AARP Joins with Fathom to Bring Online Learning to Members

July 25, 2001

AARP has joined with Fathom, the e-Learning company created by the world’s leading educational and cultural institutions, to bring online learning and courses to AARP’s nearly 35 million members. Through a new learning area available on the AARP website at, the AARP will feature courses and free seminars from Fathom’s international network of universities, museums, and libraries.

Working with Fathom, AARP has created four broad topic areas for its AARP Online Learning offering: technology and science, arts and humanities, history and perspectives, and personal management. Each topic area will contain a variety of learning experiences from Fathom, from free content to paid courses available for academic credit. Fathom offers a 5% discount to AARP members on any course requiring an enrollment fee. Many Fathom seminars are free, and courses may range from $50 to $500.

Examples of content and courses available through Fathom to AARP members include a free seminar from Columbia University on Women’s Health, a free video lecture given by Nelson Mandela at the London School of Economics, a free seminar from the New York Public Library on Mapping the West, and an online course from the University of Washington on Press & Politics in the U.S.

“The number of our members who are interested in online learning is growing,” notes Laura Rossman, director of New Product Development for AARP Services, Inc. “With this continued growth, we felt that AARP could be in the position to meet those needs by partnering with top educational providers in the online space. The high caliber of Fathom’s network allows us to provide our members with an excellent opportunity to further their educational interests and goals.”

“Our member institutions and course providers have created rich, interactive learning experiences to meet the demands of a growing audience of lifelong learners,” said Ann Kirschner, Fathom’s CEO. “We are very pleased to have worked collaboratively with the AARP on this initiative since its inception. This relationship will allow us to continue to learn about the needs of this very important online audience, and in turn provide feedback to our experts at leading universities, museums, and libraries. This is an important milestone for the development of online learning in general.”

About Fathom Knowledge Network

Fathom ( is the leading source for online education, professional development and lifelong learning. Fathom brings together lectures, interviews, articles, and exhibits by faculty and experts from some of the world’s leading universities, libraries, museums, and disseminators of research. Fathom’s member institutions include founding partner Columbia University, as well as the London School of Economics and Political Science, Cambridge University Press, The British Library, The New York Public Library, The University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, American Film Institute, RAND, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, and The Natural History Museum. Online courses and seminars representing the best in online education are available through Fathom’s broader network of top course providers.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over. AARP provides information and resources; advocates on legislative, consumer, and legal issues; assists members to serve their communities; and offers a wide range of unique benefits, special products, and services for members. These benefits include AARP Webplace at, Modern Maturity and My Generation magazines, and the monthly AARP Bulletin. Active in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP celebrates the attitude that age is just a number and life is what you make it.