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: Peter Michael at petemich9@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 Barb Nebb at banebb@comporium.net.


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:Jim Zickos at jzickos@charter.net


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.

Cross Stitch

The SIG will gather as members work on their own cross stitch projects each week. Cheering one another on helps us make progress and exposes us to a variety of projects. Basic experience required. Contact Kathy Tymonko at ktymonko@gmail.com or Sheriden DeWees at sheridend@gmail.com

Foods, Friends and Fun 

This SIG meets monthly to dine at Greenville area restaurants. OLLI members that like to be social, meet, new people, and enjoy great food are encouraged to join. Contact Patti Wargo pattiwargo@hotmail.com or Jacqui Foster at jacquigg1955@gmail.com.

French (Currently on hold)

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 Shelden Timmerman at hsheldentimmerman@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 Mary Jo Pruitt at mpruitt915@aol.com

Jam on Pickers Guitar
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 Mike Sullivan at mlsatmrc@aol.com.

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 Kathy Dorman at kathyconrad1951@gmail.com or Sally Bornmueller at sally.bornmueller@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 Karen Carson at jchomekc@charter.net.

OLLI Habitat

The OLLI@Habitat SIG is your chance to join OLLI members and work toward a meaningful purpose. It is the intention of this SIG to plan and participate in one Build Day during each OLLI term. The date will be determined by what is available with Habitat for Humanity and what the group is able and interested in helping with…probably not siding! SIG meeting will be “workdays” on actual Habitat for Humanity houses and members can participate as they are able. Contact Janet Aquilar at janetag1944@aol.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.


From “Buttoning Up Our Overcoats” to singing “Hallelujah”, OLLI-ukes is a SIG for members who enjoy playing and singing along with the Ukulele. Although it would be best to know a few basic cords (C, Am, F, G7) folks from all playing levels, including beginners, are welcome. We also encourage members who play other instruments to join us. The SIG meets on Mondays from 12:20-1:20 p.m. Contact Kevin Morris at kmorriskjm@gmail.com

OLLI Singers

The OLLI Singers SIG is designed to bring together OLLi members who love to sing. The chorus will gather once a week in the Herring Center to read through once a week in the Herring Center to read through various kinds of music-anything and everything from traditional Scottish folk songs to Renaissance madrigals to classical oratorio music to Broadway show tunes- depending on the numbers, interests, and abilities of our members. The main goal is to have fun singing as a chorus, with occasional performances at OLLI and perhaps other area venues. All you need is good pitch and either some ability to read music or to pick up relatively quickly by ear. We’ll sing mostly in parts, but there will be room for solos and some unison singing, as well. Contact Laura Becker at LLB3130@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 Betty Jo Shaw at scooper7284@charter.net or Sue Miller at suerebecca910@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 outdoor court time is scheduled twice weekly on Furman’s campus. Contact Karen Wright at karenawright@hotmail.com


All Scrabble lovers are invited to join the Scrabble SIG. All skills levels are encourage to join in the fun. Contact Mary Ivasutyn at mivasuty@gmail.com

Spanish Conversation

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 Anne Coble at cobleal@bellsouth.net or Linda Scott Taylor at LindaScottTaylor@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.

Theatre of the Spoken Word 

The purpose of this SIG is to engage OLLI participants in the creation, rehearsal, and performance of productions that celebrate the spoken word. This SIG will do production projects such as Readers Theatre, Radio Dramas, and Open Mics. Contact Mary Robert at mary.robert51@icloud.com or Bill Burns at talsydon437@gmail.com.


Designed for OLLI members interested in expanding their knowledge through sharing their appreciation of the grape, the Wine SIG meets as determined by its members. Options are visits sharing our favorite wines along a certain theme, such as cabernet sauvignon or best reds under $15, structured tasting at local wine bars, tasting experts on a particular region or grape, visits to local wineries, sharing favorite wine infusions and more. Contact Dan Scieszka at maddjs@att.net  or Marilyn Bracy at winesensing@yahoo.com