UMRA Interest Groups

UMRA interest groups provide opportunity for community, fun and learning. 

Resources are available to support groups through virtual meetings, archives, continuity and communication and outreach through web, newsletter and email.  Learn about group access to these resources.

If you have a passion, start an UMRA group and share it.

Armchair Traveler

Come share the wonders of the world in the virtual company of other UMRA travel enthusiasts. We have three, 90-minute programs each year, and for 2022-23 these programs will again be offered via Zoom. Each program shares travel highlights from two speakers.  We have seen Mongolia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Germany, Hong Kong, China, Poland, the Muir Trail, Ecuador, and more.  Next year's programs will include Korea, Pavia and Verona Italy, Mt Kilimanjaro, the Cleveland Way, and Japan.  

A Zoom invite will be sent out to all More...

UMRA Book Club I

East Bank

The UMRA Book Club has been meeting regularly since March of 2011.  We meet at 2 p.m. on the third Friday of every month at the 1666 Coffman Building, which is on Larpenteur Avenue near the St. Paul Campus.  At the present time, though, we are meeting online via Zoom.

We plan our book schedule for the coming year at our December meeting.

We are eclectic readers, our books being from all time periods, fiction and nonfiction, and from various genres. Contact Pat Tollefson for more information (p-toll More...

Hiking Club

Hiking for Health and Friendship

This special interest group is for members who want to maintain or increase their fitness and enjoy the great outdoors.  What is hiking, after all, if not walking with better footwear!  Join us as we hike trails around the Twin Cities and in nearby State Parks.

Hikes will be held from April through October on the first and third Mondays of the month, except for holidays.  During the winter months (November through March), one hike a month will be held on the first Monday. Hikes will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last about More...

UMRA Book Club II: The Friendly Fourth Friday Book Club

Bruininks Hall, Skyline

We welcome new readers to join in discussing member-selected books, both fiction and non-fiction.  Currently, we are getting together on Zoom the fourth Friday of each month, except that November and December are combined and meet the first week of December due to the holidays.

  For more information, please contact either Dorothy Marden at or Maggie Catambay at

Family History

Descendant Wheel

Do you have a box or several albums of old family pictures that you are not quite sure what to do with?  Do you have letters and maybe other documents from your grandparents or great grandparents that are important to you to preserve?  Are there family stories that need to be written down for your grandchildren?  Or perhaps you just want to find out more about your ancestors and are not sure where or how to begin.

The UMRA Family History Interest Group was started in October 2020.  The idea is to learn how others have More...

Financial & Legal Issues Group

Bruininks Hall, Skyline

Financial & Legal Issues Group (FLG) is designed to permit greater depth and continuity of discussion to facilitate problem solving and resource identification of retiree's financial and legal issues. UMRA had sponsored various workshops on financial and legal issues in recent years, since the UMRA Board of Directors approved the creation of a Financial & Legal Issues Group in 2017.

Contact Andy Whitman, FLG facilitator, at or More...

Photo Club


The UMRA Photo Club is open to all UMRA members who have an interest in photography. We welcome photographers of all abilities. Most of us are struggling amateurs who like to take pictures and want to get better. We benefit from the kind help we get from each other.

We meet monthly to share photos and talk about different aspects of photography.  Recent meetings have started with “theme pictures”—club members contribute pictures related to a specific theme.  Members also share pictures of their own choosing.  Attend a meeting to find out more and More...

Zoom Techs

Sample opening slide

The purpose of the Zoom Special Interest Group is to help members understand how Zoom works and gain experience running Zoom meetings and webinars. Learning to use Zoom is analogous to learning to drive a car. There are a number of simple procedures that need to be done in the right sequence with the right timing to provide a smooth experience. Through practice these procedures become second nature. A secondary purpose is to develop a number of Zoom users who are willing and able to help run the Zoom events sponsored by UMRA.

The Zoom Special More...

Interest Group Events

Event Date:
Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 10:00am

Our next Armchair Traveler program will take us to South Korea with Marilyn DeLong, and to Japan with Kathy Jensen and Gary Engstrand.

Event Date:
Monday, October 3, 2022 - 9:30am

Join us at 9:30 a.m. for a 4 mile moderately paced hike around lakes and woods in the private conservation area of North Oaks.  We will see eagle and osprey nests and hopefully a variety of wildlife. 

Event Date:
Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 12:30pm

The UMRA Photo Club welcomes all UMRA members with an interest in photography. "Perspective" is the theme for October 11.

Event Date:
Monday, October 17, 2022 - 9:30am

Join us to hike Nine Mile Creek.  It is a 5+ mile flat hike, with mostly paved roads, along a pretty winding creek. Slow to medium pace. It is not a loop, so you can turn back early if desired

Event Date:
Friday, October 21, 2022 - 2:00pm

Mary Jane Towle will lead the discussion of This Tender Land  by William Kent Krueger when the UMRA Book Club meets via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 21.

Event Date:
Friday, October 28, 2022 - 2:00pm
Notes from the Underground, book cover

The 19th-century novel Notes from the Underground is the selection for the meeting of UMRA's Fourth Friday Book Club on October 28.

Event Date:
Monday, November 7, 2022 - 9:30am
This hike may be changing.  Stand by for updated info. 

Event Date:
Monday, November 7, 2022 - 10:00am

Matt Guttman will give a webinar on Estate planning.

Review 2021 estate planning webinar.

Event Date:
Friday, November 18, 2022 - 2:00pm

Stephanie Daily will lead the discussion of West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge when the UMRA Book Club meets via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Friday, November 18.

Event Date:
Wednesday, December 14, 2022 - 12:00pm

Todd J. Koch, CPA, MBT, CFP /JAK Partner, has again invited UMRA members to attend the year-end tax planning presentation for JAK clients.

Share upcoming events here.  Email Webmaster at  Send a short article for each event, including title, date/time, contact info and an event description.