The Institute For Lifelong Learning (IFLL) held its first series of programs during the 1990-91 academic year and included among its distinguished speakers that first year Jane Constance Shields Freeman, Ph.D., former president of the Girl Scouts of America and wife of the governor of Minnesota, and Fredrick Krause, Ph.D., head of the White House Staff for Health Issues.
The IFLL was started by The Rev. Raymond Shaheen, affectionately known to all as Padre, as a place for ideas of compelling interest and people who wished to remain intellectually and socially active to come together on campus. Within two years the current shape of the overall program had been formed, namely a series of 11 programs each year beginning in October and ending in April.
Speakers who have made presentations to the Institute For Lifelong Learning have included Garcia Gensel, Ph.D., preacher to the New York city jazz community; Joseph Wiebush, Ph.D. (many programs), Robert Weis, president of Weis Markets Corp.; Charles Hostler, Ph.D., meteorologist from Penn State and provost of PSU; Ed Pope (imprisoned in Moscow in the early 2000’s as a spy); Rick Benjamin, musician and now responsible for the first complete recording of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha; Brian Balthazar, producer on NBC’s Today Show; Bud Knoebel of Knoebel’s Grove; Dick Yuengling of the brewery that bears his family’s name; and Dick Boak of Martin Guitars. Pianist Galen Deibler has played for the group almost every December since the group’s beginnings.
Philosophers, theologians, scientists, photographers, an Olympic athlete, an atomic submariner, a Holocaust survivor, pilots, world travelers, jurists, reporters and authors all have come to speak to the IFLL members.
The goal of the IFLL has been to continue the vision of Padre to bring people together for social and intellectual fulfillment.