shopping and employment opportunities, the changing scene of industrial employment with the disappearance of the machine tool industry in Springfield and Windsor. He’ll voice his lament at how the introduction of television cut into the traditional social events of church suppers and town dances.  We’ll hear his tales of good changes of how indoor plumbing and electricity have greatly improved our way of life.

Register Now


Prefer to pay by check? Complete the form on the site brochure mailed to you or download this registration form (PDF, opens in a new window) and send with your check payment (made out to The University of Vermont) to:

UVM OLLI Registration Office
460 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405

PLEASE NOTE: Allow 10-14 days from date of mailing check to receipt & processing.

For registration assistance or to pay by phone using your credit card, please call our UVM OLLI office at 802-656-5817 during regular business hours.

Download Springfield’s Spring 2023 OLLI program brochure (PDF, opens in a new window)

Become a member today!

Membership in the Springfield OLLI entitles members to attend programs in our other OLLIs throughout Vermont. And, if you are currently a paid member of a statewide site (Fall or Spring only), you can take OLLI UVM campus programs at the member rate; just call  802-656-5817to get the special discount code to use when registering for a UVM campus class.