In 1998, a small group of Sun Lakes residents began working with Chandler-Gilbert Community College to establish a learning-in-retirement program for mature adults who shared a curiosity and desire for learning.
In November 1998, a few sample classes were presented, and charter memberships were offered the following month. The college provided various support services over a three-year period of time (1999-2001). New Adventures gradually assumed responsibility for all external expenses after the three-year period.
The first semester of classes with paid memberships started in January 1999. For the next decade, New Adventures presented two semesters of classes each year.
After three years of well-attended "Summer Sampler" programs, open to members and non-members alike, New Adventures added a two-month Summer Semester in 2010. It continues to provide academic and social relief from the heat each summer.
The small size of Sun Lakes Center classrooms inhibited membership growth in the early years. In 2006, CGCC added a second story to the Center, providing modern, spacious classrooms, including one seating 80 students. The expansion, which opened in early 2007, enabled New Adventures to double its membership within two years.
New Adventures has been successful because of two critical factors–academic support and the organization's system of volunteers. The steadfast support and encouragement of Chandler-Gilbert Community College has been invaluable. Large numbers of volunteers put in hundreds of hours of service each semester to ensure the program runs smoothly and fulfills its promise of providing a self-governing, self-sustaining community of lifelong learners.