Odyssey USA

Lady looking over her shoulder in classroom
Odyssey USA: An Adventure in Learning – The University of South Alabama’s Institute for Learning in Retirement

About Odyssey USA

Odyssey USA is a membership organization and a community of learners who share the love of learning. Odyssey members design their own classes based on the interests and intellectual curiosity of the group. Classes are challenging and thought-provoking with mind-stretching activities on a wide variety of topics. Additional activities include quarterly luncheon lectures, and field trips.

▼   Upcoming and Current Courses

Odyssey courses are offered on a quarterly basis:  Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.  Classes are offered on Wednesday afternoons from 1:30 – 4:00 PM and on Fridays from 1:45 – 4:15 PM.

Summer Term – June 7 – July 14, 2017

Wednesdays – USA Marx Library

1:30 – Aerial America—New England     Coordinator:  Mary Beth Allison

In this series we continue our exploration of our country from the sky. We will travel the New England States. For armchair travelers this is a beautiful way to tour our country. For the traveler-to-be, this is a great way to plan your trip with all the "must-see" adventures on big screen.

6/7 -- Maine

6/14 – New Hampshire

6/21 -- Vermont

6/28 – Massachusetts

7/5 – Rhode Island

7/12 – Connecticut

3:00 – Dining in Downtown Mobile     Coordinator:  Mary Beth Allison

Mobile's Downtown is awakening and thriving with shopping, entertainment, renewal , and of course dining! In this course, six renown Mobile chefs/owners will discuss the planning and opening of their restaurants. Come see what is new and delicious in downtown Mobile! Discover menu ideas and terms. There might even be some taste treats to enjoy!

6/7--  Frankie Little  - Roosters Latin

6/14 – Von Larson  - Von’s Bistro

6/21 – Chris Rainosek  - Noble South

6/28 – Steve Zucker  - Dauphins

7/5 –  Bob Omainsky  - Wintzells

7/12 -- Chakli Diggs  - NoJa and Saisho

Fridays – Alpha Hall East

1:45 – Gardens Around the World     Coordinator:  Margaret Gordon

Amanda Wilkins is currently the curator of collections at the Mobile Botanical Gardens in Mobile, AL, but she has interned, studied and worked at gardens around the world. From the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in her backyard in Belmont, North Carolina, to the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii, finally to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, every garden has its own character, its own lessons, and its own unique palette of plants. Join us to explore what "horticulture" means, enjoy the beauty the gardens of the world have to offer, and dream about the plant possibilities in your own space.

1:45— Consumer Electronics Technology     Coordinator: Ken Rettig

 Errol D’Souza, from Best Buy, will tell about the latest products available in the fast-changing world of consumer technology and will answer questions about getting the most from those items that we already have but may not be using to full potential.

2:45 – 3:15 – Coffee Break

3:15 – Prehistoric Art     Coordinator:  Janet Burns

Laura Roberts has taught summer courses for Odyssey that are always popular. This year she will focus on prehistoric art. Prehistoric cave art isn’t really an art movement so much as it is a period in mankind’s artistic development. It predates writing, printmaking, and basically encompasses the genesis of both early sculpture and painting. Because Laura has another commitment on Friday, June 9, Candice Cravins, Museum Educator for the Archaeology Museum will kick off the series with  Prehistoric Art, an Archaeologist’s Perspective.

3:15 — USA Faculty Perspectives    Coordinator: Marcy Matherne

6/9         Robert Thompson – Mobile’s Up-and-Coming Industry:  Hospitality and Tourism

6/16        Joyce Varner -- Choosing To Be Young At Heart

6/23        Brandi Purvis – Children’s & Women’s Hospital Improving Mobile’s Healthcare System

6/30        Brandi Purvis – CW Hospital

7/7 J       Joyce Varner – How To Stay Positive in a Negative World

7/14        Sam Fisher – Trump, Republicans, and the demise of representative government

▼   Luncheons and Events

Summer Luncheon Lecture – July 21, 12:00 Noon, USA Faculty Club

Summer Film Festival - 1:30 pm, Marx Library

7/19        Singing in the Rain                             

7/26        West Side Story

8/2          Wizard of Oz                                        

8/9          Sound of Music

8/16        Cabaret                                                

8/23        Mary Poppins

8/30        A Star is Born                                      

9/6          My Fair Lady

9/13        An American in Paris                         

9/20        Meet Me in St. Louis

▼   Odyssey Membership

There are no formal requirements for membership to Odyssey USA other than an interest in being a continuous learner.  You also need not be retired, nor are there any academic or experience requirements. 

As a membership organization, Odyssey charges a Membership Fee rather than registration fees for the courses. Members do pay for the cost of the meal at our Quarterly Luncheon Lectures and for field trips.

Membership rates are:

Annual Membership                                  $110.00 (4 terms)

Semi-Annual Membership:                        $60 (2 terms)

To join, just call us at (251) 460-7200.

▼   Our Quarterly Newsletter

Odyssey’s newsletter, The Log, is published and mailed to members prior to the beginning of each quarter.  It includes descriptions and schedule of upcoming classes, luncheons, and other events.

▼   Meet our Executive Board

Odyssey USA is a membership organization with an Executive Board elected by members to ensure a positive and inquisitive learning environment. The 2016-2017 Officers are:

Carolyn Casteel, President

Mary Frances Hallet, Vice-President

Julie Hart, Secretary

Barbara McLeod, Treasurer

Ron Walker, Curriculum Co-Chair

Hal Alexander, Curriculum Co-Chair

Margaret Gordon, Newsletter Editor

Michael & Lady Lester, Membership & Publicity Chairs

Jane Harding, Telephone Committee Chair

Ginger Hudson, Social Chair

Ron Feuerlein, Director

Andrea Pennington, Director

Jim Beach, Director