The Five College Learning in Retirement Program depends on its members to do just about everything that is needed to provide an interesting, quality program for retired people in the Pioneer Valley. We organize seminars, workshops, trips, special programs, meetings, and events. This takes a lot of creative effort by members, and it is done through standing and ad hoc committees and sub-committees.


Appointments to committee membership are for three-year terms. Ideally, new appointments are made each year to ensure a constant supply of new people and new ideas. This rotation offers a wonderful opportunity for new and recent members to get creatively involved and to get to know other members better. Our organizational year is from July 1 to the next June 30. Each year we ask members to indicate what committee(s) they would volunteer to serve on. This list is used to select new committee members, as openings occur during the year. Let the office know of your interest: fill out a form on-line or send in a completed paper form.


Curriculum Committee

The Curriculum Committee is responsible for all 5CLIR seminars and workshops; it consists of twelve members plus the two co-Chairs. The Committee normally meets on the first Thursday of the month and regular attendance at the meetings and sponsored events (such as the Previews) is expected. The Committee’s responsibilities are: recruiting moderators; reviewing seminar proposals and working with moderators on proposal content; assisting the Office Manager in developing the seminar catalogue; conducting a lottery for any over-subscribed seminar; suggesting policy changes to Council that might improve the seminar program; and preparing an annual academic year calendar to submit to Council.

Each year four new members are appointed to a three-year term. Candidates must have been a 5CLIR member for at least a year, have taken at least two seminars, and preferably should have either moderated a seminar or served on at least one 5CLIR committee.

Development Committee

The Development Committee established the 5CLIR Campaign for the Future in June of 2014 with a three year campaign and a goal of $250,000 to build our 5CLIR Investment Fund and provide three year budget support while the Fund is growing. The Committee will review all aspects of LIR’s fund-raising efforts and make recommendations to Council, all to support and secure 5CLIR for its second 25 years.

Finance Committee

The LIR Treasurer chairs the Finance Committee, which also includes the Assistant Treasurer, Vice President/President-Elect, and at least two other members approved by Council.  Members have full access to all books of account.  The committee advises the Treasurer in financial control and budgeting.  It meets at least quarterly.

Great Decisions Committee

The Great Decisions Committee organizes and manages the 5CLIR Great Decisions program presented each spring to members, guests and the interested public from the Pioneer Valley.  In September the committee selects five of the topics offered by the Foreign Policy Association for their annual Great Decisions studies, and over the next two months identifies and recruits speakers expert on these foreign policy issues.  From November to February the committee works out the details of the arrangements for the speakers, the venue, publicity and ticket sales.  The committee also provides the on site management of the series of five lecture-discussion forums beginning in late March or early April.

Member Services Committee

The primary concern of the Member Services Committee is to maintain the well-being of the organization by affording opportunities for members to socialize. This is accomplished by holding coffee hours to welcome new members and hosting a large social event for all members, usually in the spring. The committee sponsors the all LIR September Potluck where new members are welcomed and introduced to our organization by the committee. Meetings are held as needed, from five to eight times a year.

Public Relations Committee

The mission of the 5CLIR Public Relations Committee twofold:  to promote in our communities awareness of 5CLIR as an option to those at or near retirement age, and to provide the primary effort in recruiting a vital and engaged membership.  In implementing this mission, the committee develops a variety of methods and materials that are used to acquaint our members, potential new members, and the public with 5CLIR activities. The committee often assists other committees in publicizing 5CLIR events.

Special Programs Committee

The Special Programs Committee oversees a wide variety of member-organized educational activities that follow models different from that of the peer-led seminar. Special programs or events may be initiated by the Committee or by individual 5CLIR members or 5CLIR groups such as seminar or interest groups.  The committee is responsible for producing a fall and a spring catalog of special programs and meets as needed, about two to four times a year.  The committee is supposed to have nine members but needs more members for next year; members are appointed for three-year terms.

Technology Committee

The Technology Committee provides 5CLIR members with information on and instruction in relevant digital and audio-visual technology related issues. The committee provides occasional workshops and single lectures as well as direct personal help. While some members will have significant technical expertise, others are needed so that we can identify issues that nontechnology minded 5CLIR members may be facing. Meetings are held every one or two months as needed.

Winter/Summer Programs Committee

Winter/Summer Programs are one-time events that are initiated by the committee and scheduled for the intervals between the regular 5CLIR semesters. Every year there has been a bus trip to Tanglewood in the summer as well as perhaps a bus trip to a museum. Other typical programs include lectures, a river boat cruise, and outdoor activity in both winter and summer. Our final event before resuming seminars each September is a potluck picnic, always an enjoyable occasion when the committee assists the Members Services Committee in welcoming new 5CLIR members. The committee consists of two co-Chairs and an unspecified number of members; it typically meets twice a year.


© 2016 Five College Learning in Retirement
Smith College
18 Henshaw Ave., C2
Northampton, MA 01063
(413) 585-3756

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