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 2021-22 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. 

A Zoom invite will be sent out to all UMRA members via email a couple of weeks before each program.  For now, mark your calendars for 10-11:30 a.m. on More...

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 Fun and Fitness

One of the few safe ways to connect with people during this COVID time is outdoors. Join us as we hike around Minnesota.

In keeping with UMRA policies, all hikers must be vaccinated (and boosted if eligible) against the Covid virus.

During the winter months, we will organize one hike a month, on the second Monday. Beginning in April 2022, the UMRA Hiking Club plans to hike twice a month, on the second and fourth Mondays. Hikes will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last about two hours. More...

Book Club II: The Friendly Fourth Friday Book Club

Bruininks Hall, Skyline

The UMRA Book Club II is new and we welcome new readers.  We meet at 2 p.m. on the fourth Friday of every month except December.  At the present time, we are meeting online via Zoom.

We expect this club will be eclectic readers, fiction and nonfiction, although we are just learning what we will be. Contact Dorothy Mardan <> or Margarat Catambay <> for more More...

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

In 2017, the UMRA Board of Directors approved the creation of a Financial & Legal Issues Group (FLG). UMRA had sponsored various workshops on financial and legal issues in recent years. 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 members interested in attending and/or contributing experiences or resources are welcome to contact Andy Whitman, FLG facilitator, at awhitma 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 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:
Monday, May 23, 2022 - 9:30am

Please join us for a special event hike and outing on Monday, May 23 at Franconia Sculpture Park at 29836 St. Croix Trail N, Shafer MN 56074, near Taylors Falls.  You must sign up online for this hike.

Event Date:
Friday, May 27, 2022 - 2:00pm

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is the Fourth Friday Book Club selection for its meeting on May 27 via Zoom. More …


Event Date:
Monday, June 6, 2022 - 9:30am

Join us for a brisk 3 to 4 mile walk on Monday, June 6th at the U of M St. Paul Campus. We will be walking mostly on level sidewalks although we may encounter some gravel roads too. There will be some hills and steps along the way. At the end of our walk, we will stop for ice cream at the St. Paul Student Center.  

Event Date:
Monday, June 20, 2022 - 8:30am to 2:00pm
Age-Friendly University Day, logo

Mark your calendars and register for the inaugural Age-Friendly University Day to be hosted by the University of Minnesota Age-Friendly University Council on June 20 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the East Bank of the Twin Cities Campus. More …

Event Date:
Friday, June 24, 2022 - 2:00pm

Sociologist and author Arlie Russell Hochschild travels the deeply conservative Louisiana bayou country in her 2016, but still timely, exploration of contemporary American politics. More …

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