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25 Years of Lifelong Learning

Article by Kim Colavito Markesich

Orginally published by Naturally.UConn.edu

CLIR groupThis fall, the UConn Extension Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary of providing interesting and engaging lifelong learning activities for retirees and other adults. The milestone was celebrated October 19 with a luncheon at the Deanston House in Storrs.

The UConn Board of Trustees first chartered CLIR in September 1991, under the Division of Continuing and Extended Education. Four years ago, the program was transitioned to UConn Extension.

“The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has been very supportive,” says Stephen Kenton, CLIR president and professor emeritus at Eastern Connecticut State University. “We have a lot of people we depend on from Extension. They not only help us, they are so positive. They’ve just been wonderful.”

The center provides educational classes and courses in a variety of subjects, from history and politics to health and the arts. Membership fees are $20 per term (three terms per year) and members may attend as many classes as they wish. The lectures include single talks and short courses, all offered at the Vernon Cottage on the UConn Mansfield Depot Campus.

“When I retired, I knew I had a clear choice to either spend my time watching television until my mind turned to oatmeal, or I could find things to do that would challenge me physically and mentally to retain my faculties for as long as possible,” says Howard Raphaelson, CLIR member. “CLIR has helped me maintain my mental capabilities by exposing me to a variety of experts in many fields.” Before retirement, Raphaelson worked in the financial department of an international marketing company.

“Lifelong learners have an eclectic interest in lots of things,” says Kenton. “Most of our speakers find themselves ten minutes into a talk before people pepper them with questions. People are very engaged. There is a lot of give and take during the sessions.”

“The audiences are interested in what the speakers have to say,” says Cathleen Love, professor in the Department of Extension and CLIR administrative liaison. “They show up and are very grateful for the program. People at this age often find themselves isolated. This is a way to keep their brains active and maintain a social connection.”

“I visited similar programs across the country,” Love says. “This is by far the least expensive, and it’s run by a phenomenal group of retired people who have devoted an enormous amount of their time to make this program work. It’s the hardest working group of volunteers I know.”

On average, the Center maintains approximately 250 members, with twenty to sixty people attending each class. The College provides extension staff assistance, as well as a location with parking. In turn, the CLIR contributes $6,000 per year to the University.

“We’ve had wonderful faculty members come in and speak,” Love says. “Steve is phenomenal at asking people to lecture. We’ve had presentations from the UConn president and provost, as well as almost every dean. Little by little, the group is becoming more woven into the UConn community.”

“This program is an example of why we need to be reflective about aging. When I went around the country, there were 95-year-olds teaching amazing dynamic courses that people couldn’t wait to get into. In our society, we tend to say that at a certain age we are done. For me, this program has been such a gift.”

“Land grant universities were set up to serve all of the population,” Love points out. “Lifelong learning is a form of adult education and this outreach is critical to the mission of Extension.”

Love hopes to build more partnerships with Extension, the University and the community. “I think there are collaborative partnerships that we could build that would engage populations of all ages with the community in ways that would be very powerful. Including everyone in the work of a community provides us with resources we may otherwise overlook. CLIR is a community resource that has provided an outstanding service for adult learners for twenty-five years.”

CLIR provides meaningful and serious intellectual activities for retirees and other adults from all walks of life, conducted in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. There are no academic requirements.

CLIR classes are offered in two formats: single classes and courses. A single class consists of one and a half hours. A course consists of two or more classes scheduled in successive weeks.

All classes are held at the Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot Campus. Join CLIR today, new members are always welcome. You are invited to sample a single class or two at no cost.

Summer CLIR Classes

CLIR group

SUMMER CLIR — FREE AND OPEN TO ALL

The Center for Learning In Retirement (CLIR) offers lively discussions on various topics, moderated by Betty Heiss and Lynn Mardon on Wednesdays, June 28 and July 5, 12, 19, and 26, 1:15 – 2:45 at Vernon Cottage on UConn’s Depot Campus.  If you would like to suggest a discussion topic with which you have some familiarity, email Betty at bettyheiss7@gmail.com or Lynn at webofbelief@yahoo.com.  Please include your phone number.  We hope you’ll join us!

 

April Classes with Lifelong Learning

CLIR group

CLIR classes for April, held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus, all from 1:15-2:45 p.m. except for Memoirs and Great Decisions.

 

Memoir Club – Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20, 27 from 10:15-11:45

Great Decisions:  topics in foreign policy – Tuesdays, April 11, 18, 25  from 10:15-11:45

What is The Enlightenment? – Thursdays, April 6, 13, 20, 27

UConn President Susan Herbst – Wednesday, April 12

The Nationalist/Populist Reaction to Globalism: A Threat to Democratic Forms of Government – Tuesday, April 18

They Return: Our Defender and Prosecutor – Wednesday, April 19

Savor the Moment: cultivating awareness using mind-body experience – Friday, April 21

Under the Hood of Genetically-Engineered Crops – Tuesday, April 25

Legal and Constitutional Origins of Racism in America – Wednesday, April 26

March Lifelong Learning Classes

CLIR group

CLIR classes for March will be held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus, all from 1:15-2:45 p.m. except for Memoirs:

Memoir Club                Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23 – 10:15-11:45 a.m.

Water Systems of Rome through the Ages           Wednesday, March 1

Cahokia:  America’s First City             Wednesday,March 8

Why There Can Be No “Theory of Everything” and Why Your Existence Depends

Upon This             Thursday, March 9

How Big Is Your Water Foortprint?    Wednesday, March 15

A Time Economy:  An Opportunity to Learn Skills and Teach Others         Tuesday, March 21

Strangers and Neighbors:  Multiculturalism, Conflict, and Community in America        Wednesday, March 22

Lifelong Learning: February Classes

CLIR groupCLIR lifelong learning classes for February, held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus, all from 1:15-2:45 p.m. except for Memoirs:

Memoir Club – Thursdays, February 2, 9, 16, 23           10:15-11:45

The Politics of War and Peace – Wednesday, February 1

Crumbling Foundations in CT Homes:  A Contractor’s Perspective – Tuesday, February 7

The Role of the Barber Shop in Southern Black Culture – Wednesday, February 8

Crumbling Foundations in CT Homes:  An Attorney’s Perspective – Wednesday, February 15

Living with Intention:  The Art of Letting Go – Thursday, February 16

The Ugly Side of Cute:  Anthropomorphism and Conceptual Metaphor – Tuesday, February 28

Lifelong Learning – January Classes

string group

The Center for Learning In Retirement, or CLIR is offering classes for January, focusing on lifelong learning. All classes are held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus, all from 1:15-2:45 p.m. except for Memoirs:

 

Memoir Club, Thursdays, January 5 – March 30; 10:15-11:45

Making Cladograms, Tuesday, January 10

American Elections: Myths, Legends and Modern Reality

(presented by CT Secretary of the State Denise Merrill), Thursday, January 12

Medical Marijuana, Wednesday, January 18

Being Prepared Isn’t Just for Boy Scouts, Thursday, January 19

CAFE Guitar (live performance and discussion), Tuesday, January 24

The Politics of War and Peace, Wednesdays, January 25 and February 1

Climate and Hunter-Gatherers:  How the Environment Shaped Prehistory, Tuesday, January 31

For more information, please visit our website at: http://clir.uconn.edu

 

November Classes at CLIR

CLIR groupUConn Extension’s Center for Learning In Retirement (CLIR) classes for November (all held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus):
Why You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much About Who Wins the White House This November; Tuesday, November 1; 1:15-2:45
The Symphony; Wednesdays; November 2, 9, and 16; 1:15-2:45
Memoir Club; Thursdays, November 3, 10, and 17; 10:15 – 11:45
Gems, Crystals and the Structure of Matter; Thursdays, November 3 and 10; 1:15-2:45
Raising a Special Needs Child; Tuesday, November 8; 1:15-2:45
Forgotten Hero: Putnam’s Calvin William Heath; Tuesday, November 15; 1:15-2:45
A Post Mortem on the Congressional Elections; Thursday, November 17, 1:15-2:45
For more information visit: http://clir.uconn.edu

October Classes with CLIR

CLIR group

Our Center for Learning In Retirement (CLIR) is offering several interesting classes for October (all held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus):

Memoir Club:  Thursdays,   10:15 – 11:45

The Unknown Kennedy (concerning the JFK assassination)                Tuesdays, October 11 and 18     1:15-2:45

Art and Science:  Are They the Same?                                                        Friday, October 14        1:15-2:45

The Israel-Palestine Conflict:  A Dissenting View                                   Thursday, October 20   1:15-2:45

Vampire Folk Belief in Historic New England                                          Tuesday, October 25     1:15-2:45

Will It Be “A Day That Shall Live in Infamy”?  (Election Day 2016)      Thursday, October 27   1:15-2:45

For more information, visit our website:

Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR)

CLIR Classes for September

CLIR classOur Center for Learning In Retirement (CLIR) has planned their September classes. It’s not too late to register, visit our website for more information.

CLIR classes for September are held in Vernon Cottage on the UConn Depot campus:

 

Memoir Club:  Thursdays from Sept 8,   10:15 – 11:45

BREXIT: Misplaced Nostalgia for the Sovereign Nation State           Wednesday, Sept 7    1:15-2:45

Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity: the Long Road from Evidence to Policy                   Tuesday, Sept 13  1:15-2:45

From Alchemy to Xanax: History of Drugs    Tuesday, Sept 20  1:15-2:45

The Talpiot Tomb In Jerusalem and Ossuary of “James Son of Joseph Brother of Jesus”        Tuesday, Sept 27  1:15-2:45

If it Ducks like a Quack: Critical Thinking about ‘Alternative’ Medicine                         Wednesday, Sept 28  1:15-2:45

CLIR Annual Meeting

Our Center for Learning In Retirement (CLIR) held their annual meeting in June with music and plans for upcoming courses. Visit their website for all of the latest news.

CLIR Annual Meeting6 CLIR Annual Meeting3 CLIR annual meeting2 CLIR annual meeting