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Institute for Learning In Retirement

Welcome to the Institute for Learning in Retirement 

Our goal is simple: create opportunities for retired professionals to share their knowledge and skills. Learning is lifelong, and we offer active learning and connections with like-minded peers.

With us, you won't have to worry about long-term commitments. Our groups meet for two hours once a week, for either four or eight weeks, giving you the flexibility to pursue your passions without sacrificing your schedule. We also offer a lecture series, presented by experts with various backgrounds.

In addition to our core offerings, membership with the Institute of Learning in Retirement also includes attendance at Farmingdale State College events, a monthly newsletter, special events, tours and an annual luncheon. We are committed to providing you with exciting, educational programs that will enhance your retirement experience.


Daily Meditations: Wisdom in Stillness

A Morning Journey to Gratitude & Clarity

Join us Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:15 to 8:45 AM as we embark on a journey towards greater well-being. 

  • Mental Clarity: sharpens focus and cognitive function.
  • Stress Reduction: promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety.
  • Emotional Wellness: fosters emotional resilience.
  • Physical Health: improved sleep, lower blood pressure, and enhanced immune function.

Tune into ILR YouTube Page Now

Annual Yearly Membership

Registration Procedure: Registration for Study Groups and Lectures is on a first-come, first-served basis. All ILR activities are open to members only unless otherwise noted and are subjected to availability and change. 

  • Fascinating Study Groups led by knowledgeable facilitators where you can explore various subjects and delve into meaningful discussions with fellow members.
  • Inspiring Guest Lectures by esteemed experts from diverse fields, providing insights and perspectives on a wide range of topics.
  • Organized Day Trips to local attractions, museums, and cultural events, giving you the chance to expand your horizons and enjoy the company of fellow learners.
  • Engaging On-Campus Events that foster connections, friendships, and an environment of continuous growth and intellectual stimulation.

Click Here to Pay Annual Membership

Summer 2024 Sessions 

Current Issues Forum

Each week for the first hour the class we will set an agenda and exchange ideas concerning local, national, and global issues. During the second hour the focus is on one or more larger national issues; in an effort to identify problems, generate solutions, and hopefully, clarify your position. 

Leader: Chet Gerstenbluth
2024 Sessions Fees: $25 for 4 weeks $50 for 8 weeks
Location: Gleeson 131
Time: Fridays 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM 


Summer 2024 -- 8 weeks, 5/10, 5/17, 5/24, 5/31, 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28 

Summer Session is now closed for the term 

Discussion and participation are strictly voluntary. Members are encouraged to bring in most current news articles and current events are generally provided by Chet our Study Group Leader. 

Movie Review 

This spring we will be presenting 8 films and following each with a lively discussion. The movies are from a variety of genres and were released between 1944 to 2018. 

Leader: Larry Blaeser
2024 Sessions Fees: $50 for 8 weeks      
Location: Gleeson Hall 129
Time: Fridays 12:45 PM - 3:15 PM

TBD for Fall Semester

Contemporary Literature

Contemporary literature group will be discussing a variety of books suggested by both our membership leaders and our very enthusiastic group participants. 

Leader: Susan Blaeser 
2024 Sessions Fees:
$25 for 5 weeks.
Lupton Hall T101
Wednesdays 12:15 PM - 2:30 PM

TBD for Fall Semester

Who Am I Today?

Women are from Venus, men are from Mars! Join a discussion group/expression of feelings from a female point of view. Each Session will be based on a single topic, focused on how one feels about circumstances facing our lives today. We hope to enlighten ourselves and each other through our sharing. 

Leaders: Brenda Yudin & Rene Nisenbaum 
2024 Sessions Fees: $50 for 8 weeks      
Location: Campus Center Meeting Room B
Time: Mondays 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

TBD for Fall Semester

 History - Brave Americans in War, 1775-1945

These five, 2-hour sessions cover the book, “Theodore Roosevelt/Spring Rice in WWI, Joshua Barney, Dolley Madison, Elizabeth Monroe, & USN "Airdales" that was published by Halo International in 2016. (All book royalties have been and will be donated to the American Red Cross.)

Leader: Dr. Daniel Marrone
2024 Sessions Fees: $35 for 5 weeks Including the paperback version of the book

Location: Lupton T101
Time: Mondays 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM 


TBD for Fall Semester

Along with the individuals listed in the title, the book has four additional brief essays on: Hugh Mercer, Martha Washington, Anthony Wayne, and Oliver Otis Howard-"The Christian General." is a collection of nine biographical essays describing the lives and accomplishments of those "who have made America a better nation." Along with the individuals listed in the title, the book has four additional brief essays on: Hugh Mercer, Martha Washington, Anthony Wayne, and Oliver Otis Howard-"The Christian General." 


Introduction to Spanish

Leader: Profesora Shari O'Flanagan
2024 Sessions Fees: $50 for 8 weeks      
Location: Lupton Hall T101 
Time: Wednesdays 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM 

¡Hola Estudiantes! This Spanish Culture and Conversation course is designed for beginning students who have studied Spanish and need an in depth review, and for those who want to learn Spanish before traveling to a Spanish-speaking country. Students will learn new vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, fun facts and basic verb conjugations in the present, past and future tenses. We will listen to Spanish songs, describe famous paintings, explore various places virtually and create simple, practical dialogues all while covering a wide variety of topics and improving our communication skills in a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. ¡Vámonos!


Summer 2024 -- 8 weeks, 4/3, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1, 5/15, 5/22, 5/29 & 6/12 

Spanish Registration is now closed for the semester.

Please note that this course serves as foundational introduction to Spanish and is welcoming to participants who have never spoke Spanish before. 

Writing Your Way to Positivity

Leader: Dave Hinchliffe 
2024 Sessions Fees: $50 for 8 weeks.      
Location: Lupton Hall T101
Time: Wednesdays 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

This is a targeted workshop designed to boost psychological and physical well-being through guided writing exercises. Based on research, weekly in-person sessions over a 6-8 weeks are recommended for optimal results, limited to 10 participants. Customized writing prompts will be provided to resonate with the unique dynamic of the group. Our group leader has many years of teaching and counseling experience, he will guide participants in navigating their personal narratives. As a presenter, our leader Hinch will provide work has been described as inspiring, powerful and impacting. Join us to discover the transformative powers of writing. 


TBD for Fall Semester


Leader: Diana Hodes
2024 Sessions Fees: $25 for 4 weeks.      
Location: Lupton Hall T101 
Time: Wednesdays 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Explore the medium of watercolor painting. Enjoy awakening your hidden talents, and creativity as a beginning artist; or join others who wish to refine their skills and self-expression in a friendly and noncompetitive atmosphere. Last semester Diana led a watercolor workshop series, and the artwork produced by participants was truly outstanding. We received positive feedback, highlighting it as a "highly rewarding" experience. 


TBD for Fall Semester

Materials – Watercolor Class with Diana Hodes

  • Watercolor paint set at Michaels approx. 10-12 tubes of assorted colors
  • 1 extra tube of white.


  • Numbers 2,4,10 (round) = get good quality, bristles fall off the cheap ones. (Michaels)
  • 1 pkg of kids brushes ($1.00 store)


  • 1 watercolor pad 9x12 or 11x15 140lb cold press (OR) 12x16 block cut in 4 pieces.
  • 1 small postcard size pad for watercolor ($1.00 store) used to test stroke or colors.
  • 1 foam board (black 20x30) or card board – to use to work on over desk. 
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Scotch blue multi-surface painters' tape- 1” size
  • Ruler
  • 2 plastic containers for dirty and clean water
  • Plastic palette ($1.00 store) or “tear off palette”
  • Art eraser (squeezable)
  • Scissor
  • Art making fluid (Michaels) 2.5 oz
  • Tooth brush
  • Razor
  • (2) ITB pencils
  • Assorted texture sponges, mini foam painting brushes
  • Plastic gloves ($1.00 store)
  • 1 picture frame ($1.00 store (OR) Good Will Store) to fit your size paper
  • 1 piece of glass (to be discussed in class) ($1.00 store)


Please note that the supply list is not included in the sign-up fee.  

The Culinary Blueprint

Leaders: Jennifer Singh with guidance from Executive Chef Gregory J. Dalton
2024 Sessions Fees: $25 for 4 weeks      
Location: Gleeson 129
Time: Fridays 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Ideal for culinary enthusiasts, the study group will offer a blend of creativity and practical knowledge. Embark on this flavorful journey with us.  This series will emphasize: 

  • Cooking Techniques: learn essential skills from light knife work to flavor pairings.
  • Presentation: elevate dishes with a lesson on plating.
  • Quick Nutritious Recipes: delicious and time efficient. 


Summer 2024 -- 4 weeks, 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28 

Click Here to Register For Spring 2024 Culinary Blueprint

Please note that additional fees may be incurred for materials, auditing, books, study groups, organized trips and lectures. The membership fee covers an annual access fee, granting you entry to all offerings available through Farmingdale State College and the Institute for Learning in Retirement. 

For more details, be sure to check out our Events and Tours  for the upcoming term.

In addition to classes, we offer exciting day trips, lectures, art classes, and more. If you're interested in contributing, consider becoming a volunteer study group leader for our fall 2023/24 semesters. Share your ideas via email! Join us at the Institute for Learning in Retirement Program at Farmingdale State College and embark on a journey of continued growth and enrichment. Join our emailing list today to learn more about this incredible opportunity for lifelong learners like you!

Volunteer Opportunities - Join Our Team!

ILR thrives on the enthusiasm and commitment of our members, and we are actively seeking volunteers to contribute their time and expertise to our vibrant community. If you have a passion for a particular subject and would like to lead a study group or contribute in any other capacity, we warmly encourage you to step forward and be part of our dedicated team.

Help Us Grow and Build Our Program

We are committed to enhancing the ILR experience and creating an inclusive, dynamic learning environment for all. As we embark on this journey together, your ideas, suggestions, and feedback are invaluable in shaping our program and ensuring its success. We welcome your input on new course ideas, potential guest speakers, and any other initiatives that could enrich the ILR community.

Together, we look forward to a remarkable semester of growth, knowledge-sharing, and meaningful connections.

Institute for Learning in Retirement Events

There are no upcoming Institute for Learning in Retirement events at this time. Check back soon for upcoming events.

Last Modified 5/30/24