The Learning Institute of New England College (LINEC) is a program created to educate, entertain, and enhance life. It offers non-credit, totally volunteer, peer-led and peer-taught courses to retired and younger adults for the sheer pleasure of learning. LINEC classes are sponsored in conjunction with New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire, for the benefit of its members.
We offer three terms each academic year, lasting four to six weeks. The fall term is in October and November; the spring term is in April and May; and the summer term is in July. A winter term in January and February has recently been added for its members. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all courses are currently conducted virtually through Zoom.
Brief History of LINEC
New England College (NEC) in Henniker, New Hampshire, has provided educational opportunities for older adults since the beginning of the Road Scholar program in 1975 (formerly Elderhostel) which had roots at NEC and four other New Hampshire colleges. These were trips and non-credit college-level courses at member universities and colleges.
Lifelong learning institutes began a decade later. NEC wanted to create learning opportunities for retired adults who lived within commuting distance of the College campus. In the early fall of 1989, an invitation to attend a planning meeting for the new institute was issued by Professor of Economics, Thea Braiterman, and Professor of Education, Marvin Seperson. Jim Verschuren, then the Director of Elderhostel’s Office of Support and Development, was the keynote speaker.
Two meetings followed in November. Eighteen people paid the first membership dues – on good faith – and Marvin Braiterman became the first Chair. Committees were created, the first statement of policy was drafted and The Learning Institute of New England College (LINEC) was formed.
Classes started in the spring of 1990. The rest is history, which is well documented in course catalogs, and in Steering Committee and Annual Meeting minutes.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
At the 2019 Annual Meeting, LINEC celebrated its 30th anniversary. We continue to be inspired by the dedication of those who led LINEC through its formative years and by the talents and gifts of its members since that time. LINEC continues to offer classes in many disciplines such as science, history, literature, art, music, film, social sciences, mathematics, technology, and topical issues. Members are invited to offer suggestions for future courses.