Paying it forward for future students - Living and Learning in Retirement (LLIR) celebrates their 50th anniversary at Glendon

Paying it forward for future students - Living and Learning in Retirement (LLIR) celebrates their 50th anniversary at Glendon

On May 17th, Living and Learning in Retirement (LLIR) celebrated their 50th anniversary with current and former leaders and board members, long-time course directors, dignitaries, and Glendon partners and staff. 

A commitment to lifelong learning is a cornerstone of Glendon College’s approach to education, and one we have long shared with the volunteer-led group Living and Learning in Retirement (LLIR). Established in 1973 through a federal New Horizons grant, LLIR is the first of its kind in Canada, providing retired persons with opportunities to access general-interest educational programming at Glendon while contributing to a legacy steeped in philanthropic impact.

And now, with over 1,200 members and counting, they have taken their commitment and this impact further than ever to support future Glendon students and generations of lifelong learners just like them.

On May 17, LLIR celebrated their landmark 50th anniversary alongside their current and former leaders and board members, long-time course directors, dignitaries and key partners, staff and community members at an event hosted on the Glendon campus. The event's climax came when LLIR President Alan Flint took to the stage to present Glendon Principal Marco Fiola with a $50,000 donation to support the LLIR Student Opportunity Fund – the group’s largest gift ever to the College.

Created in 2021 through an initial donation of $25,000, the LLIR Student Opportunity Fund provides much-needed financial aid for Glendon students from underrepresented groups. The fund has since been endowed to ensure the long-term impact of this gift and enshrine the sustainable opportunities it will create for future students.

This most recent donation is only the tip of the iceberg and builds upon the group’s rich history of giving back to Glendon students, having raised well over $500,000 in support over the past 50 years. Through more than 34 scholarships to date, LLIR has propelled more than 240 students toward academic and career success by alleviating their financial burden and clearing the way for them to pursue their passions and solve complex challenges at a global scale.

“On behalf of generations of Glendon faculty, staff, students and alumni, thank you to LLIR for your ongoing support of our students and your generosity that has empowered them to make positive change in the world,” shared Principal Fiola. “We are so grateful that you decided to make Glendon your home all those years ago, and we hope that we will continue to share our beautiful campus with you for many more decades.”

The celebration was punctuated by countless messages of support from notable individuals who recognize the significant difference LLIR has made to the future fabric of our society and for a generation of Canadians who have made immeasurable contributions themselves. This included a keynote address from journalist, author and broadcaster Steve Paikin, an acknowledgement in the Ontario legislature by Liberal MPPs Robert Oliphant and Stephanie Bowman, and even a congratulatory message from Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.

“As a former teacher, I firmly believe there is no age at which one stops learning,” stated Prime Minister Trudeau in his message. “[Groups like LLIR] help ensure that seniors stay up to date in a rapidly changing world, that they never feel alone, that they continue to be part of a community, and that they keep their minds sharp and hearts full. To the entire team behind LLIR, congratulations on this incredible milestone.”

As LLIR continues to nurture its engaged presence on campus and its members join us from our lecture halls, Glendon looks forward to another 50 incredible years of working together to bring education and lifelong learning to more and more people.

Read the full LLIR 50th Anniversary Report here.