Letter from the Director


This semester begins the 50th Anniversary of the Institute for Retired Professions (IRP), the first campus-based program for retired and semi-retired adults – a program that has become a model for more than 400 other Institutes for Learning in Retirement. Those of you who are reading this know that the IRP offers its members an opportunity to create and maintain a community in which all share responsibility for a unique academic adventure.

In 1968, only six years after its founding, the IRP created its first publication devoted entirely to the creative writings of retired and semi-retired people – stories, memoirs, and poetry. That year happened, also, to be the 50th anniversary of the founding of the New School! So it seems particularly appropriate that this, our first on-line publication, appears in IRP’s 50th year.

Many thanks to all the IRP writers who have shared their concerns, their creativity, and their lives with us. Our gratitude, also, to the editors and the members of the reading committee who helped to create this journal. Congratulations to all.

Michael Markowitz
Director, New School Institute for Retired Professionals

Voices 1968

The article below was written for the first official, bound edition of an IRP publication; at the time, it was titled “The IRP Review.” The date is November 1968

The booklet format replaced a mimeographed, hand-stapled edition that was distributed for a number of years. It’s coincidental that the new format celebrated The New School’s 50th anniversary; our new online format will celebrate the IRP’s 50th.

The article was written by Hy Hirsch, the Director of IRP at the time.


Half-Century Birthday

“The New School opened with éclat for the Spring term of 1919. Every liberal in the city was excited by the novel venture of an institution headed by two such dynamic figures as Robinson and Beard, self-defrocked from the conventional academic life.”

Thus Alvin Johnson, also a founder, recalled how the New School for Social Research was started. During its fifty-year life its roster of faculty members include such names as Thorstein Veblen, Morris R. Cohen, Charles A. Beard, T. S. Eliot, etc. Even today it boasts of scholars of international reputation such as Erick Fromm, Hannah Arendt, Rollo May, and Charles Abrams among its faculty. Few universities can claim similar distinction.

It brought not only a distinguished faculty out of academia, but also rescued some of the scholars of Europe in its University in Exile during the thirties. Its imaginative programs in adult education have been coopied by many institutions of learning.

We in the IRP represent a new venture for an institution of higher learning to accommodate the expanding educational demands of retired professionals. So too in the establishment of the Art Center, and most recently the New School College and the Center for New York City Affairs, the school has attempted to meet the pressing needs of youth and our urban society.

Beginning this fall The New School will celebrate its fiftieth birthday. In the course of the year a series of events will bring the school to national and international attention. All of its pioneering programs of the past and present will be publicized and subjected to public scrutiny, and the IRP will come in for its fair share of publicity. Perhaps other institutions of higher learning over the country may be motivated to start programs similar to ours.

During the celebration year the school will announce the expansion plans. As a department in the School, the Institute for Retired Professionals, you may rest assured, will be included. It is my sincere wish, and I am sure this is also true of most of the membership, that The New School will succeed in its program.

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