• AFL-CIO President George Meany founds labor studies center under the direction of Fred K. Hoehler Jr. to promote education and training opportunities for union leadership and rank-and-file members. Recognizing the potential value and importance of an education and training center to the further development of trade unionism, the Executive Council of the AFL-CIO decided to locate a suitable permanent campus for the pursuit of labor studies.


  • George Meany Center for Labor Studies, is formally dedicated and opens on 47-acre site in suburban Silver Spring, Maryland. This site dates back three centuries. At the time of purchase by the AFL-CIO in September, 1971, it was owned and operated by a Roman Catholic religious order, the Xaverian Brothers. This also marked the beginning of a program of undergraduate degree offerings. The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Labor Studies was launched through a partnership with Antioch College. This program continued for 20 years.


  • Growth of the Antioch undergraduate program and the continued development of the Center leads to the expansion of campus facilities.  Hoehler Hall is built to expand residential capacity for students enrolled in courses at the Center.


  • Robert J. Pleasure, JD, MSE, is named Executive Director of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies


  • George Meany Memorial Archives building is opened. The Archives serve as an important resource for research by scholars and members of the general public.


  • Under the leadership of AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney, the Center is authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees by the State of Maryland Higher Education Commission and became an independent institution of higher learning and renamed the National Labor College.
  • Susan J. Schurman, Ph.D., is named first president of the NLC.


  • University of Baltimore begins offering graduate degree programs on the GMC-NLC campus. These programs are specifically tailored to the needs of GMC-NLC students.


  • Name of the institution changes to George Meany Center for Labor Studies—the National Labor College (GMC-NLC) in recognition of the institution’s origins and its promise for the future of the labor movement.


  • College embarks on an ambitious campus-wide refurbishment and expansion program that includes opening the new residence facility and breaking ground on the new Lane Kirkland Center that will feature new classrooms, a distance learning center, dining hall and administrative offices.


  • GMC-NLC was granted accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in recognition that the institution meets all of the Commission’s standards for excellence and is a culmination of a rigorous four-year evaluation process.
  • Board of Trustees unanimously voted to change the name of the institution to the National Labor College-George Meany Campus, reflecting its evolution from a training center to an accredited degree-granting college.


  • Newest campus facility construction is completed, administration offices are moved, dining and conferencing operations begin, state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities become available.


  • New 72,000 square foot facility—the Lane Kirkland Center—is formally dedicated in honor of Lane Kirkland, who served as president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations from 1979-1995.
  • June – President Susan J. Schurman retires.
  • December – William E. Scheuerman becomes President.


  • College completes its first comprehensive three-year plan with benchmarks and accomplishments.


  • College is approved to offer federal financial aid.


  • January – President William E. Scheuerman retires.
  • April – Agreement is reached with The Princeton Review creating a joint venture to enable NLC to expand Bachelor Degree program offerings online through the new School of Professional Studies.
  • June – Paula E. Peinovich becomes President.
  • November – The National Labor College is reaccredited for 10 years by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education – affirming the College’s status as a degree-granting institution.
  • The College dedicates the National Workers Memorial on its campus on Workers Memorial Day.


  • January – First students begin to register for pilot phase in the NLC’s School of Professional Studies for fully online Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration, Construction Management and Emergency Readiness and Response Management.
  • NLC establishes its first Marketing and Communications division.
  • September – The School of Professional Studies programs are officially launched.
  • November – Joint venture with the Princeton Review is officially ended, and the College continues its development of the School of Professional Studies independently


  • NLC completes a comprehensive program evaluation of the labor studies program and as a result, creates four separate fully online Bachelor Degrees: Labor Studies, Labor Education, Labor Safety and Health, and Union Leadership and Administration.  The College now offers 7 programs.
  • The Board of Trustees votes to close the Kirkland Center and place the property on the market for sale.  The Kirkland Center closes in August.


  • National Labor College receives authorization from the District of Columbia to offer an Associate of Arts degree program and opens an office at the AFL-CIO.  The Associate Degree program launches in September 2013, and the College now offers 8 programs.
  • NLC enters into a Letter of Intent to sell the property to Monument Realty.
  • The Board of Trustees votes to close the College due to financial exigencies.


  • The College holds its final semester from January to April with over 300 students enrolled.
  • On April 26, 2014, the College holds its closing convocation and final commencement ceremony in the Kirkland Center.


  • 126 students complete a fully accredited National Labor College degree by taking courses at partner institutions, Empire State College of the State University of New York, and Pennsylvania State University.


  • On January 30, 2016 the College held its final commencement ceremony for all the students who completed their degrees during the teach-out.  The ceremony was held at the Conference Center of the Maritime Institute in Linthicum, Maryland.