LLI Spotlight:  Karen Rice, Director, Shepherd University Lifelong Learning Program, Shepherdstown, W.Va.

By Peter Spiers

The Shepherd University Lifelong Learning Program was conceived in 2009 when members of a group called Shepherdstown Area Independent Living approached university officials about forming a lifelong learning program similar to those at other colleges and universities in North America.  The then-university president, who had come from a university with a lifelong learning program, strongly supported the idea and put together an advisory committee of staff, faculty, and people from the community to explore the idea.  The committee discovered strong interest in the community, and the first programs were offered in the fall term of 2011.  Karen Rice, a graduate business student at Shepherd and an intern in the university’s advancement office at the time, was offered a part-time job directing the lifelong learning program and a year later hired full-time to also direct Shepherd’s continuing education program.