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Remembering Founder John Sprott

Founder and former President of Encore Learning John T. Sprott died Tuesday, November 9th, 2021. The family plans to hold a memorial service after the holidays. 


John Sprott was born in Phoenix, Arizona on April 6, 1933.  Following service in the Navy from 1951-1955, he devoted himself to education in various ways throughout his working life. He taught economics at the University of Colorado and at Duquesne University and earned his PhD in 1965. He joined the US Department of State in 1966 where he was associated for most of his career with the Foreign Service Institute, the training arm of the Department. He was the US Ambassador to Swaziland from 1993-1996 and retired from the State Department in 1998. Turning his attention to the educational needs of older adults in Arlington, John’s vision, tenacity and leadership brought Encore Learning, at first called the Arlington Learning in Retirement Institute, from a standing start in 2002 to the robust organization we are today.  


Encore Learning President Tom Adams offered his appreciation of John Sprott: “No other individual contributed more to Encore Learning’s establishment and growth than John. When I joined Encore Learning and its Board, John had finished his decade-plus tenure as its first and longest-serving President. But he remained an active ex officio member of the Board. As a relative newcomer to Encore Learning I quickly grew to appreciate his sage advice and guidance, as did all Board members. I also worked with John on preserving our history. Reviewing our historical documents allowed me to see how masterful an administrator, manager and teacher he was. All of us at Encore Learning who had the chance to know and work with John will deeply miss his leadership, friendliness, and desire to help his neighbor.”

The family suggests that those wishing to remember and honor John contribute to the Dr. John T. Sprott Scholarship Fund at George Mason University. This Fund was established in John’s name in 2014 when he stepped down from his position as President of Encore Learning. It provides a scholarship of  $1,500 annually to graduate students pursuing a degree in policy, government and/or international affairs at the Schar School of Policy and Government. Members may donate to this fund here. Or you may contribute directly to the George Mason University Foundation, Inc. Write ‘Dr. John T. Sprott Encore Learning Scholarship Fund’ on the memo line and mail the check to 4400 University Drive, MSN1A3, Fairfax, VA  22030.

We will update this post if we have additional information about memorial service.