The future of high-quality literary discussion and analysis in the Tampa Bay area seems assured today, after the Osher Lifelong Learning program (OLLI) at USF received one of its largest recent donations – an $8,000 check presented on May 8, 2023, by the Tampa Bay Great Books Council, in honor of longtime Great Books Chief Moderator Patrick DeMarco.
The check honors DeMarco’s nearly twenty years of service to both organizations, moderating well over 1,000 individual discussion sessions, OLLI “Great Books” classes, and elements of quarterly Great Books conferences held in the Bay Area. Patrick set a standard for preparation and “learning through shared inquiry” which remains a guiding force for the popular OLLI literature courses conducted today by GB veterans Kevin Chittim and Linda Feeney, among others.
In a sense, the check presentation brings the TBGBC full circle in its relationship with OLLI-USF. Founded as an independent entity by four OLLI members (De Marco, Cohen, Neil Harvey, and the late Sylvia Sorrentino), TBGBC has perpetuated the time-honored traditions of “shared inquiry” while exploring new texts and concepts and has nurtured the development of leaders for both the TBGBC and for OLLI-USF as well. Today, we recognize that OLLI-USF programs perform that function well, and there is less need for a separate organization. Accordingly, the TBGBC Board voted to discontinue operations and donate its treasury balance to OLLI-USF.
Attending the ceremony were (L-R) Arlene Zimney, Secretary of the OLLI-USF Advisory Board and a member of the TBGBC Board; Anne Strozier, TBGBC Board Member and USF Professor Emeritus; Sara Cohen, TBGBC President and Co-Founder; OLLI-USF Executive Director Veronica Maxwell; Patrick DeMarco, Great Books Chief Moderator; Linda Feeney, Chair of the OLLI-USF Advisory Board and member of the TBGBC Board; and George Hyde, Past Chair of the OLLI-USF Advisory Board and member of the TBGBC Board. (Picture by Mike Hayes)
Future inquiries regarding literary discussions and analysis in the Tampa Bay Area should be directed to OLLI-USF.
Congratulations! 2022 Academy Award Winner Has Tampa Great Books Connection!
Congratulations to Robert Fyvolent who won an Oscar for producer of the Best Feature Documentary –“Summer of Soul”!
Robert is the son of Joel Fyvolent, longtime Tampa Bay Great Books participant and proud father of 2022 Academy Award-winning producer Robert Fyvolent. Robert received his Oscar last night as one of the producers of the Best Feature Documentary –“Summer of Soul”.
Photo: The four producers of “Summer of Soul” with their Oscars (L-R): Joseph Patel, Questlove, Robert Fyvolent, and David Dinerstein.
This creative team joins previous Documentary Feature Oscar winners, including Walt Disney, Jacques Cousteau, Spike Lee, Ken Burns, and Frank Capra!
Above: Robert Fyvolent (left) and Joel Fyvolent (right)
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Welcome to the Tampa Bay Great Books Council website!
For the past 12 years the Tampa Bay Great Books Council has provided a venue for book discussions, conferences, and other cultural events. Explore our site to learn more!