A Brief History of the Marietta College Institute for Learning in Retirement
by Jeanne Tasse
There must be more to life than twenty years of learning, twenty years of earning and the rest just waiting. – Anonymous
At Marietta College there is more to life, the reason the Institute for Learning in Retirement was established by the Dean of Continuing Education to encourage life-long learning for persons in retirement from every walks of life. Organized by local citizens, the Institute offered its first non-credit courses of cultural interest in the Spring of 1992. Meeting daily for two weeks, "Local History and Architecture" and "Understanding Modern Art, with a Focus on Picasso" attracted the first scholars. Later, to accommodate the enrolled members, the number of weekly classes was gradually reduced to once a week and the length of the session increased to eight weeks.
The scope of the courses broadened to include diverse subjects as the appreciation of the outdoors, river lore, genealogy, forestry, applied art, the world of opera, literature, the art of writing, language, science, the history of art and music, local authors, local artisans and many more. Any interest in a particular subject recommended by a member is investigated and a professional in that field is sought to teach it. The instructors are retired college professors, professionals, or authorities in their respective fields.
From its beginning, the Institute encouraged the study and discussion of pertinent topics. The magazine, THE WORLD AND I provided multiple topics for friendly discussion. These courses were popular and very interesting.
Although the courses are now taught at the College, there was a time, in the early years, when courses were taught at Campus Martius Museum and at the Washington County Library. For many years the painting classes were held in local churches.
On occasion, a course was enhanced by visits to a museum, by attending an opera, or visiting a strip mine or river locks and dams. Day trips or overnight trips to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh or to Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC have attracted many ILR scholars for a wonderful time. Perhaps the most unusual events to accompany a course were the Roman and Medieval Feasts where the members of the class prepared the victuals from original ancient recipes and enjoyed the meal in historic costumes.
The Marietta College Institute for Learning in Retirement is managed by elected officers chosen from local citizens. Since its origin, the Marietta College Institute for Learning in Retirement has provided life-long learning to hundreds of individuals many of whom return time and time again, creating friendship and engaging in activities that might never have taken place. All retired persons are welcome to join the Institute for the sheer joy and pleasure of learning something new in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.