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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Collection Description

The Adult Education program in Bloomington-Normal had its origins in 1935 and the New Deal WPA, though federal support for the program ended in 1942. Adult Education continued through Illinois State Normal University until 1947. That year local Adult Education became a partnership between ISNU, the Bloomington Board of Education, the Bloomington Association of Commerce, Illinois Wesleyan University, the YMCA, and Withers Library, the public library of Bloomington. Classes were held at Bloomington High School, ISNU, the YWCA, and Withers Library. Financing came from the Bloomington Public School system, ISNU, and from the fee charged for each course. By the 1950s there was record enrollment with a geographic base encompassing 28 surrounding towns. With austere beginnings, “Adult Ed” gradually became recognized as an integral part of the community and the continuing education of its residents. Co-director of the program, Josephine Munro, retired in 1972 after twenty-fours of dedication its success.

The collection contains brochures, course catalogs, staff directories, and miscellany. An incomplete run of brochures and catalogs, 1947 to 2011, can be found in Folders 1 through 7. Folder 8 contains the results of a 1988 survey; Folder 9 staff directories; Folder 10 a staff handbook for registration; and Folder 12 a nine-page history of adult education in Bloomington-Normal. Folders 14 and 15 contain retirement memorabilia and awards for Josephine Munro who spent 24 years with the program, retiring May 7, 1972.

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