Lifelong Learning Institute began in 1996 as Learning in Retirement under the auspices of Jack Price, Executive Director of the Charlotte County Foundation, now known as the Charlotte Community Foundation. Some of the initial instructors included Vernon Peeples and Lindsay Williams. The first classes were held at the Freeman House but eventually moved to the new Edison Community College Charlotte campus in 1998. In 2005, LIR changed its name to Lifelong Learning Institute, incorporated itself as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and forged an even closer relationship with the newly named Edison State College. In 2007, goals and bylaws were changed to more accurately reflect the revised mission of offering lifelong learning opportunities for adults in the Charlotte County area.
The name of the college was changed in 2014 to Florida SouthWestern State College. Lifelong Learning Institute is proud to continue its affiliation with FSW on the Charlotte campus and to staff the campus office part-time with an office manager.
While activities are available to everyone in the community, FRIENDS –a paid patron organization, offers special privileges and discounts and helps foster the growth and development of the organization’s programming. Lifelong Learning Institute’s mission is to foster interest in continuing education among adults, to offer quality classes and programs in a campus atmosphere in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, personal finance and technology as well as providing a variety of educational opportunities outside the classroom. Collaborative activities with other like-minded organizations are used to support the mission of the program when they are deemed appropriate.