Lifelong learning programs engage Yale alumni with their alma mater

“Yale alumni are a very diverse community, comprising people of many ages, professions, backgrounds, and interests,” says Andy Lipka ‘78, “but there really are some things that bring us together, including, especially, a real passion for learning and ideas that persists beyond the undergraduate years and continues — even intensifies — for life.”

Lipka is one of the volunteer leaders who work closely with the Yale alumni association staff to connect alumni with the university in order to pursue that passion for learning through Yale for Life.

Yale for Life lets alumni, their spouses, and Yale parents return to campus for a week of intensive seminar study and life at Yale. “It is a reconnection with the university like no other, and allows all of Yale’s treasures to be yours, once again,” Lipka says.

Now in its sixth year, Yale for Life last year doubled its size and filled its courses. It returns in 2016 with two new courses, described in full on the program’s newly redesigned website: http://yaleforlife.org/

This year’s program offerings include “A New Birth of Freedom: How the Civil War Made a New America,” led by Akhil Reed Amar and John Fabian Witt; and “World Order, and The Meaning of History,” led by Charles Hill and Bryan Garsten.

The program is one of a growing number of ways that Yale alumni can continue to learn for life and stay connected with their alma mater. Yale Educational Travel offers a broad slate of experiences through which alumni learn with Yale faculty at destinations all around the world.

Yale Alumni College, another program initiated by alumni volunteer leaders, offers courses led by Yale scholars for alumni communities in cities in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

“Recent years have seen a renaissance in programs and attendance among alumni keen to learn with current Yale faculty and with other graduates,” says Kathy Edersheim ’87, a senior director of the alumni association. “Yale for Life offers a complete classroom experience on campus, Yale Educational Travel takes learning all over the globe, and Yale Alumni College brings the classroom to communities in the Northeast. The passion for learning is contagious — and no doubt such programs will grow even more.”