Special to the
Opelika Observer

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University (OLLI at Auburn) will host its lecture series titled “Wisdom Wednesday’s” Oct. 10 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art ,located at 901 S. College St. in Auburn.
OLLI members, guests and friends are all invited to learn more about OLLI at Auburn course offerings, social engagements and initiatives.
Dr. Mark Fagan will provide OLLI at Auburn with a presentation on his book “The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail: Its History and Economic Impact,” which tells how a bold, imaginative investment by a public employee pension fund turned into a world-class tourist attraction that helped change the image and boost the economy of an entire state. This book is essentially a 25-year case study of this phenomenal economic development project.
The trail is the world’s largest collection of golf courses built as part of one project. Its construction has been compared in complexity to the erection of the Golden Gate Bridge.
More dirt was moved in the trail’s development than in the digging of the Panama Canal. The trail was conceived by Dr. David G. Bronner, and launched in 1990. It has evolved into 26 golf courses, eight resort hotels, five spas, 8,000 adjacent houses, and represents millions of dollars spent in commercial development.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is the illustrated historical account of the financial, legal, political, and economic impact details of RSA’s investment in the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Such a detailed history could not have been written without the years of economic analysis conducted by the author dating back to the earliest stages of the project. Fagan’s ongoing involvement with Dr. Bronner and those working to develop the Trail made possible the mammoth one-of-a-kind history that is presented in this book.
Fagan, an expert on retirement development, ia a former professor at Jacksonville State University who studied the economic impact for each of the 11 communities where trail sites were built. He received his doctoral degree in Social Policy, Planning, and Administration at the University of Alabama. He has assisted the Retirement Systems of Alabama, working closely with Bronner, on various aspects for the development and promotion of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail for the last 25 years.
His groundbreaking work on the economic impact of retirees on an area was cited as a factor
OLLI at Auburn offers academic not for credit programs for adults aged 50 years or older through program sites at Auburn University, AUM in Montgomery and the Chambers County Public Library in Valley.
OLLI at Auburn is a program of the Office of the Vice President for University Outreach at Auburn University. OLLI administrative offices and select classes are located at the historic Sunny Slope property, 1031 S. College St. in Auburn.
For more information regarding this event or to assist the organization as a volunteer faculty member, volunteer service assistant, or sponsor, contact Ileeia A. Cobb, Ph.D., OLLI Director, at 334-844-3105, olli@auburn.edu., or visit www.olliatauburn.org.