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University of Minnesota Retirees Association.


Be all you can be as a University retiree!!

With the University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA).


Next Luncheon
Nominating Committee report
Outstanding Service Nominations
The Frugal Retiree
Professional Development Grants
Senior Education
UMRA Cares
Big Ten and AROHE Conferences Summer 2014
The Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays (JOIE)
Become a Member

April 22, 2014 Luncheon Meeting

Driven to Discover: “Fairy tales, Native Humor, Heart Disease”
The Professional Development Grant Program for Retirees (PDGR) initiated by UMRA volunteers in 2009 has completed its sixth cycle of annual awards. Jack Zipes, professor emeritus of German, is a
world-renowned expert on fairy tales. Carol a. Miller, is emeritus associate professor of American Studies and American Indian Studies. Henry Blackburn is professor emeritus of the Division of Epidemiology
and Community Health in the Sschool of Public Health. Join us to learn more of their reports. See our meetings page for more information.

April 22 Workshop: “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”

Van Linck and Shirley Barber discuss the issue: we all probably have special possessions that have been an important part of our families’ lives—sometimes for many generations. When we want or need to downsize, what happens to those treasured items that may have intrinsic or emotional value? The workshop follows our luncheon on March 25 at approximately 1:30 p.m.

 See the meetings page for more details.

Invite your tech-savvy grandchild to volunteer for UMRA!

UMRA is looking to dip its collective toe into the icy, swirling waters of Internet “social media.” This would mean Facebook – at least to start, and we will need some tech-savvy volunteers to assist this effort.

Because we have had little success in finding volunteers among our “in later years” membership, we’re also looking for anyone else who is interested. Not surprisingly, very few of us are nearly as comfortable with Facebook as those who are growing up with smartphones and their “apps.”

The Communications and IT Committee surveyed members in March, and discovered some very strong opinions, both for and against social media. We think learning more about Facebook, how to use it, and how to use its privacy and security features will alleviate most concerns. Usage of any social media is always optional for individuals, and UMRA has no intention of exclusively channeling anything through it.

A knowledgeable volunteer would help establish our presence, help hold at least one training session for members, and continue to monitor issues or problems for UMRA in using Facebook. With a new website with new capabilities coming soon, key news and schedules could be shared to Facebook automatically, potentially improving our communications and supporting member-to-member communications and sharing.

Interested volunteers can text me at 612-382-9856.
— David Naumann, UMrRA Webmaster,


Nominating Committee Report

Candidates for 2014–15 leadership

The Nominating Committee presents the following candidates for election on May 27. More complete information on the candidates, the election, and the Annual Meeting will be provided in May.

Nominated for the position of President-elect
Jean Kinsey
retired in 2012, faculty of Applied Economics.

Nominations for five positions on the Board of Directors
Carl Adams
retired in 2013, faculty of Information and Decision Sciences in CSOM.
Roger Clemence retired in 2009, faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Studies.
Jeanne Markell retired in 2009, several U of M administrative positions concluding with U of M Extension.
Sherilyn Goldsmith May retired in 2009, education specialist at U of M Child Development Center, CEHD.
Donna Peterson retired in 2012, associate vice president for
government and community relations, U Relations.


Nominate the deserving retirees you know
for UMRA’s Outstanding Service Awards

UMRA’s first awards recognizing retirees for special service were presented at the Annual Meeting in May 2013. The inaugural Outstanding Service Awards went to Judy Leahy Grimes for UMRA Service; Paul Rosenblatt for University Service; and Gary C. McVey for Community Service.

There are many more deserving retirees in our midst whose service should be recognized as well. You know best who they are, so please nominate your fellow UMRA members for outstanding service in one of three categories:

1. Outstanding Service to UMRA, recognizing exemplary voluntary contributions to the organization of UMRA.

2. Outstanding Service to the University of Minnesota, recognizing outstanding unpaid work toward fulfilling the mission of the University. Examples might include:

• continuing to advise graduate students and serve on their dissertation committees;
• collaborating on research and/or writing projects;
• teaching special topics courses to nontraditional audiences, e.g., freshman seminars, summer session, life-long learning courses;
• Participating and presenting at professional conferences.

3. Outstanding Service to the Greater Community, recognizing activities that address such issues as social services, environmental quality, community health, early childhood education, underprivileged populations, immigrant services, international organizations, local government boards, or other activities that address societally important needs.

To learn more about last year’s awards, see the May 2013 issue of the UMRA Newsletter, page 4. Archived issues can be accessed on the Newsletter page.

Please send your nomination(s) —one page or less should suffice—to Victor Bloomfield, chair, UMRA Service Engagement Committee, by e-mail at Nominations should be received no later than April 30, 2014.

Awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting, May 27.


The Frugal University Retiree

October 29, 2013: Our intrepid explorer Earl Nolting has scoured the U to bring us the latest in discounts. See them on the Member Benefits page. Back

About UMRA's PDG Program

Announcing the 2014 –15 Professional Development Grants for Retirees Awards

in February a committee of retirees, appointed by Frances Llawrenz, associate vice president for Research, reviewed and recommended 12 of the 14 applications for Professional Development Grants for Retirees. Brian Herman, vice president for Research, recently announced the grant recipients.

Support the Professional Development Grants for Retirees Program

You may now directly support the Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDG) program through your directed contribution to the University of Minnesota Foundation at Your gift will support and strengthen this important program. See our Grants page for more information.

— Jan Hogan-Schiltgen, chair, PDGR Committee Back


REMINDER: Senior Citizen Education Program

The Senior Citizen Education Program (SCEP) is part of a 2012  Minnesota state statute and applies to Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU). The University of Minnesota has chosen to participate in order to provide senior citizens with higher education opportunities.

If you meet the residency and age requirements of the SCEP, you may audit courses free of charge or take courses for credit at $10 per credit. Whether you audit or earn credits for the course, you must pay any required laboratory or materials fees. To register and for more information go to the senior citizen section of the University's ONE STOP student services page. Back

UMRACares Group

Past President Ron Anderson appointed a committee to help our UMRA members deal with the loss or serious illness of a loved one. UMRACARES welcomes and needs your input when a spouse or partner or child has passed away… or if a loved one has had a life-threatening illness.  UMRACARES committee members will send personal sympathy cards and call families to extend support in these difficult times.  These lovely cards are created by photographer and Family Social Science Chair Jan McCullough.  

Further, upon notification of the demise of a retired faculty or staff member on the Twin Cities campus who is not an UMRA member, UMRACARES will send a personal sympathy card to the family.  

Throughout the year your UMRACARES committee hopes to provide you with support and resources through emails, programs and on our website on dealing with the death or serious illness of a loved one.  We will keep you posted as we move along and establish these programs.

Grief Support Groups This list, courtesy of Allina Health, has been compiled to help those who may be interested in seeking assistance through grief support goups or individual therapy.

Please notify us with this important information when you are able to do so.    Our UMRA newsletter will keep you informed on this in the coming months.  For now persons can telephone UMRA at 612-626-4403 and leave a message, email, or call any member of our committee with questions or comments you may have with regard to dealing with the loss or serious illness of a family member.   Or call us with ideas you would like to offer for the creation of this new UMRA program.   

Van Linck           651-490-1385
Earl Nolting        651-633-4333
Harriet Reiss      763-544-8016 Back

Participate in planning for the upcoming Big 10
Retirees Conference and AROHE (Association of Retiree Organizations in Higher Education) in August, 2014

UMRA will be hosting the Big Ten Retirees Associations Conference in the summer of 2014 (Friday through Sunday, August 8–10). While formal sessions will focus on the theme of “Retiree-University Synergy,” special activities will also showcase the University of Minnesota to out-of-town
participants who will be staying at the Commons Hotel.

Committees are getting under way to develop plans. if you would like to participate in the planning process and/or the actual roll-out of the conference, please contact one or more of the following committee Leaders:
Hospitality—Pat Tollefson,
Program & Entertainment—John S Anderson,
Menus—Jan Hogan-Schiltgen,
Tours—Kathy O’Brien,
Budget & Finance—Dick Skaggs,

Immediately following the Big Ten Conference, Minnesota will host the Association of Retiree Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE) Sunday–Tuesday, August 10-12. Although AROHE staffs the programming, some UMRA members will be needed to help with local arrangements. To be involved, email Ron Anderson..

—Ron Anderson, UMRA President ( Back

Current Links of Interest to Retirees

Invite a retiree to an UMRA lunch

If you know someone who is recently retired or will be soon, invite them to the next luncheon. Prospective members receive a complimentary meal, just so they can check us out! When you make your reservations, call in to tell us that you want to bring a prospective member, and UMRA will trreat them to their first luncheon program.

UMRA members launch unique digital Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays

The University of Minnesota, through the good offices of the Provost and the University Digital Conservancy (UDC) announces a new, unusual, and perhaps unique digital journal, The Journal of Opinions, Ideas and Essays(JOIE).

As the title implies, it will be a vehicle for the publication of a broad variety of high-quality articles on a wide assortment of topics that may not be encouraged by or suitable for publication in conventional, scholarly journals. It will include reviews, short stories, poems, photographic essays, essays on scholarly topics, opinion pieces, and discussions of pedagogical or curricular issues.

JOIE is managed by UMRA (University of Minnesota Retirees Association), and will be accessible to anyone with electronic access to the UDC.

The board of editors invites submissions from any member of the University community, past or present.

You may view the inaugural issue at There you will find representative articles, instructions to authors, and contact information.

We encourage you to submit articles and to read what we hope will become a popular vehicle for intellectual exchange.

— Martin Dworkin and JOIE Board of Editors Back



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UMRA membership

An application/renewal form is available here. Retirees joining UMRA for the first time get a 60% reduction in fees. This "introductory membership" costs is just $10 for a single or $15 for a couple for the first year.

For members who are sure they want to attend every UMRA luncheon, you may pay for the first seven, September through April, in advance with your membership application or renewal. The price is the same, but you don’t have to write a check each time.

No refunds are available and a missed luncheon is considered a donation to UMRA. You still need to make a reservation for each luncheon by phone or email. The price is $112 (7 x $16) for one package.

UMRA has a telephone number, 612-626-4403. Messages are checked and processed on a daily basis. Back

We hope you find this website useful and we invite you to send comments and suggestions to the Webmaster, Dave Naumann, at


Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests October 2012

Luncheon guests November 2012

March 2012 after-luncheon Workshop