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The History Of ACE


For a complete history of ACE, its association with Cleveland College, Western Reserve University and continuing education at CWRU, please read “From the Trenches to Classrooms”, by Paula Coppedge, 2006, 81 pgs.

The Association for Continuing Education, welcoming men as members, was formed in 1954. Beginning in 1947 Grazella Shepherd began planning courses to be conducted by non-professionals in the living room of members. Grazella acted as a discussion leader in the early years, “emphasizing her mantra of accurate reading, creative listening, and responsible speech, as opposed to the more passive receptivity of the lecture hall”. An education committee was formed to guide these activities. With an influx of new members in 1955, the very successful Living Room Learning program became Off-Campus Studies.

The Book Sale began in 1946 as a book exchange, with local celebrities auctioning off books donated by members and friends. The annual sale and its number of volunteers continued to grow and are now one of the largest book sales in the region, attracting dealers and collectors from neighboring states. Proceeds support ACE programs and underwrite our annual contribution to Off-Campus Studies.

In 1938 Grazella Shepherd instituted a series of lectures, held each Monday in October.
In the 1970s the number of lectures was cut to two, before evolving into the annual Grazella Shepherd Lecture Day in 1978.  The event begins with two speakers addressing a topic of current interest, followed by lunch, and questions from the audience, presented by a moderator.

Book Discussion Day began as an annual event in 1962, organized by the education committee as a complement to Off-Campus Studies. This is a very popular event, providing an opportunity for careful reading and group discussion of an important literary work, selected by the Book Discussion Day committee.

The New Program Committee was formed in 2012 with the goal of inviting local writers to discuss their work; the result is the Acclaimed Authors luncheon series with presentations in June, July, and August by three local authors. The committee also organizes three tours each year to places of interest in the area. Past tours have included CWRU’s Think[box and the new Health Education Campus.

In 2012 ACE became affiliated with Siegal Life Long Learning. When the College of Jewish Studies closed its doors, an agreement was reached with CWRU for Siegal to spearhead CWRU’s continuing education programs.  They provide services to ACE, managing registration, publicizing events, and providing meeting space. We contribute to the cost of maintaining the office, and to the Off-Campus Studies program.  ACE continues as a volunteer organization, creating programs for the inquisitive mind.

President, Association of Continuing Education
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