About Us

As part of a study to determine effective means of “continuing education”, the Ford Foundation Fund for Education in 1955 established, in Pasadena and nine other areas, centers for adult continuing education through discussion-study using lay leaders instead of professional teachers.  These centers were funded for three years and then left to their own resources.  Of the original ten, only the Pasadena Center is still operating independently.  The others were disbanded or absorbed into local universities.  So successful was the experiment that when the Fund terminated its support in 1959, the Pasadena Area Liberal Arts Center (PALAC) continued as a non-profit educational corporation 501(c)(3).  Circumstances were such that in 1971 the paid director position was eliminated and the organization continued with an all volunteer staff.

Since that time PALAC has operated on a small budget, maintained only by participant fees, memberships and donations.

PALAC is governed by a Board of Trustees.

Co-Presidents Fran Blackwell and Carolyn Karpin
Vice President Bill Butler
Secretary Sue Hogan
Treasurer Bob Diller

Board of Trustees:
Fran Blackwell, Bill Butler, Jane Crane, Bob Diller, Becky Farmer, Robert Gorski, Brice Harris, Susan Hershman, Sue Hogan, Carolyn Karpin, Nancy Shannon, Betty Sirri, Susan Trauger, Coralie Whitcomb, and David Whitcomb.

Committee Chairs:
Annual Meeting – Bill Butler
Leadership – David Whitcomb
Leadership Dinner – Fran Blackwell
Membership – Jane Crane
Office Volunteers – Linda Centell
Programs – Audrey Vaughan
Retreat – Bill Butler
Safaris – Robert Gorski
Social – Nancy Shannon
Social Secretary – Carolyn Karpin