The mission is to establish a community of adults, 50 years of age or older, that provides affordable, educational, and social opportunities in a friendly atmosphere.
The vision of LLI-Manassas is to offer quality and fun-loving learning opportunities for members by sharing our expertise through a multi-discipline approach with partners while also serving the community.
In the spring of 2003 there were several meetings held in the Colgan Theater on the Manassas Campus of the Northern Virginia Community College to determine the interest of citizens, fifty years and over, to start a local Lifelong Learning Institute. Dr. Linda Malami, Director of Continuing Education at Manassas NVCC, knew of the success of the LLI at the Annandale Campus of NVCC from her days of studying there. She invited Knox Singelton, a pioneer leader of the Annandale LLI, to speak about how to start an LLI in Manassas. The Manassas Journal Messenger and Potomac News ran several small articles inviting interested individuals to become involved. Stemming from the organizational meetings, a core group was formed to organize and develop the Manassas LLI. Members of the “Core Group” were: Joyce Kister, Paul Kister, Linda Malami, Jack Sanborn, Patty Sanborn, Eleanor McShea, Bets Knepley, Frank Sharp, Sue Smith and Nancy Osborne.
Joyce and Paul Kister volunteered to become the first leaders of the “Core Group.” Seven or eight other group members agreed to take on different roles to help the new organization become successful. Bets Knepley became the communication/publicity expert and made many valuable contributions such as creating a newsletter, business cards as well as getting the first website established with the help of Ed Knepley. Eleanor McShea became the membership person and helped with programs. Sue Smith became the treasurer, Patty Sanborn was the hospitality chair, Jack Sanborn became the technology expert along with Paul Kister, and Nancy Osborne developed the first set of 7 classes with Frank Sharp teaching one of them.
The first season of the Manassas LLI was launched with a gala affair at the NVCC Amphitheater on a Sunday Afternoon. The LLI leaders all wore yellow T-shirts, the St. ThomCats played big band music on the stage, Sean Connaughton, Chairman of the PWC Board of Supervisors spoke, Judy Hays represented the Manassas City Council and we served popcorn and soft drinks. The event led to our first memberships, some of whom are still members.
Titles of some of that first set of classes in the fall of 2003 were: Waterways in America, Getting to Know Our Latino Neighbors, George Mason, Beginning Computer, Genealogy, and Beginning Piano.
Other than program development there was plenty of work that went on in the first year of the Manassas LLI. An agreement with NVCC was written and signed, the by-laws were drafted, a Board of Directors was nominated and elected and an initial treasury was started with each of the “Core Group” paying the dues of $100. A grant was written and awarded by Trinity Episcopal Church’s Thornton Trust to pay for start up funds such as the cost of the 501 C3.
If Prince William County Schools are cancelled or students are sent home early, all LLI classes and other activities for that day are cancelled. If Prince William County Schools have a delayed opening, LLI classes and all other activities will be held as scheduled. Exceptions may be made for bus trips. For school closing call 703-791-2776 and choose option 3.