Eclectic Classes for Dartmouth's Lifelong Learners

Classes begin soon for Dartmouth students and for another group of intellectually curious learners—the more mature scholars at ILEAD.

ILEAD, short for Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth, is a 21-year-old community education group that falls under the direction of the Office of the Provost. It is one of about 300 such organizations nationally with links to colleges and universities and offers classes and educational activities to any adult in the Upper Valley—and its courses are free to Dartmouth students and employees.

The organization, which has its headquarters in the Dartmouth Outing Club House, grew out of a desire by some area residents to audit undergraduate classes at Dartmouth.

“ILEAD is very proud to be officially part of the Dartmouth family, and we're continually looking for ways to increase our collaboration with the College,” said Pete Bleyler ’61, the group’s president.

Fall term classes begin the week of September 19 and include study of topics ranging from celestial navigation, wine regions around the world, the movies of Paul Newman and Marlon Brando, stone walls and cellar holes, and visits to the region’s electric power generation plants. There are still openings in some of the 70 courses being offered this fall.

ILEAD also sponsors trips abroad and hosts a popular summer lecture series. The 2011 series, “Corruption: Persistent, Pervasive, Virulent,” brought national experts and media professionals to speak at Spaulding Auditorium, including Dartmouth Ethics Institute’s Director Aine Donovan, New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson ’69, and Jay Moyer ’62, former general counsel and executive vice president of the National Football League.

With more than 1,400 members, ILEAD is the sixth largest such group in the country, according to the organization's website. Over two decades, ILEAD has offered more than 1,500 courses attended by about 26,000 participants.