A Special Interest Group (SIG) is a group of OLLI members whose focus is a certain area of interest. The following SIGs are already in place, and new SIGs are encouraged to form at any time. You do not need to register for SIGs, and there is no fee; however, you must be an OLLI member to participate. For more information about each group, contact the person listed. Information about starting a new SIG is available in the OLLI Office and on the OLLI website. Questions? Contact Heidi Wright at heidi.wright@furman.edu or 864.294.2997

Big Questions

This group is for anyone with an interest in talking, listening and thinking carefully about fundamental issues. We opened with the question: Is God real or a delusion? We may continue with questions like: What is the meaning of life (and how do we recognize it)? Which is more fundamental, the individual or the community? Is season co-extensive with science? The group as a whole decides what to discuss. Genuine interest in ideas is the only requirement of membership. We meet weekly. Contact: Kevin McMurtrey at kevinmcmurtrey@gmail.com.


The Bridge SIG is for players with some experience. They meet weekly in Manly Lobby at the Herring Center. More groups may form if there is enough interest. Contact Arnie Schlusberg at arnie.schlusberg@gmail.com.


The Bocce SIG offers OLLI members an opportunity to enjoy the game in a non-competitive atmosphere on the Furman grounds, near the Herring Center. We play weekly during each term at an agreed upon time by SIG members. Contact:Stan Klotz at seklotz@hotmail.com.


The Bowling SIG meets every Monday of the term, 12:45-3:15p.m., at Bowlero (Formerly AMF Star Lanes (740 Pleasantburg Dr.) New teams will be formed via lottery style, each term. Cost is approximately $10. All levels welcome! Contact Mike Halloran at mikehallo2u@gmail.com.


This group is for all OLLI members who are interested in playing chess. Beginners and experienced players are welcome. Contact Jan Blasenak at blaz49@aol.com.


Êtes-vous Francophone? Vous êtes invité à un SIG où on parlera français. On peut pratiquer la belle langue, et on peut faire la connaissance d’autres qui parle français. The French Conversation SIG welcomes all French proficiency levels. Contact marcirehg at marcierehg@gmail.com


A general group meeting to help people with genealogy research, “brick wall” problems, information sharing. There is a wealth of info waiting out there on the interent and in person searching.  OLLI members interested must have taken the Genealogy class or have similar experience. Contact Sarah Rose at 2golfers@embarqmail.com .


This SIG is for those interested in playing music with hand chimes. It is a group effort to produce beautiful music and have fun at the same time. The most important skill is to be diligent and ring at the right time so as not to overpower your neighbor’s note that is being rung at the “actual” right time! This is for ringers with some experience and the ability to read music is helpful. Contact Susan Howell at jasminrc@icloud.com or Shelden Timmerman at hsheldentimmerman@gmail.com.

Hand Quilting

This SIG is for those interested in hand quilting projects or any handwork you are involved in. It will be an informal gathering of past students of Simonne Lindermann or anyone interested. Contact Donna Rasheed at erasheed@aol.com or Judith Woodward at jwood7@mindspring.com.

I Love MAGIC! 

No lecturing, no curriculum, just monthly fun for Furman OLLI magic lovers. This SIG will be restricted to those students who are currently enrolled or have previously taken the Magic class. We will have monthly themed get-togethers to discuss, perform, and share magic problems or solutions associated with monthly themes. Contact Paul DiLella at magicmanpauld@yahoo.com.

IMPROVing with Age

Would you like to have more fun in your life while making new friends and improving your mental agility, communication skills, spontaneity and ability to focus? The purpose of IMPROVing with Age SIG is to use improvisational games to develop all of the above and have fun in a nonjudgemental, mutually supportive environment. No performance experience of any kind is necessary and there are no spectators! Contact Diana Miel at Diana.miel6@gmail.com.


This SIG meets via Zoom and focuses on conversational Italian with an emphasis on beginners to intermediate level Italian usage and knowledge. Our aim is to practice our Italian language skills while at the same time exploring new vocabulary. Contact Elisa Golden at e_m_golden@hotmail.com or Jean Everson at jsever18@live.com.

Jam on Pickers
This SIG is for guitar players who wish to swap licks and share songs, and is open to any OLLI member with basic guitar skills. Meeting times and location will be determined by the SIG members each term. Contact Don Kosa at don.koza@charter.net.

Knitted Knockers

The Knitted Knockers SIG helps women who have had mastectomies. We knit (and crochet) “Knitted Knockers”, which are soft, lightweight breast prosthetics provided free of charge to women either to use pre-reconstruction or as a more comfortable alternative to silicone prosthetics. All OLLI member knitters and crochet enthusiasts are welcome! Contact Catherine Sanchez at cathysanchez2005@yahoo.com or Sally Bornmueller at sally.bornmueller@gmail.com

Mah Jongg

The Mah Jongg SIG is for experienced players who would like to get together weekly to play Mah Jongg. They also welcome those who have recently taken a Mah Jongg class or who are trying to brush up on some “rusty” skills. They meet at 1:30 on Wednesdays in Manly Lobby at the Herring Center. Contact Cathy Dwyer at cathd65@aol.com.


For fellow OLLI members who have taken a meditation class or have experience with meditation and would like to get together to practice your meditation. We are offering an information session once a week where one can sit and meditate. Contact Liz Kelley at lizkelley05@gmail.com.

Mexican Train

This SIG is centered around the dominos based game, Mexican Train. All levels of play are welcome as players come together and play house rules in the Herring Center Manly Lobby. Contact Nancy Story at nancystory7@gmail.com.


Bring your knitting or other handwork and join this group for knitting and conversation. The group decides meeting times and locations each term. Contact Mary Scott at hgms1008@gmail.com.

OLLI Players

OLLI Players is a SIG designed for OLLI members who love theatre and enjoy being a part of the atmosphere, team and comradery that our SIG will embrace. Our first undertaking will be Neil Simon’s, Plaza Suite. Contact Mary Robert at mary.robert51@icloud.com or Francine Hachem at fhachem@aol.com.

OLLI Recorder Consort
The OLLI Consort SIG offers recorder players the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of ensemble playing, advance their skills, and perform for others. They meet at the Herring Center and the schedule is set each term by the participants. Contact Sharon Howell at JasminRC@icloud.com or Judy Brooks at jandb1223@gmail.com.

Open Studios

The Open Studio SIG provides a welcoming place to work on your current painting and drawing projects. Share your interest in art and practice your skills with artists of all levels. Contact Paula Winiski at pwiniski@bellsouth.net.

Out and About Singles

This is a group of single OLLI members who enjoy movies, plays, festivals and eating out together. Come and join us. Make new friends and help plan a calendar of fun. There is a lot to do in Greenville! Contact Susan Cooper at scooper7284@charter.net or Carolyn Rice at ccr2go@gmail.com.

Painless Penniless Poker

The Painless Penniless Poker SIG is for players with some experience, but all levels are welcome. “Penniless” means we are not playing for money – only your pride is on the line! We play a variety of poker games each week. Contact Dave Knox at kathyanddavek@gmail.com or Dawn Boulos at dawnmlb.shopper@gmail.com.


The Pickleball SIG is for those who already had an introduction to and know the basics of how to play this hybrid of badminton, tennis and ping pong. If you already know how to play, you know why it’s a hit with seniors all over the country. Indoor and/or outfoor court time is scheduled twice weekly on Furman’s campus. Contact Marilyn Barnett at marilynsbarnett@gmail.com.

The Photography SIG is for photographers interested in day trips to photograph nature, landscapes, historical sites, and other interesting venues. Most shooting trips will start at the Herring Center parking lot. The group sets its calendar as events arise. Contact Jeff Sarvis at JGSarvis@gmail.com.


The Pinochle SIG is for OLLI members that like to play cards.  This group predominantly plays Pinochle, although players interested in other card games are welcome. they currently meet weekly on Tuesdays from 1:30-4:30 p.m. in Manly Lobby at the Herring Center. Contact Susie Rakes at jams1977@gmail.com.


All levels of Spanish skills are welcome to join the Spanish Conversation SIG. The group meets at 10:45 a.m. on Thursdays to practice conversing. In order to keep the conversation flowing, members are encouraged to bring news to share with the group such as details of a class they are taking, a picture about which they would like to expound or a current topic in the news they would like to discuss. Contact Merikay Pirrone at merikay58@gmail.com.

Weaving and Spinning  

All weaving and spinning enthusiasts are invited to join the OLLI Weaving & Spinning SIG. Spend a few hours of spinning or weaving, enjoy conversation with other spinners and polish up on your yarn making skills. Bring your own spindles or spinning wheels and fiber supply and a bag lunch if desired. Contact Ruth Wolfe at rwolfe116@gmail.com or Lynn Grogan at elsgrogan@gmail.com.

STEAM Tech Teams

The primary goal of this SIG is to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programs in schools through 3D Design and Printing, fabricating simple prosthetic hands for children; exploring basic electronics; making and flying quad-copter drones; and exploring biomolecules and neuroscience. To learn more, see our website at www.STEAMTechTeams.com. All are welcome. You do not have to be technically oriented to participate in this extraordinary project. Contact Reid Becker at Reid.Becker@gmail.com.


Join fellow travel enthusiasts to socialize and share experiences about travel in the U.S. and the world. Our focus is on the casual communication and networking to help each other make the best travel plans. The group meets once a term, sometimes to hear a guest speaker and others just to share each other’s company and recent travel experiences. Contact Sarah Jerome at sarahjerome2000@gmail.com.