Founded in 1996, the original Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning (GMALL) began as a partnership with Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, and Burr and Burton Academy, and was modeled on similar programs then being established on college campuses around the country. The purpose of the organization was to provide adults with stimulating, inexpensive and non-credit educational courses at Burr and Burton Academy from March until October.
Rita Silverman, a university English professor, was the founding director and under her leadership the number of courses offered grew steadily. A board of directors, all volunteers, provided leadership and oversight.
In 2001 the board of directors voted to establish the organization as an independent, autonomous non-profit dedicated to continuing the original mission of providing cultural and intellectual enrichment through a diversity of courses at various venues in and around Manchester.
Now in its seventeenth year, GMALL has been serving the community year-round with programs in a wide range of topics... current events (politics, economics, international affairs), history, science, humanities, recreation, creative and culinary workshops. Collaborations with other local institutions continues to bring vitality and diversity to the annual offerings. Three catalogs a year are mailed to 2600 households in winter, summer and fall, with another 600 distributed locally. Instructors and lecturers come from nearby college such as Dartmouth, Middlebury, Williams, Bennington, Green Mountain, Southern Vermont, Norwich, UVM, Skidmore, Union... just to name a few. And we also have a bounty of local talent who are qualified and happy to teach.
Most of our programs are interactive, which means that students are an important part of the educational process. Whether people want to develop their skills for personal or professional reasons, or enrich their lives culturally, or meet new people and engage socially, there is a little bit of something for everyone at GMALL.