|From a notebook of the written history of ALP, and a notebook containing all the ALP-Horns from 1990 through 1999, we have prepared a summary of the beginnings of ALP. The notebooks are available at the UConnALP office, contact Bertina Williams, ALP Coordinator.|
It all began in June, 1989 when Jim Verschueren, a representative of the Elderhostel Learning in Retirement Institutes invited retirement-age people from the Greater Hartford area and representatives from some colleges to a workshop at the Duncaster Retirement Community to consider forming a local group for "learning in retirement". About 100 attended and Verschueren explained how other "institutes" were working elsewhere and offered to help form one in this area if the attendees were interested. He distributed a questionnaire for attendees to complete to indicate their degree of interest.
As a result, the following September a group met with Verschueren at the Hartford Graduate Center, formed committees to consider curriculum, finances, membership and publicity. At the end of the day they established a planning council of those committee chairs. The planning council was a dedicated group sometimes meeting for hours several times a week to consider the details needed to form an organization. Ruth Billyou, of the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education and Verschueren often met with them. The group also visited retirement groups in a few other cities, and collected their publications.
There was a small group at the Hartford Graduate Center called A.L.P. Its director, with representatives appointed by a few other local colleges, founded a steering committee to provide assistance on promotion, curriculum and space for a new institute, which absorbed the existing ALP organization and retained the name. ALP was sponsored by the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education and was affiliated with Elderhostel
The first schedule of classes was offered in the spring of 1989 at the Hartford Graduate Center.
Our sponsorship changed to the University of Connecticut in 2000 when our office moved to the West Hartford campus of the University, and our classes began to be held at the Seabury Community. In the Fall of 2007, classes began to be held at Duncaster also. In January 2012 the ALP office relocated to Duncaster.
ALP is one of more than 300 Lifelong Learning Institutes affiliated with the national Elderhostel/Road Scholar organization.