Civic Engagement

Explorers carry forth Salem State’s vision of education

“We choose to go to the moon…not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

In 1961, the words of President Kennedy inspired Americans to live a life of adventure and discovery. That spirit is verdant today at Salem State where community enrichment classes through its Division of Continuing Education, as well as offerings at the School of Graduate Studies, encourage a lifetime of education and discovery. Nearly half a century after Kennedy’s commitment to landing on the moon, retired Americans living on the North Shore are carrying forth the same spirit of exploration that infused the 1960s. 

Pat Silvia is one such explorer. While her teaching career has since evolved into retirement, the classroom instruction carries on. One of 350 members of The Explorers Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI), founded in 1992 at Salem State for retired citizens who are committed to the continuous evolution of knowledge, Silvia is the instructor of a class in memoir writing, one of 40 courses offered each semester at the institute located on Federal Street in Salem.

She relates her thorough grasp of grammar to a classroom of students where the desire to learn is ubiquitous. “Adult learners are introspective, interested and intelligent,” points out Silvia, who is also editor of LLI’s quarterly publication, The Compass.

Beyond filling the void for the quest for knowledge, members receive a number of benefits, including discounts to events at Salem State’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts. “Salem State and the Explorers have something in common,” adds Silvia, “a commitment to lifelong learning.”

As Salem State supports its “Educating you for life” promise with non-credit classes, a continuing education program and its graduate school, it’s clear that its affiliation with Explorers is a natural.