Jul. 23—The Academy for Lifelong Learning and the McGrath Computer Learning Center merged to create the Center for Lifelong Learning on Friday morning at USC Aiken.
The school held a ceremony for the signing of the merger document.
"Aiken has a really vibrant community of people who want to continue to stay knowledgeable and continue to learn — both retirees and non-retirees — and these two organizations have been servicing the same population so the merger is a natural one," said Paul Crook, the executive director of external programs at USC Aiken. "These are vital continuing education programs in the community and it's a big part of the university's mission to serve the community."
The idea of the merger came from Karen Edgington, the former executive director for external programs and continuing education. She believes the merger is a "win-win" for the community, university, staff and leaders in both groups.
"After being the director for a few years, I noticed there were similarities between the groups as far as resources," Edgington said. "I felt like it was the best decision for the department to merge the groups so we could run more efficiently and more effectively."
With the merger comes a new executive board. Wayne Rickman will serve as the new president of the Center for Lifelong Learning.
"If you don't continue learning then you're not growing," Rickman said. "We have a lot of interesting people in the Aiken area who are interested in continuing to learn various topics."
The Center for Lifelong Learning will offer general interest classes from opera to Aiken history and technology courses covering Windows 10, iPhones, iPads and home security, to name a few. The classes are available for adults in the Aiken community.
Rickman said the program offers lecture-style courses and technical courses that are more hands on. A catalog will be available at the open house, which is scheduled for Aug. 17 in Room 134 of the Business and Education Building.