UNA Pressroom

Una's Institute For Learning In Retirement Starts 27th Year Of Service

Jan. 10, 2019

Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at media@una.edu, 256.765.4392 or 256.606.2033

Retiree Group Announces Curriculum for Lifetime Learning Activities

FLORENCE, Ala. - The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is a unique and growing program within UNA's Continuing Education curriculum where student volunteers determine the courses and speakers for the eight week semesters. For about 150 Shoals area retirees, "ILR is the place to be" for seniors who are interested in lifelong learning that helps students stay young, engaged, and moving in the community.

The current semester activities begin with a potluck luncheon before the start of the semester where each of the volunteer Course Leaders will outline their course content and hope to energize students to try their course offerings. The regular daytime-only classes then begin on Jan. 28 and run through March 22.

The UNA Continuing Education program seeks to serve the educational needs of the entire Shoals community including retirees, and the ILR group reflects that diversity. Recent ILR local student surveys show that the group is well educated, well-traveled, and represents most professions and backgrounds from homemaker to factory workers, military veterans to entrepreneurs, tradespersons to professors and university presidents.

ILR is in its 27thyear according to current student President and retired Army Colonel, John Messamore who states, "ILR has tended to be a well-kept secret in the Shoals, but that is changing as word spreads and more retirees look for challenging activities. We're proud that our students come from all walks of life and educational backgrounds."

Surveys show that our recent classes have been mostly college grads," adds Messamore, "but degrees mean less than a healthy curiosity if a person is committed to expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the world around us. Especially when it means we can have fun doing it."

The ILR group is representative of lifelong learning programs across the country like Roads Scholars (UNA program is affiliated) and OLLIE (Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes) that seek to serve the retiree community with a diverse curriculum dedicated to lifelong learning, travel, and community involvement.

If you would like more information, a course catalog, or to register for classes: Meghan Fike at 256-765-4289,mmfike@una.eduor check out our Facebook page at UNAsILR. For information about the Friends of ILR and their Volunteer activities: John Messamore at 256-698-3154 or email atJohn.messamore.titan@comcast.net.