ILEAD – The Best Social and Intellectual Stimulation in the Upper Valley

Many of Kendal at Hanover’s residents are members of the Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth. ILEAD, as the Institute is better known (pronounced as in Homer’s Iliad), is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the country. Over 1,600 members participate in a wide variety of classes, day trips throughout New England and adventures around the globe, and a Summer Lecture Series that brings leading writers, thinkers, professionals and educators to speak each week on topics drawn from the issues facing the world today. ILEAD’s volunteer-run programs, and the members who participate in them, invite lively engagement of the mind.

Recent lectures in the series “The Digital Revolution: Promise and Threat” featured such well-known speakers as Parmy Olson, Forbes  journalist and author of We Are Anonymous; Richard A. Clarke, former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism;  and David Sanger, Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times.

In addition to the Lecture Series, ILEAD provides wide-ranging opportunities to discover the region’s history and culture, including traveling to the N.H. State House and Museum of New Hampshire History and visiting Strawberry Banke, Portsmouth’s historic colonial village. Going further afield, past ILEAD groups have explored our own country with educational experiences in Santa Fe, Alaska and Washington, D.C., and ventured around the globe with extended study travel from Norway to Egypt. This fall and early winter, ILEAD groups will experience the unique culture, landscapes, and cuisine of the Basque Country and Cuba. All ILEAD trips are preceded by courses designed specifically to enrich the experience and educational value of travel.

Members who stay closer to home have no lack of opportunities for explorations of their own, with classes ranging from watercolor painting and memoir writing to introductions to birding and fly fishing; from literary discussions on Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway to political discussions on China, the Middle East and our own democracy; and from “The Anthropology of Food” to “Forensics 101,” the variety of offerings from ILEAD study leaders truly demonstrates the richness of the Upper Valley community. Participants find ample opportunity for deepening their understanding, finding new passions and meeting new friends. The fall’s course catalog had 83 offerings, so there was something to satisfy every curiosity!

ILEAD is a remarkable resource, made for and by its members and volunteers. Anyone who is interested in what ILEAD has to offer, and what they have to offer ILEAD, should contact the ILEAD office at 603-646-0154, email, or visit