New School News

IRP’s 50th Anniversary Closing Celebration with Ira Katznelson

Established 50 years ago in 1962, the Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP) was  the first peer-learning program for retirees in the United States. The impetus came from a group of retired New York City schoolteachers who asked The New School to collaborate in designing a program for retired and semi-retired people seeking intellectual stimulation and ways to explore new areas of interest.

“The IRP’s cooperative learning and instruction model found a home in its earliest days due to The New School’s history of academic innovation,” said Michael Markowitz, director of the Institute for Retired Professionals. “That model is now the basis for more than 400 other campus based programs for older adults retirees across America.”

On Friday April 26 at 1:00 p.m. the IRP will close out its yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration by welcoming Ira Katznelson, former dean of The New School for Social Research and now Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University to give a talk on the American Racial Divide.

In this lecture, Katznelson the author of the recent bestseller, Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time, will explore one of the book’s central themes: the stark juxtaposition of the United States’ defense of liberty and democracy during World War II with the nation’s simultaneous denial of full rights to 20 percent of its citizens.

The celebratory event, which will be held in Wollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor, will begin with the premiere performance of a Fanfare, a commissioned piece composed by David Tcimpidis, a Mannes College faculty member, on the occasion of the IRP’s 50th Anniversary. Admission is free but reservations are required by calling 212.229.5682 or emailing

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