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First Annual ALL Conference

November 6, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - November 7, 2015 @ 4:30 pm

Chicago skyline

Mark your calendars to join us this fall! The Alliance for Liberal Learning will hold its first annual conference on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, 2015 in downtown Chicago, IL. The conference will run from mid-day on Friday, until end of day on Saturday.

Register Now ->

This first ALL conference will:

  • Bring together representatives from key organizations advancing liberal learning
  • Increase awareness and understanding of member organizations’ missions and activities
  • Facilitate collaborations and partnerships
  • Provide professional learning and networking opportunities
  • Formulate outreach initiatives and plans for media and public relations advocating liberal learning
  • Set goals and directions for the future work of ALL

The conference will take place in the historic Jeweler’s Building at 35 E. Wacker Drive, on the Chicago River in the heart of downtown Chicago. The Jeweler’s Building is conveniently located a short walk from many downtown hotels. (Click here for a list of suggested hotels.)

The ALL conference brings together representatives from institutions both academic and outside the academy—schools and colleges with formal great books and core texts curricula, residential and travel learning programs, degree-granting and non-degree—all with a common interest in the value of lifelong liberal education.

This first-of-its-kind conference features sessions and speakers addressing a wide variety of issues facing great books, core text and conversation-based liberal learning programs in schools, colleges, nonprofits and businesses.


Confirmed keynote speakers for the conference:

Christopher Nelson, President, St. John's College Annapolis
Christopher B. Nelson
St. John’s College Annapolis
Todd Breyfogle, The Aspen Institute
Todd Breyfogle
Director of Seminars
The Aspen Institute
Eva Brann, St. John's College
Eva Brann
St. John’s College Annapolis


Click here to see the full conference schedule. Scheduled conference sessions include:

  • Understanding the Market for Lifelong Liberal Learning
  • Grant Writing, Development, and Sources of Funding
  • Conversing with the Public: Shaping Public Perceptions of Liberal Learning
  • Quantifying the Value of Liberal Learning: Assessing the Immeasurable?
  • Reading the Moving Image: Liberal Education and Film
  • Online and Distance Learning Great Books: The Next Best Thing to Being There?
  • How to Get the Word Out: Writing, Speaking and Influencing the Public View of Liberal Learning
  • Expanding the Audience: Great Books Outside the Traditional Seminar Room
  • What Does it Take to be a Great Seminar Leader?
  • Science and Math for Grown-ups: Integral or Peripheral to Lifelong Learning?


Conference sessions begin at 1:30pm on Friday, and the conference closes at 4:30pm on Saturday. The $250 conference fee includes all sessions and speakers, Friday reception and dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse, and Saturday lunch.

Conference attendees can expand their weekend visit with additional activities of interest:

On Friday, November 6 at 12:15pm, at the nearby Chicago Cultural Center, Adam Rose of the University of Chicago’s Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults will give a talk on the history of the Great Books movement in Chicago, titled “The Great Conversation at Chicago: The First 125 Years.”

And, the ALL conference coincides with the closing weekend of the Chicago Humanities Festival, with events taking place on Saturday evening and during the day Sunday at the University of Illinois Chicago and the nearby Pilsen neighborhood.

Register Now ->

If you prefer to register by phone or email, please contact us at info@allianceforliberallearning.org.