About ALL

Mission Statement

Inspired by the belief that a curious mind never retires, the Academy for Lifelong Learning (ALL) is a volunteer-led community providing a variety of educational and cultural programs in a pressure-free environment.


ALL began life in 1997 as the Institute for Learning in Retirement, an offshoot of Elderhostel (now called Exploritas) and the Elderhostel Institute Network. Within a year we became the Academy for Lifelong Learning, with an objective to offer short, college-level courses and other education events — without homework, tests or credit.

Although hosted and administered by Western Washington University, ALL is 100 percent member-driven and supported by membership dues and program fees. Our content is produced by volunteers who devise courses, excursions and other programs; recruit instructors from a diverse pool of WWU faculty, faculty emeritus, and experts in various fields and professions; and plan events. Policy is set by a Board of Directors elected from the membership. 

Courses and excursions offered by ALL include a diverse spectrum of topics from traditional liberal arts and sciences, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary exploration, utilizing formats that encourage discussion and exchange of knowledge. Programs are open to all interested adults, regardless of age or educational background.


  • To participate in courses, excursions, and social events emphasizing academic and cultural programming
  • To enjoy presentations from current and emeritus professors
  • To learn from community professionals with specialized knowledge
  • To discover unique and thought provoking topics
  • To engage with spirited adults who seek intellectual and social enrichment

Catalogs are available at the downtown Bellingham Library, and other locations within Whatcom County. Or contact us at AcadLL@wwu.edu to have a catalog mailed to you.

Please contact our office via email AcadLL@wwu.edu or phone (360) 650-4970 by the registration deadline to receive a full refund. Cancellations made after the registration deadline incur a cancellation fee ($10 for courses, $50 for excursions). Cancellations made within 2 days of the start date are not eligible for a refund. You can also seek someone else to replace your spot; please simply notify ALL of your replacement as soon as possible so we can be sure they receive event-related notices.

Refer to the Course Locations for location information. Details along with special parking instructions are also provided in the confirmation letters to participants approximately one week before a course start date, once registration closes.

Please fill out a course proposal form. You can also contact our Curriculum Committee Chair, Adam Moles at spindriftresearch@gmail.com, or contact the ALL office at AcadLL@wwu.edu should you have additional questions or need assistance with the process. A resume/CV should be emailed to either contact listed here after submitting your proposal.

Please contact the ALL office as soon as possible, via phone or email.

Please review our Membership Benefits; we have discounts and privileges through WWU and at Village Books.

Email us your contact information that you want us to use. Please include in your email your preference for receiving email, or US mail (or both).

Or follow this link to join our email list.

We welcome your input - you can contact the ALL Program Administrator directly to discuss complaints by sending an email to AcadLL@wwu.edu or calling our phone number (360) 650-4970; let our assistant know you’d like to speak with the Program Administrator.

If your input is pertinent to a particular course, excursion or event, you are encouraged to leave your feedback in the evaluation that is sent at the conclusion of each program. These evaluations are very valuable to us; we review them consistently as they help shape our programming and goals.

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Man using binoculars on the beach. In the background the Deception Pass bridge spans Fidaglo island from the mainlain.

ALL Board and Committee Members

ALL Board of Directors

2019 - 2020

White male with a grey shirt

Russ Carlsen


Photo of Monica Ackermann

Monica Ackermann

Vice Chair

Photo of Donna Moore

Donna Moore


Photo of Adam Moles

Adam Moles


Blonde woman smiling at the camer with black framed glasses and long blonde hair

Susan Reece

A mature man with white hair and glasses smiles looking to the left of the frame

Jim West

Photo of Kay Wolsborn

Kay Wolsborn

Photo of Michou Yenokida

Michou Yenokida

Curriculum Committee

The ALL Curriculum Committee (also known as "Curcom") is a group of volunteers that plan and run our classroom programs. The committee meets regularly in the fall and spring to create a catalog of courses for the following term. Course ideas come from many sources including members of the committee, suggestions from course evaluation forms and individuals offering to teach a class.

Committee members work closely with potential and returning instructors to bring course proposals to the committee for approval and then continue on as the Course Facilitator. Their responsibilities include coordinating room setup and equipment arrangements, introducing the instructor at the beginning of the class and collecting feedback at the end of the class on evaluation forms.

If you have an idea for a class you would like to teach, please complete and submit an ALL Course Proposal form. If you have ideas for a future class that you would like ALL to offer or would like more information about the Curriculum Committee, please contact Adam Moles at: spindriftresearch@gmail.com

ALL 2019-2020 Curriculum Committee

  • Jane Relin
  • Susan Rhodes
  • Lori Jump
  • Linda Wolf
  • Michou Yenokida
  • Kay Wolsborn
  • Marilyn Scheer
  • Adam Moles
  • June Hopkins


Excursion Committee

The ALL Excursion Committee is a group of volunteers that plan and run our excursion events. The committee meets regularly in the fall and spring to create a group of travel events for the following term. Over the years, the Excursion Committee has planned many trips to cultural events like concerts, plays and operas. It has also offered trips to museums, nature preserves, gardens and many of other destinations across Northwest Washington and British Columbia.

When an ALL excursion is scheduled, members of the committee will volunteer as Trip Leaders. Their responsibilities include coordinating plans with guides and drivers, checking-in participants, informing the group of arrival and departure timing, and collecting feedback at the end of the trip on evaluation forms.

If you have ideas for a future excursion that you would like ALL to offer or would like more information about the Excursion Committee, please Monica Ackermann at wamdack@yahoo.com or (360) 756-1451

ALL 2019 - 2020 Excursion Committee

  • Jeff Eastman
  • Jan Catrell
  • John Davis
  • Mike Callahan
  • Renee Lowry
  • Monica Ackermann