2020-03 From the President: A wonderful year with more to come

Welcome to spring at the University. High school teams are back on campus and the Twins are in Florida. We will be wearing shorts in no time. 

UMRA has had a good year so far, with more to come. We met the University’s new president, got to know a couple of new regents, and partied in December. We then expressed our optimism about the U in a commentary published by MinnPost. On March 2 we held a panel on immigration, and we have three great forum speakers coming up for March, April, and May: Jon Christensen, a health economist; Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo; and Myron Franz, Minnesota Commissioner of Management and Budget. Our monthly workshops have been wonderful. 

If you have suggestions for programming, please let me or Frank Cerra, chair of the Program Committee, know. We welcome your ideas.

Thanks to board member Cherie Hamilton, who chairs the Travel Committee, UMRA members will soon be embarking on our first travel program through Road Scholar. And thanks to board member and secretary Lynn Anderson, many of our members are already experiencing worldwide travel through quarterly Armchair Traveler sessions. Lots of travel by lots of retirees.

A reminder: The University is transitioning the administration of retirement funds to Fidelity in the next few weeks. The University and Fidelity are currently holding seminars and one-on-one consultations. You can find information online at z.umn.edu/transitions-events and attend a seminar or set up a consultation. If you still have questions you can call Fidelity at 800-343-0860.

Finally, I want to thank Frank Cerra for taking over as president while I was gone for most of January. He did a fabulous job, and it is clear he will be a great president next year. 

I was in Madagascar and South Africa seeing and learning about lemurs, chameleons, and baobab trees. A giant succulent known locally as “mother of the forest,” the baobab is a unique and ancient tree. See me if you want to see pictures of the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar — or pictures of lions, elephants, and giraffes. 

It is great to be back. 

—Bill Donohue, president