Questions and Answers
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What is the ILR?

The Institute for Learning in Retirement is an educational program planned and operated by and for individuals fifty-five years of age or older, sponsored by Old Dominion University. There are now over 300 such college-sponsored institutes and centers in the U.S. We are one of the largest in Virginia.

Why should you join the ILR?

Mental stimulation is as important as physical exercise to maintain good health. We have the ability to learn throughout our lifetime; the ILR provides a relaxed, non-threatening environment to facilitate this learning. Retirement is one of life's greatest adjustments; many are unprepared to make the most of the new free time available to them. The ILR offers continuing intellectual stimulation, physical activities, and new friendship and social opportunities.

Do I need a college degree to attend the ILR?

No degrees are necessary, just a desire to learn. There are no examinations.

Who can join?

Anyone fifty-five or older can become a member. Members come from from all cities in South Hampton Roads.

What does it cost?

New members pay an annual membership fee listed on the "Becoming a Member" page.

Classes require a nominal fee of about:

  • $10 per two-hour course
  • Field trips and social activities: At cost

Where and when are classes held?

Most classes and other events are offered during fall, winter, spring, and summer at the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center. Some classes may be offered in Norfolk and/or the Virginia Beach Central Library. Classes meet mornings and afternoons, Monday through Thursday.

What other benefits are available to currently enrolled ILR members?                          

  • Fellowship
  • Entertainment
  • Sharing life experiences
  • The stimulation of an academic environment
  • Quarterly Newsletter
  • Affiliation with the Elderhostel Institute Network which supports lifelong learning programs worldwide


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Institute for Learning in Retirement
Old Dominion University
Virginia Beach Higher Education Center