We began in 2002 when a handful of intrepid and visionary seniors launched Arlington Learning in Retirement (ALRI). ALRI offered an all-volunteer program of college level (noncredit) courses to people over 50. As membership grew, we increased the number of classes and added clubs for members pursuing similar interests (bridge, cinema, kayaking, tech, travel, etc.). We also developed a popular series of Special Events.
In 2012, ALRI changed its name to Encore Learning. Volunteers powered the organization, with instructors, board members, committee chairs, and Class Aides dedicating their imagination, time, and energy to help Encore Learning flourish. All members can be proud of our dynamic organization that annually offers over 60 courses, 50 special events, and innumerable club activities to nearly 900 enthusiastic members.
This year, Encore Learning celebrates its 20th anniversary! Friends, members, instructors and invited guests gathered on September 12, 2022 to celebrate Encore Learning’s 20th anniversary of providing high quality courses, clubs and special events to those over age 50. The celebration, which took place in George Mason University’s Van Metre Hall in Arlington, VA, was attended by over 120 people, many of whom have been members since the organization's early years.
Barbara Spangler, Encore Learning President, hosted the event and shared an update on the organization today with appreciation for its simple beginnings. Joining the celebration was Dean Mark Rozell from George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government who highlighted the collaborative relationship and the growing Mason footprint that will be welcoming to Encore Learning and the surrounding community.
The celebration included recognition of past Board Members, class aides, instructors and long-time members. A video documenting the creation of Encore Learning and outlining its growth and history until today was premiered and is now available online.