UMass Lowell Professor John Shirley teaches Harmonica class to LIRA.

Learning in Retirement Association

The Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) is a multi-faceted educational program for the retired and semi-retired, for which there are neither educational nor age requirements.

The Learning in Retirement Association’s (LIRA) is in Partnership with the UMass Lowell Office of Alumni Affairs and the Office of Community Relations. LIRA's philosophy is to provide, at a modest cost, college-level learning experiences for all its members, regardless of previous educational background.

LIRA is an academic program designed by its own members to suit their interests. Emphasis is on the collaborative and active member participation, with more than classes and social activities – LIRA links its members to a community beyond the classroom and offers a new world of opportunities.

LIRA was founded in 1988 by Mark Levine, director of Community Services at UMass Lowell at the time. The program has received continued support from the university’s Office of Community Relations, which provides space and administrative and office support. More than 240 similar associations exist on college campuses across the nation, representing more than 62,000 individual members.

Read a "Chelmsford Independent" interview by Margaret Smith with LIRA's Richard Grove from February 19, 2018.

Listen to a WCAP interview by Teddy Panos with LIRA's Toby Hodes, from September 24, 2013, where Toby discusses everything you need to know about LIRA.

Road Scholar, formerly the Elderhostel Institute Network, has a listing of all the Lifelong Learning programs in the U.S.

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