Nurturing a love for lifelong learning
Mary Landry, BA’50, has been taking courses at the McGill Community for Lifelong Learning (MCLL), a School of Continuing Studies initiative tailored to older learners, for 12 years. She has studied everything from jazz to history to the New Yorker magazine. “It’s a wonderful program,” she says. “There’s a lot of variety, and you meet likeminded people your own age.”
With the help of a number of generous donors, including Landry, David Kassie, BCom’77, and the Webster Foundation, the MCLL – which celebrated its 20th anniversary in the 2009-10 academic year – has flourished.
Contributions to Campaign McGill have dramatically improved the outreach, accessibility and expansion of MCLL programs, which inspire and engage a very important segment of our community, both socially and intellectually. The MCLL’s initiatives, which include lectures, study groups, Bloomsday and other outreach efforts to local seniors’ residences, are some of the projects that philanthropy has improved. The MCLL has also cultivated close ties with the Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning (QALL) and with the Community Learning Centres Initiative of Quebec – two networks who service the province’s English communities.
The McGill facilities that MCLL uses have also benefited from significant upgrade. Its classrooms and members’ lounge now boast new, multi-functional furniture that takes into account the special physical and educational needs of over 600 students. And the program has also added new educational technologies, including computers, a camcorder and web conferencing and audio-visual equipment.
Landry was happy to help bring projects like these to fruition, but she was also keen to personally enjoy the fruits of this philanthropy. A new projector, she says, has made in-class presentations a breeze, while the Naomi Kassie Seminar Room offers a first-rate audio experience for the musically inclined.
Through these advancements, Landry and her classmates are able to pursue their interests in all manner of topics. “I just think the MCLL is a wonderful initiative,” she says. “It’s marvelous.”