Article by Kim Colavito Markesich Orginally published by Contact Cathleen Love, Professor, Storrs, CT 860-486-9081 This fall, the UConn Extension Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary of providing interest- ing and engaging lifelong learning activities for retirees and other adults. The milestone was celebrated October 19 with a luncheon at the Deanston House in Storrs. The UConn Board of Trustees first chartered CLIR in September 1991, under the Division of Continuing and Extended Education. Four years ago, the program was transitioned to UConn Extension. “The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has been very supportive,” says Stephen Kenton, CLIR president and professor emeritus at Eastern Connecticut State University. “We have a lot of people we depend on from Extension. They not only help us, they are so positive. They’ve just been wonderful.” The center provides educational classes and courses in a variety of subjects, from history and politics to health and the arts. Membership fees are $20 per term (three terms per year) and members may attend as many classes as they wish. The lectures include single talks and short courses, all offered at the Vernon Cottage on the UConn Mansfield Depot Campus. “When I retired, I knew I had a clear choice to either spend my time watching television until my mind turned to oatmeal, or I could find things to do that would challenge me physically and mentally to retain my faculties for as long as possible,” says Howard Raphaelson, CLIR member. “CLIR has helped me maintain my mental capabilities by exposing me to a variety of experts in many fields.” Before retirement, Raphaelson worked in the financial department of an international marketing company. “Lifelong learners have an eclectic interest in lots of things,” says Kenton. “Most of our speakers find themselves ten minutes into a talk before people pepper them with questions. People are very engaged. There is a lot of give and take during the sessions.” “The audiences are interested in what the speakers have to say,” says Cathleen Love, professor in the Department of Extension and CLIR administrative liaison. “They show up and are very grateful for the 25 Years of Lifelong Learning 18 2016 HIGHLIGHTS OF EXTENSION