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University of Minnesota Retirees Association.


Monthly Meeting Schedule and Speakers

UMRA’s members gather at 11:30 at the Campus Club, in Conference Room ABC, on the fourth floor of Coffman Union, on the 4th Tuesday of each month, for lunch, good fellowship, and an interesting speaker.

Meeting Reservations ARE Required

Reservation Deadline is always the Thursday before the meeting

Please phone or email your reservations and send your check payable to UMRA for $16 for each reservation to:

UMRA Reservations
c/o Judy Leahy Grimes
1937 Palace Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-1728

Or, contact her before the deadline at 651-698-4387 or

Please honor the reservation deadline date; if cancellations are necessary, please let us know by noon the preceding Thursday.

October 28, 2014 Luncheon Meeting: Dean Mary Nichols to address challenges of online learning at October 28 luncheon

Dr. Mary Nichols will address the topic: “It’s Only Disruptive If You Can’t be Disrupted: Lessons in Agility in our Online Era.”

Having spent 13 years as dean of the College of Continuing Education, Mary Nichols has been on the front line of nontraditional education. She has the responsibility for, and has helped create, a wide array of programs, many conducted in partnership with other colleges at the University, that respond to the needs of learners seeking individualized or applied undergraduate or graduate degrees, academic certificates, Mary Nicholsand education for career advancement or professional development.

She has been on the faculty of the University since 1975 and holds an appointment as professor in the Carlson School of Management. Her research and teaching specialties are in strategy implementation, leadership, and change in organizations. She earned degrees in mathematics and Ph.D. in organization studies from the University of Kansas.

Prior to becoming dean of the College of Continuing Education, Dr. Nichols served in leadership positions in the Carlson School. She was associate dean for academic programs for more than six years, leading curriculum redesign across all undergraduate and MBA programs. She helped deepen the linkages to the community through a range of education and research programs.

Since becoming CCE dean in 2001, Dr. Nichols has led her college through a period in which technology has enabled a great deal of change in the design and delivery of education. During those years, Dean Nichols has seen a number of “disruptors” that have come across the educational landscape—such as the recent appearance of MOOCs (massive open online courses).

It is important, as Dean Nichols reminds us, for some within the University to be monitoring, experimenting with, and evaluating emerging educational innovations. Under her leadership CCE has put that forward as one of its strategic priorities, aligning with the University’s strategic plan. Dr. Nichols represents the University on the national research University Continuing Education Deans group, the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, and the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Minnesota Public Radio.

We look forward to the opportunity to hear and talk with her on October 28.

— Hal Miller, UMRA President

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Living well in later life workshop, Oct. 28: Choosing where to live as we age

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is rich with housing options for an aging population. In this, the first of three workshops planned by the UMRA cares committee, Professors Becky Yust and Marilyn Bruin of the College of Design will consider and explore the multitude of housing arrangements available to retirees.

Becky Yust and Marilyn Bruin

To move from a single family residence is a major life decision, one that we face with feelings as well as logic. It is vital to “get it right” for our individual situations — circumstances that are often changing, sometimes on short notice. This first workshop of the year will focus on the important factors in these decisions: choices, costs, locations, amenities, etc.

THe workshop begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Campus Club shortly after the monthly luncheon meeting. Everyone, including guests, is welcome to attend.

The second workshop on housing, November 25, will feature a panel of volunteers—UMRA members who have made a move—who will share how they handled the decisions and the pros and cons of their moves. A third workshop on January 27 will focus on successful “aging in place” (deciding not to move and making that work).

Plan to join us for these valuable discussions, examining the factors in decisions about where to live as we age.

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Program Committee (2014-15)

Jean Kinsey (President-Elect & Chair),, 651-636-8636
John S. Adams (Immediate Past President),;; 612-925-1340
Harold Miller (President),;
Kathy O'Brien,, 612-722-8475
Richard H. Skaggs;;
Shirley Zimmerman,, 952-926-8644
Ron Anderson;;
Van Linck,, 651-490-1385
Earl Nolting,, 651-633-4333

The Program Committee is always looking for good speaker ideas. If you have any suggestions, please contact Jean Kinsey(

Clif Ware

In the final Luncheon of the year 2014, Clif Ware regaled us with wit and music that we all knew, this from "Fiddler on the Roof"


Speakers April 2014

April speakers Henry Blackburn, Carol Miller, & Jack Zipes being introduced by Ron Anderson before they each spoke about their PDGR projects


Lance Brockman presents

March 25 Speaker Lance Brockman lucidly and animatedly explained the "Theater of the Fraternity" to an attentive umra audience


Lowell Noteboom

On February 25, 2014, Lowell Noteboom very clearly explained the situation of Orchestras including the SPCO and the Minnesota Orchestra -- just weeks after the MOA lockout was settled



Bob Holt applied economic and political history from postwar Germany, Italy, and Britain to help us understand today's world at the January, 2014 Luncheon


Deborah Swackhamer

Deborah Swackhamer shared what we know and still need to know about Minnesota's water at the final meeting of 2013, November 19