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Our History

Mission Statement

Through volunteerism, the Academy of Learning in Retirement (ALIR), believing in lifelong learning, recognizes and utilizes its members’ wealth of experience and abilities to achieve educational stimulation in the arts, history, literature, languages, and sciences.


Celebrating 30 Years!

The Academy of Learning in Retirement (ALIR) was established in 1989 as an extension of the University of Texas at San Antonio with Dr. John Lane and his wife Marci as catalysts. So this is our 30th Anniversary year!

Dr. Lane envisioned an all-volunteer learning academy patterned after an extension of the University of Delaware, which offered a variety of classes to an over-55 crowd. He recognized that many retirees settle into a pattern of inactivity and have no outlet for their love of intellectual engagement. The academy would provide this, and would also satisfy the need for stimulating human contact. He presented the idea to UTSA,
which reacted favorably.
In February 1989, ALIR opened its doors at the Institute of Texan Cultures under the aegis of UTSA. Eleven courses were offered to 61 members. Over its years at ITC, ALIR grew steadily, reaching a peak of about 50 classes. But in 2005, ALIR lost its home due to the burgeoning growth of UTSA and its need for downtown space. The search began for a new campus home.
Happily, North East Independent School District (NEISD) welcomed ALIR to its Continuing Education Department in the spring of 2006, offering comfortable classrooms, administrative services in support of ALIR’s volunteer instructors, and inclusion in its widely-distributed continuing education catalog.
Today, more than 600 intellectually curious over-50 San Antonians are members. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, ALIR remains a continuing legacy of John and Marci Lane, and a valuable resource for life-long learners.


Classes are held at 8750 Tesoro Drive, San Antonio, Texas. There’s ample free parking.
For questions or more information, contact Rhonda McRae, ALIR Facilitator, at (210) 407-0167, or visit  and click on ALIR.