by Harry Dennis - Emeritus
Arizona's commitment to lifelong learning covers a span of forty three years through the dedication of teachers, the Department of Education, social organizations and lay persons throughout the state. In 1966 the Arizona Adult Education Association (AAEA) began with a membership of 18 people. By 1969 that number had grown to 104, and inroads were being made to bring the joy of learning to remote areas of the state, as well as its towns and cities.
By 1977, under the presidency of Richard Bunning, the AAEA secretary, Miriam Rooney, was instructed to purchase the first gavel for the organization. At that time, membership dues were $5.00 per year. In 1978 the AAEA quarterly newsletter began, and President Pat Dunford called for 1,000 copies of the first brochures to be printed. In 1979 the treasury report on Valentines Day indicated a balance of $310.00. Adult Education in Arizona was growing.
At the same time, other more specialized education groups had come into being: organizations such as Arizona Continuing Education, and Arizona Community Education. In the late 1980's, these associations, along with AAEA, came together to form the Arizona Association for Adult, Community, and Continuing Education (AACCE). This organization flourished and served as a unified state association until 1994 when, by its own accord, it was dissolved to become the present-day Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning (AALL). This was officially recorded with the Arizona Corporation Commission on February 23, 1994.
The Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning today welcomes and supports all individuals and organizations who join in pursuing its endeavors toward fostering the acquisition of knowledge and the joy of intellectual development.