Monthly Forums and Workshops

UMRA's monthly programs typically include a speaker forum followed by a workshop. The schedule is below.  During this time of online programming, we have an addition to our speaker line-up -- UMRA AM, monthly at 9am. Learn more about our meetings. 

Luncheon & Forum:  11:30 - 1:00 pm (except where noted)
Campus Club West Wing   The Annual May meeting will be in person!

Living Well Workshop:  1:30 - 2:30 pm (except where noted)
Dale Shephard Room

 2020 - 2021 Forum & Workshop schedule:

Recorded meetings are available in the left column of this page.


July 20, 2021, 4:30 PM   ONLINE
Workshop & Discussion
Andrew Horton
Enology Specialist, UMN Dept of Horticultural Services
Wine Tasting  --  Those registered will be sent a list of wines to purchase

August 17, 2021, 11:30 - 1:30 PM    In Person!
Como Lakeside Pavilion
1360 Lexington Pkwy N
Lunch will be served
Registration required
Fully vaccinated individuals are welcome to attend

September UMRA A.M. 9/14/2021, 9:00 a.m. By Zoom
    UMN and tribal relations  
    Professor Tad M Johnson, Senior Director, American Indian Tribal Nations Relations, Director, Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program and Director, Tribal Sovereignty Institute at UMN Duluth  
  Special Forum 9/21/2021, 11:00 a.m. By Zoom
    Proposed amendments to the Minneapolis city charter on the November 2 ballot  
    Jay Kiedrowski, Humphrey School Senior Fellow; 
Robert Bruininks, UMN Professor and President Emeritus
  Forum 9/28/2021, noon By Zoom
    How we became a speedboat in a time of crisis  
    Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD 
Dean, Medical School,
Vice President for Clinical Affairs
October UMRA A.M. 10/12/2021, 9:00 a.m. By Zoom
    The state of the University and the Board of Regents    
    Regent Emeritus Rick Beeson  
  Workshop 10/19/2021, 11:00am By Zoom
    Making sense of healthcare insurance options  

Willis Towers Watson,


  Forum 10/26/2021, 12:00 noon By Zoom
    Climate change and MN forests  
    Lee Frelich
Director, UMN Center for Forest Ecology
November UMRA A.M. 11/9/2021, 9:00 a.m. By Zoom
    What it Means to be a Global Campus  
    Meredith McQuaid,
University Dean of International Programs
  Workshop 11/16/2021  11 a.m. By Zoom
    Cultivating Your Creativity  
    Alice Larson
Prof. Biomedical Sciences
  Forum 11/23/2021   Noon By Zoom
    Garry Jenkins, Dean, UMN Law School  
January Workshop 1/18/2022  11 a.m.
By Zoom
    Benefits of Pets  

Pamela Schreiner
Professor of Epidemiology
Director of the Center to Study Human-Animal Relationships and Environments

  Forum 1/25/2022  Noon By Zoom
    Encore Adulthood:  The Changing Life Course in Tumultuous Times  

Phyllis Moen
Professor in Sociology

February Workshop 2/15/2022  11 a.m. By Zoom

Writing with Insight and Humor?


Julie Schumacher, Department of English Creative Writing Program, Thurber prize-winning author

  Forum 2/22/2022  Noon By Zoom

mRNA technology: Potential and Misconceptions


Director, UM Institute of Molecular Virology

March Workshop 3/15/2022  11 a.m. By Zoom
  Forum 3/22/2022  11:30 a.m.
In person!

Future of Cities

Tom Fisher
Director, Minnesota Design Center
April Workshop 4/19/2022  11 a.m. By Zoom
Maintaning Vision and Eye Health
Eric Van Kuijk
Chair of Dept. of Opthamology
  Forum 4/26/2022  11:30 a.m. In person!
Homelessness in the Twin Cities
Tim Marx
President Emeritus of Catholic Charities
 May  Workshop  5/17/2022 11 a.m.  By Zoom
MN State Parks: The State's Crown Jewels
Arielle Courtney Partnership Development Consultant
MN Dept. of Natural Resources
  Forum 5/24/2022  11:30 a.m. In person!
CLA Public Life Project
    John Coleman, Dean of CLA  


See Forums and Workshops held in prior years

More about our meetings

UMRA Forums include a meal and require reservations.  Reservations for the next monthly Forum begins online the day following the monthly meeting (e.g., reservations for November opens the day after the October meeting).  There is no need to RSVP, or pay, to attend the Workshops, just come and enjoy.  All meetings are scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of the month over lunch (except November and May, which are on the third Tuesday).

Invited speakers from within and outside the University address a variety of scholarly, informative, and entertaining topics. These gatherings allow members to renew long-standing friendships with former colleagues, make new acquaintances, and strengthen a sense of connection with the University community. Reservations and a $23 fee to cover food expenses  (make reservations) are required. An optional coffee hour (no charge) begins at 10:30 on days of luncheon meetings.

Living Well Workshop: A workshop in conjunction with most of our luncheon meetings. Living Well Workshos are held in the Dale Shepherd Room, and are generally designed to be highly interactive. There is no fee for workshops, and you need not have attended the luncheon to participate. Sample recent workshop topics have included housing alternatives, financial planning, long-term care, photography, and caregiving.

Annual meeting: The final monthly meeting of the year, in May, is considered to be our annual gala social event, an expanded menu and an especially entertaining program. UMRA officers hold a brief business meeting, and the membership elects new association officers and board members to lead the next year’s activities. There is no May workshop.

Governance meetings: The Executive Committee and the Board meet most months during the academic year; other committees meet as needed.

Other: Clubs and special interest groups are informal, self-governing groupings of UMRA members who share a common interest. Our various groups can be found under Activities. Social events in addition to the luncheons are organized on an occasional basis and publicized through the newsletter or emails to the membership.