Frequently Asked Questions

What is the institute for Learning in Retirement?
An institute is a unique educational opportunity for retired men and women in which peer learning, shared leadership and member participation are fundamental.  The majority of the classes are designed and taught by the members of the institute.   There are no paid teachers. There are no prerequisites, exams or grades. It is an opportunity to continue learning in a flexible, informal and noncompetitive environment. The program is affiliated with and endorsed by Elderhostel.

What topics are taught in the study sessions?
Study sessions are offered on a variety of topics ranging from the arts (music, literature, creative writing, art) to hands-on classes such as photography, cooking, drawing and quilting. Some classes deal with issues, while others are more concrete, such as geography, astronomy, economics, religion and the study of other countries and cultures. Members suggest the courses they would like to study each term.

What are the membership requirements?
A commitment to learning and serious study is the primary requirement for membership. A desire to explore new ideas, expand knowledge, exercise creativity and meet new friends is also helpful. A college education is not required. A modest membership fee supports the organization and its activities.

Where is the ILR at Bluffton University?
Bluffton University has made available to the institute an office on the first floor of Schultz Hall in Riley Court and a large classroom downstairs where most of the classes are held. This room is at ground level at the rear of the building and may be entered without using any stairs. Occasionally a class will be held in another building on campus if special facilities are needed.

Anyone who is retired and has a desire to continue learning and meeting new people should consider joining ILR. Thousands of energetic and enthusiastic retirees are currently enrolled in more than 100 Elderhostel programs around the country. Members include people from all walks of life.

For more information, please contact:
Janet (JP) Schumacher, Coordinator
Institute for Learning in Retirement
Bluffton University 40
1 University Drive
Bluffton, OH 45817-2104