Academy for Lifelong Learning

Academy for Lifelong Learning A Brief History The Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) began in October 2001. Nine retired members of Oregon State University’s faculty and staff came together with two goals: to facilitate learning among active OSU retirees in the Mid-Willamette Valley and to offer them greater access to OSU’s academic resources. ALL was created as a member-based community of learners. In the spring of 2002, ALL provided its first curriculum of 14 classes for 41 members. The membership fee was $25. In the fall of 2002, ALL started the structure that offers classes for three academic terms each year. Summer term, consisting of 6-8 classes or tours, was added in 2008. Classes are arranged into 5 strands: Arts, Humanities, Issues and Ideas, Science, and World Cultures. A total of 118 classes were offered that first academic year. From the beginning, ALL has been a self-supporting organization, with the membership dues providing all of the financial support for its activities. Membership was changed to include all interested adults in the community, and dues were increased to $100 per year. A Program Coordinator (PC) was hired in the Fall of 2002 to handle class scheduling, membership, and other administrative duties. The role of the PC expanded as the classes and membership grew, and as computer use became an essential part of the job. The able skills of the persons in this role have kept the organization and programs running smoothly and efficiently. The PC has been and remains the only paid person in this otherwise completely volunteer organization. ALL’s early classes were held in the OSU Foundation Building, the Majestic Theatre, and Stonybrook Lodge. In 2004, ALL found a more permanent home in the large meeting room of the First Congregational Church. The 80 person seating capacity is a nice fit for our membership. The Curriculum Committee selects class presenters. They come from OSU, U of O, Linn/Benton Community College, other universities, ALL members, and other local experts from the community. Committee members host presentations. As membership grew, the Curriculum Committee enlarged to 25. A Facilities Committee assumed responsibility for all media technology, including visuals, connecting to web sites, playing DVDs, and operating audio equipment. The Facilities Committee is also responsible for room management. As social media developed, an ALL member volunteered to create the first website and agreed to serve as its Webmaster. In the spring of 2015, the Webmaster, with the help of a website committee, reconstructed the website ( The new website provides information to current and prospective ALL members and enables members to register, pay annual dues and fees, and make donations to ALL through the website. OSU’s Continuing and Distance Education Program, the OSU Retirees Association, the OSU Alumni Association (OSUAA), the OSU Foundation, and the OSU President’s Office provided early support for ALL. In 2005, ALL became a program of the OSUAA. This continued until July 1, 2014. ALL then became a non-profit corporation in the State of Oregon and received 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the IRS. The ALL Board approved a set of Bylaws and a Policy and Procedures Manual to guide its operation. To retain its relationship with OSU, ALL formed a partnership with the OSU Office of University Relations and Marketing in the summer of 2014. In addition to intellectual development, ALL provides 3 socials each term. A newcomers’ luncheon is held in the fall, and dinners are sponsored by the World Cultures strand, which include the food and culture of the country being studied. In June, a Celebration Dinner highlights the achievements of the year and honors the presenters and members who make ALL work. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ALL abandoned its in-person presentations and went to on-line Zoom webinars for their classes starting in Fall 2020. All socials, luncheons, and dinners have also been cancelled during this pandemic. This structure will continue until the pandemic is over. As of Fall 2021, ALL has provided over 2600 classes for its approximately 300 members. The organizational and academic structure has remained the same. Several of the 12 founding members of ALL are still active members. As ALL continues to embrace learning as a lifelong process, we look back to our humble beginnings and early efforts and look forward to the decades ahead. Updated: Dec. 7, 2021 John C. Ringle



ALL History


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History of Summer Term