2017-09 From the President: You are UMRA

Welcome, UMRA members, to our 2017-2018 year! As I enter—with great anticipation, along with some trepidation—my year as president, I give thanks daily for the terrific team of officers, board members, representatives, liaisons, committee members, and others who make this organization run. UMRA is an all-volunteer enterprise. We have no office staff; it has been so ever since UMRA’s founding, and amazingly, it works.

Recently the UMRA website added a 1983 report on the first seven years of the organization’s history. It makes for fascinating reading [umra.umn.edu > Announcements > Curious about how UMRA was started?]. It underscored for me how much gratitude we owe not only to our current volunteers but also to four decades of their predecessors.

All UMRA members are eligible to serve in any capacity. Our Board of Directors, for example, includes retired faculty, P&A, and Civil Service and Bargaining Unit employees, and spouses—perhaps a particularly underutilized resource. Looking back on past luncheon table conversations, I am reminded of the wealth of background and experience that UMRA spouses collectively bring. Please know that UMRA welcomes your service regardless of how you were affiliated with the U of M.

With an email in August, I have already invited members to volunteer for a variety of positions, but as this column goes to press, we still do not know the results. Please contact me directly if you might be interested in any of the following:

  • Committees: Luncheon, Membership, UMRA Cares,  Communications
  • Representative from UMRA to: Civil Service Committee
  • Discount Benefits Coordinator


Many thanks to those who are already serving UMRA, and a hearty invitation to all others.

—Chip Peterson, UMRA President, 2017–18