May Lecture Series

Important Information

All May 2017 lectures are from 10:00 to 11:30 am.

The first May lecture by Anthony Fauci is in the Abramson Recital Hall in the Katzen Arts Center. The rest of the lectures are in Room A (1st Floor) of the Spring Valley Building, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

To manage seating, reservations are required to attend a lecture. At 9:00 am on the Friday before each week's lecture, we open seating. You can make a reservation by following the directions below. Attendees may reserve up to two seats. Your name must be on the Reservations list in order to enter the lecture and you must be in your seat five minutes before the lecture starts to guarantee your seat is not given away. Read more below about using Eventbrite.


CANCELLED:  Tuesday, May 16 — Anthony Fauci (KATZEN)
The Zika Virus
In 2015, an obscure mosquito-borne virus began spreading in the Western Hemisphere, causing a new pandemic. The little-known Zika virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947. It received scant attention until the infection broke out massively in Latin America and the Caribbean and was associated with an abrupt increase in birth defects. Since the initial reports of Zika virus disease in Brazil, the pandemic has spread rapidly to more than 60 countries and territories in the Americas. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. will discuss the history of Zika virus, the current pandemic, and the biomedical research response.
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the US National Institutes of Health, where he oversees an extensive research portfolio focused on infectious and immune-mediated diseases. He serves as one of the key advisors to the White House and Department of Health and Human Services on global HIV/AIDS issues, and on initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats such as pandemic influenza and Zika. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, and the Lasker Award for Public Service.

Thursday, May 18Sandy Ungar
The College President Today
Sanford J. Ungar is affiliated with the Georgetown School of Foreign Service’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. From 2001 to 2014, he was the president of Goucher College in Baltimore, where he instituted a policy of requiring every undergraduate student to study abroad. His long tenure at Goucher and his service as the dean of the School of Communication at American University has given him deep experience in the challenges and opportunities for college leadership today. He has extensive knowledge of higher education, journalism, foreign and domestic policy.
“Sandy” Ungar was the Director of Voice of America, host of "All Things Considered" on National Public Radio, Washington editor of  The Atlantic, managing editor of  Foreign Policy magazine, and a staff writer for  The Washington Post. The most recent of the six non-fiction books he has written or edited is  Fresh Blood: The New American Immigrants. An earlier book, The Papers & the Papers: An Account of the Legal and Political Battle over the Pentagon Papers, won the George Polk award. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the London School of Economics.
Register on Eventbrite:

Tuesday, May 23Elliott Abrams
Will There Ever Be Peace in the Middle East?
Will there ever be peace in the Middle East, and will it require a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement that establishes a Palestinian state? Or is the current “unsustainable” situation likely to be sustained for another 50 years? These questions are raised each time Israel or the United States has a new government. What is the role of the frozen Palestinian political situation? Can the Trump proposal to start with the Arab states work to advance the peace process? These and related questions will be at the center of the discussion.
Elliott Abrams is Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as an Assistant Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration and as a Deputy National Security Advisor in the George W. Bush Administration.
Register on Eventbrite:

Thursday, May 25 — Jim Holman
Tristan and the Delights of Ambiguity
The span of Richard Wagner's life was a period of transformational change — in politics, science and the arts. Wagner's revolutionary masterpiece, Tristan und Isolde, was, in crucial ways, a product of its time. Jim Holman will talk about Tristan in the context of these historic changes, and the evolution of Wagner's creative life.
Jim Holman is the author of the award-winning Wagner's Ring: A Listener's Companion and Concordance (1997) and is the Editor of Wagner Moments (2007) and Quo Vadis, Wagner? (2013). He has been the Chairman of the Wagner Society of Washington DC since its inception in 1998. He regularly writes and lectures about Wagner. He is a graduate of Princeton (BA) and Harvard (MA) Universities, and lives in Washington with his wife, Diana Lang Holman.
Register on Eventbrite:

Tuesday, May 30 — Phillip Carter
America’s Military and Its Veterans
America’s military provides for our common defense and plays a significant role in our society. However, for more than 40 years, this military has comprised volunteers who represent an increasingly narrow and insular slice of America. Has it always been this way? Who serves when not all serve? What are the consequences of this civil-military divide for the military, for veterans, and for society?
Phillip Carter is a former Army officer and Iraq veteran who leads the Military, Veterans and Society research program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. He also teaches law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, and practices as of counsel with the law firm Fluet Huber + Hoang PLLC. Carter writes frequently on national security issues for Slate, The Washington Post, and other publications.
Register on Eventbrite:

Thursday, June 1 — Wayne Pacelle
The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals
Ringling Brothers has retired its circus elephants. SeaWorld is ending its orca breeding program promising to invest millions in rescuing marine animals. And Walmart is shifting to cage-free eggs. Wayne Pacelle has been at the forefront of this humane revolution. In his new book, The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals, Pacelle outlines a hopeful vision as he sees the corporate world becoming more sensitive to public opinion about cruel and harmful treatment of animals. Business models grounded on animal exploitation, Pacelle argues, are ripe for disruption and consumers are driving the burgeoning growth of the “humane economy.”
Wayne Pacelle took office as the president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States in 2004, after serving nearly ten years as the organization’s chief lobbyist and spokesperson. During his tenure, he has led the Humane Society, the nation’s largest animal welfare organization, from a mild-mannered protector of dogs and cats into an assertive interest group flexing muscle in state legislatures and courtrooms.
Register on Eventbrite:


Why We Are Using Eventbrite
We have been having overflow crowds at many of our lectures. Due to fire code, we have to limit the number of people who can attend. Rather than turn people away at the door,  we have decided to use Eventbrite, which is a free, widely used event-management website and app. Please take the time to read the directions below thoroughly.

How to Use Eventbrite

  1. After registration opens, click on the link above for the lecture for which you want to register.

  2. On the Eventbrite lecture page, click on the green "REGISTER" button on the lower right.

  3. A pop-up window with the lecture name will appear. Select whether you want 1 or 2 tickets. Click on the green "CHECKOUT" button.

  4. You will have 8 minutes to finish your registration. Enter your first name, last name, email address, and confirm your email address. Click on the green "Complete Registration" button. A confirmation screen wlll appear and you will receive an email with your ticket(s). You are done.

You do not need to bring your ticket to the door. We will have a list at the door of individuals with reservations.


OLLI does not endorse any of the viewpoints expressed by the speakers in its series.


We thank the Lecture Committee and all those who suggested and contacted speakers: Paul Brown, Lew Cohen, Chuck Edson, Ken Guenther, Judith Havemann, Tina Fried Heller, Lynne Heneson, Jeanne Kent, Denise Liebowitz (Chair), Dorothy Marschak, Mary Fran Miklitsch, Stan Newman, Diane Renfroe, Richard Ringell, Barbara Rollinson, and Steve Sherman.