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Western Political Philosophy

The idea for Unlimited Learning in the greater Cuyuna Range area started in 2001. This is when area interested area residents, with help from the Initiatitive and Blandin Foundations, helped residents determine what could make this area a healthier community to live in.

One of the most important priorities of the area was to develop a program to provide for Life Long Learning. People recognized the value of continuous ongoing learning, appropriate for adults. They understood about the healthy effects of exercising the mind. Soon, more meetings were held to discuss what topics area residents specifically desired.

In 2002, the framework for Unlimited Learning was completed. This required forming a joint venture with the Crosby-Ironton School District. Following this, our program was developed covering fiscal 2003. Unlimited Learning actually started in November 2002 and ended June 30, 2003. 

Unlimited Learning offered one program a month. At the time, Islam was on the hearts and minds of local people. This was our first program. We provided this program over the objections of some area residents. Over 80 people attended our first lecture. People came from a radius of 50 miles to do so. In our first year, our attendance averaged over 60 people at the monthly programs. Topics included: Saudi Arabia, Cuyuna Range History, Birding in the area, Mayan Culture, The Ojibwe Nation and others. During this time we formed ongoing alliances with the Minnesota Humanities Commission in St. Paul and the Elderhostel Institute Network of Vermont.

Planning for the initiation of a discussion group on US Foreign Policy started in late 2002 and required coordination and planning with the US Foreign Policy Association in New York City. We developed an ongoing cooperative partnership with the Minnesota International Center in Minneapolis, met with interested individuals and implemented our first Great Decisions discussion group in January 2004.

Since 2004, we expanded by offering programs with more than a single class session. Our program offerings now average 3 to 4 per month. We average 40 – 50 participants at our sessions. We now offer over 40 programs annually over our 11 months of operation (Jan through November).

We have continued to form cooperative relationships with other groups committed to lifelong learning. This includes the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Minneapolis at the U of M, The University for Seniors at UMD, The University of Massachusetts and our local Cuyuna Range Historical Society in order to strengthen our level of quality programming. This has resulted in experimenting with interactive television, depth intensive discussions of the US Constitution and the aging process.

We coordinate trips to study and experience opera. And we study some of the most important issues of the day at the Nobel Conference in St. Peter, MN.

Since we started Unlimited Learning as a non-profit organization, our focus has not changed. We intend and try hard to provide quality broad-based learning opportunities for area residents. Our emphasis is toward mature adults. We welcome people of all ages. Our classes, courses, discussion groups and other events are uniquely offered year round. Most are based in Crosby. There are over 20 very active volunteers who work hard to develop, organize and market programs that are of interest to area residents.

We are committed to network and partner with other organizations that specialize in aspects of lifelong, wherever possible. We helped organize a statewide group for lifelong learning to assist with this idea (Alliance for Life Long Learning in Minnesota ALLMN).  We utilize teachers from in and out of our area who are willing to volunteer their expertise. Our teachers and volunteers represent a wide variety of academic, work and personal backgrounds. They willingly share their expertise with others. Unlimited Learning welcomes anyone who would like to become part of our community.

Mission: To provide quality and broad-based learning opportunities for the Lakes Area residents with emphasis on mature adults.