2019-10 From the President: Cause for celebration

The 2019–20 academic year is off to a good start. The University inaugurated President Joan Gabel, who gave a thoughtful and rousing speech from the steps of Northrop Auditorium, setting forth her vision and priorities for the University. (President Gabel’s remarks start at 2 hours 12 minutes into the YouTube video of the ceremony.)She will speak to UMRA for our November 19 Forum in the West Wing of the Campus Club.  Mark your calendars now and be sure to plan to attend. Let’s give her a rousing welcome!

Save the date: December 17 

Among the highlights of a special UMRA board meeting in August, we decided to hold an UMRA Holiday Reception on December 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the West Wing. Be sure to mark that date in your calendars, too. The party will be for members and guests to celebrate and have fun together during the holiday period. There will be heavy appetizers and a cash bar, plus some entertainment, including music; an opportunity to make predictions of future events; and anything else we can think of that will help us to have a good time. If you have any suggestions for the party, please send them to Frank Cerra, our Program Committee Chair, or me. The cost will be $25 per person. 

Meetings with regents. The UMRA Board also decided to work on our relationship with the Board of Regents to see if we can strengthen our ties and make the regents better aware of our support and concerns. We’ve proposed holding a series of coffees with the four regents who were elected by the legislature last year. Our hope is to get to know the new regents, to learn what inspired them to become regents, and to make them aware of the large reservoir of wisdom that exists within the ranks of University retirees. We will announce the time and location for these interactions as they are planned. 

Sponsorships. The UMRA Board also agreed to seek increased sponsor support for our programs and events. Happily, we were able to convince Beverly Moe, a member, to take on this assignment from Earl Nolting, an icon of UMRA. She has enthusiastically engaged with our established sponsors, attracted some new sponsors, and already increased our sponsorship support significantly. The board has asked UMRA’s Communications and Outreach Committee to develop a sponsorship policy that will reflect our comfort level regarding whom we approach. I can report that many other Big Ten retiree associations have large and extensive sponsorship programs.

—Bill Donohue, UMRA president