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Larry Griswold is passionate about sports, taking classes, and teaching at OLLI at UNC Asheville!

by Carol Gillen

Larry Griswold's passion for teaching is obvious. He says when one College for Seniors (CFS) class session ends, he often wishes that he could teach the next one the next day instead of having to wait a week.

He and his wife Barbara retired to Asheville in the summer of 2010. He started taking CFS classes that fall, and he started teaching the following spring. Classes he has taught include History of Sports Illustrated in 2011 and 2012, and Sports History Stories from a Master Documentary Maker taught in 2012 and again this winter.

His college major was business, but he has always had a deep interest in journalism.
After graduation he served for five years in the US Air Force as a publications editor and public information officer, and then 20 more years in the reserves.

This high-energy person pursued a publishing career, working for thirty years in New York City selling advertising space in three consumer magazines. The final twenty of those years were with Sports Illustrated, a mass reach weekly, which won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence for two consecutive years in 1989 and 1990. No other magazine had done that before. He found it to be both a very exciting and demanding time. He also worked for ten years with digital media including the development of the Sports Illustrated web site, SI.com, which was a new marketing vehicle. He enjoyed the challenge of those early years working with the Internet and striving to use it effectively.

He says, "I've had a passion for good sports journalism since I was a boy, and getting hired at Sports Illustrated was very much like a kid who loved baseball making it onto a major league team. I'd had one great experience after another by the time I retired, and I still have great enthusiasm for that magazine today. When I heard that CFS wanted people to propose courses on topics they are passionate about, I knew exactly what that meant for me."

He finds teaching his courses to be very satisfying. He claims, "Sports is a very exciting topic because it stirs the passions of people from rabid fans (football) to occasional fans (Olympics.) The history of sports is filled with great stories and people like to look back and recall their favorites. Sports span the full range of human emotions, and I've really enjoyed teaching here and the interaction with my class members." This passion also led him to become a college and high school men's lacrosse referee and a high school soccer referee, and he plans to officiate games for as many more years as possible.

Looking ahead, for fall 2013 he plans to propose and teach a course about the first century of baseball's World Series. This will start with 1903, the year that the World Series began, and use videos as well as material from his collection of books about baseball's greatest teams, players, and stadiums. Working for Sports Illustrated he met men who played in the World Series in the forties and beyond and shared good stories.

Before retiring, Larry and Barbara participated in the Paths to Creative Retirement weekend in 2006 and, after retiring, came back for the Creative Retirement Exploration Weekend (CREW) in 2009. This led them to fall in love with Asheville and decide to move here.

In addition to teaching at OLLI, he is a member of the CFS Curriculum Sub-Committee, focusing on history and contemporary issues. He and Barbara also served as facilitators at the 2011 and 2012 CREW weekends.

Larry is teaching topics at CFS for which he has a true passion, and we are happy that he is on our team!

Contact Information

Reuter Center CPO #5000
One University Heights
Asheville, NC 28804-8511
Office: 828.251.6140
Email:  olli@unca.edu