School of Professional Programs

Center for Lifetime Study

The Marist Center for Lifetime Study (CLS) provides opportunities for intellectual and cultural exploration and development for men and women of retirement age. CLS provides a rewarding experience of learning and fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere without exams or grades. Currently, 650 members enjoy courses, trips, and social events held in various locations.

The Center is a volunteer, membership-run organization. Courses are offered in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and general sciences and are taught by CLS members, college faculty, or community leaders.

Currently, the Center for Lifetime Study and its waiting list have reached capacity. We are no longer accepting applications.

The History of CLS

The Sherman Legacy

Photo of Joan and Jonah Sherman             On February 12, 1992, Marist issued a press release announcing the establishment of a peer-led education program for individuals 55 years and older.  The Marist Center for Lifetime Study, or CLS, was established by the late Jonah Sherman and his wife Joan in honor of Jonah’s aunt Rose Sherman to provide intellectual opportunities, cultural exploration and academic development to local seniors.  The Shermans’ commitment to enriching the lives of others led Jonah to serve on Marist's Board of Trustees, as well as leadership positions in several local nonprofit organizations and led Joan to serve with other voluntary organizations.  Together, they worked with Catharine Street Community Center, where they began their volunteer lives locally. 

In 2007, Jonah made a special contribution to the Marist Archives and Special Collections in the James A. Cannavino Library with a donation of materials documenting the business and commercial history of Poughkeepsie.  The collection is filled with rare artifacts, books, newspapers, photographs, correspondence, advertisements, and other materials; the Jonah Sherman Collection an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to learn more about the economic growth and business development of our community. Jonah and Joan Sherman were sent to Central Europe, Asia, and Africa over a period of 13 years with International Executive Services Corps, United Jewish World Service, and United Way International to promote economic self-sufficiency in small communities, education and prevention of HIV/AIDS and the development of volunteerism.  Through CLS, Jonah and Joan Sherman have given Marist a unique legacy of service and leadership.

The Center for Lifetime Study

In March 1992, the Marist Center for Lifetime Study launched, with a series of four- to six-week noncredit courses.  The Center, a gift from the estate of Rose Sherman, is strongly ingrained with a sense of leadership and academic purpose.  Rose Sherman moved to Poughkeepsie in the 1980’s to be cared for by her family.  Jonah, sensitive to the need for challenging intellectual pursuits for senior citizens, worked to establish the Marist Center for Lifetime Study as a loving tribute to his Aunt Rose after her death 

Institutes for Learning in Retirement

Mid-Hudson Valley

L.I.F.E. (Learning is Forever Enriching) 

Mount Saint Mary College 
Desmond Campus, 6 Albany Post Road 
Newburgh, NY 12550 
TEL: (845) 565-2076  FAX: (845) 565-4918 
Ms. Jennifer Laubach 

L.L.I. (Lifetime Learning Institute) 
Bard College 
P.O. Box 22 
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504 
TEL: (845) 758-7314 
Mr. Lou Klein

Lifespring: Saugerties Adult Learning Community
Saugerties Town Hall
Four High Street
Saugerties, NY 12477
TEL:(845) 246-2800 ext. 452
Dr. Susan Puretz

Lifetime Learning Institute @ SUNY New Paltz
1 Hawk Drive, P.O. Box 275
New Paltz, NY 12651-0275
TEL: (845) 257-2892 FAX: (845) 257-2899

Orange County Community College 
115 South Street, Bldg. 13 
Middletown, NY 10940 
TEL: (845) 341-4896 
Ms. Linda Smith 

Lifelong Learning Institute @ Vassar College 
Vassar College
124 Raymond Avenue, Box 45
Poughkeepsie, NY  12604-0045
(845) 437-7229
Mr. Mihai Grunfeld

C.L.S. (Center for Lifetime Study) 
Marist College 
Donnelly Hall 109, 3399 North Road 
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-1387 
TEL: (845) 575-3000 ext. 2011
 FAX: (845) 575-3262

Other Areas

U.S. & Canada

United Kingdom


CLS membership is offered to all persons 55 or older with a desire for lifelong learning. Whether formal education ended early or advanced degrees have been earned, CLS provides members the opportunity to take part in a cultural and intellectual enrichment experience, in an enjoyable peer environment.

Because of the significant waiting list for CLS membership, the CLS Council adopted a policy in September 1998 to accept new members equitably only from the following four categories as openings become available:

  • Name appears on the General Wait List in the order received.
  • Presenters of six or more classes, or a full semester course, also in the order these request are received.
  • Spouses of current members, in the order of request receipt.
  • Former members who leave due to illness, the illness or death of a spouse, return to work or care for a grandchild, in order of request receipt.


The CLS Council recently approved a policy stating that individuals who become eligible for membership by reaching the top of the General Wait List, and upon being contacted to join ask for a deferral, shall be granted only one deferral applicable for the next membership admission period.

The General Wait List was frozen as of 04/15/2016 by the CLS Council. Names on the lists may be shared with other Mid-Hudson Valley ILR’s for their own membership solicitations. Wait list members are required to notify the CLS Office for any changes in postal address, e-mail address or phone number.


Annual membership fee is $240 per person. The fee does not include books, transportation, and special social activities.