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...

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:
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 - 10:00am

Learn about taking pictures (of your pictures) with a digital camera, the pros and cons of fee-based digitizing services, and flat-bed scanners when the Family History Interest Group meets in December. More …

Event Date:
Friday, December 17, 2021 - 2:00pm

The UMRA Book Club I will identify books and discussion leaders for our 2022 monthly meetings when we meet via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 17. More …

Event Date:
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:00am

Pamela Schreiner, PhD, a professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health and director of the School of Public Health’s Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments, will be the featured speaker for UMRA’s first Living Well Workshop of 2022. 

Event Date:
Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 12:00pm

Phyllis Moen, PhD, professor and holder of the McKnight Endowed Presidential Chair in Sociology, our guest speaker for UMRA’s first Forum of 2022, will talk about “encore adulthood” and how this already challenging time of life has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and societal upheaval.

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