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Alexander N. Charters
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8/28/2018 at 5:04:54 PM GMT
Posts: 8
Alexander N. Charters

Fond Memories

by a friend and colleague - John A. Henschke

Alexander N. Charters died on the night of August 7 2018 during his sleep, just a couple of weeks short of his 102nd birthday.  He was one of Adult Education's 'icons'; a very prominent mover, shaker and important force in our field.  He served for a number of years prior to his retirement as Vice-President of Continuing Education at Syracuse University, New York.  Alex was present, active or served as an officer, and visible when any adult education organizations in the USA or around the globe held annual or periodic conferences.  (These included at least:   American Association of Adult and Continuing Education [AAACE], University Professional Continuing Education Association [UPCEA]; Association for Continuing Higher Education [ACHE]; International Society for Comparative Adult Education [ISCAE]; UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning [UIL]  International Council of Adult Education [ICAE]; Commission on International Adult Education [CIAE] of AAACE; Commission of Professors of Adult Education [APCE]; etc.)  My first connections with Alexander was in DC, September 1986, and Hollywood, FL at AAACE in October 1986, when I carried his baggage from one hotel to another, since even back then he had heart problems.  

Dr. Alexander N. Charters’ leaves a most lasting legacy to our field in his “Charters Library in Adult and Continuing Education” at Syracuse University, which has the world’s largest collection of adult and continuing education materials.  Adult Educators from around the globe may research and learn there (with some funding support from Alex and Margaret-his wife) for decades, perhaps centuries to come.

The Field Abundantly thanks you both,                                                                            Alexander and Margaret Charters 

Last edited Tuesday, August 28, 2018
1/14/2020 at 11:48:11 PM GMT

I collected the documents on the history of adult education a few years ago at the Syracuse University Library. I saw plenty of the historical documents which recorded the important leadership roles that Dr. Charters played in the field of adult and continuing education, and how he interacted with the professionals and policy makers nationally and internationally. Later, I had a chance to interview Dr. Charters. I was impressed by the adult education activities he described in the 1930s, which were more immersed in the community and in daily life.

I saw Dr. Charters and his wife Margaret Charters in person several times at AAACE conferences and I had pleasant talks with both of them. It seems as if this had just happened yesterday. He had an incredible life time, almost attaining the age of 102 years old! I believe many of us have benefited or will be benefited by the legacy he left.


Bo Chang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Adult and Community Education
Department of Educational Studies
Teachers College (TC), Room TC831
Ball State University
2000 University Avenue
Muncie, IN 47306-0610

Last edited Tuesday, January 14, 2020
1/14/2020 at 11:48:13 PM GMT

Last edited Tuesday, January 14, 2020
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