News

Beginning Jan. 22 (2018) Wilder Services for Aging will teach a mild exercise class designed to reduce the risk of falls by improving muscle strength, flexibility and mobility from practicing coordinated movements in a slow, circular, flowing motion.

The workshop will run for 24 sessions, from 10:30 to 11:30am every Monday and Wednesday at Wilder, 650 Marshall Ave, St. Paul. It is free but a donation of $60 is suggested. No prior experience is necessary. Please register by Tuesday, Jan 16.

Publication date:
Apr 7 2018

Despite a major snowstorm blanketing the Twin Cities the day before, dozens of retirees participated in the “Meaning in Retirement” workshop following the UMRA luncheon on January 23, 2018. The topic was a first for UMRA and it soon became clear that it struck a chord among those attending. 

Publication date:
Feb 5 2018

Want to be a part of keeping UMRA thriving? The UMRA Nominating Committee is asking for names this month for officers and Board members for 2018-19. Think about nominating someone (including yourself) for one of these positions.

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

UMRA members who braved unplowed streets and parking challenges were treated to a fine presentation at our January luncheon by Vancouver native and U of M doctoral candidate Jessica Finlay, whose academic work is focused on human geography and social gerontology. 

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

A panel of UMRA members, led by Cares Committee chair Ron Anderson, shared stories about their individual journeys into retirement and what it is that gives them a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. The answer, in the words of one: “Enjoy life, do good, and try to add value.” 

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

New UMRA interest group, Finance and Legal Group (FLG), will meet February 21 for a workshop on identity security.

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

“Just thumbing through this book is enough to scare you.” See what UMRA Book Club members say about it. 

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

Join the book club members for a discussion of The Home Place, led by Judy Helgen. Members meet on third Fridays.  Contact Pat Tollefson (p-toll@umn.edu) to learn about a change of location for the February meeting.

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

The Photo Club’s February 13 meeting will feature “snow and ice” pictures. Each attendee is asked to submit their favorite snow and ice pictures. 

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

Join fellow UMRA members on February 15 for a ramen and sake pairing dinner at 5 p.m. in the Campus Club Bar. The menu features a delicious three-course meal, each course paired with a different sake.

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

If you're looking for ways to use some of those special skills you developed during your career, or to follow a special interest, URVC offers a mix of opportunities this month. Judge a middle school debate tournament, become a tutor/mentor for a young person, scan documents for a digital archive, usher at the Rarig Center theaters, or help pack or distribute fresh produce at a major food warehouse.  

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

For UMRA members who would like to get together for more than luncheons each month. ideas abound,. Special interest groups are a way of meeting with like-minded friends and new friends with similar interests.  

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

Our February workshop will feature two experts in fall prevention from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Drs. Jean Wyman and Siobhan McMahon, discussing common myths about falls and what can be done to reduce the risk of falling as one ages. They will also connect us with an opportunity to volunteer for a fall-prevention study at the U of M. 

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018

Our February luncheon speaker, Emily Baxter, is the executive director of a media-based advocacy organization that seeks to be a catalyst for conversations about crime, privilege, punishment, and second chances. And it’s her thesis that we are all criminals, although most of us don’t get caught

Publication date:
Feb 2 2018
Geospatial mapping of UMRA membership

UMRA had 646 members in December 2017.  With help from U-Spatial we mapped the location of those members across the Twin Cities, where most of our members live. People may find this useful for setting up car pools.  Using the Member Search you can find other members by city, state and zip.   View the enlarged Map.

Publication date:
Jan 30 2018

Join UMRA friends in exploring St. Paul from skyway views. A free, two-hour tour on Sunday, January 21, 2-4 p.m., features the sky bridge photo art show “Speaking of Home,” which portrays 58 recent immigrants to Minnesota. View the nearly completed Minnesota Wild hockey training center in the old Macy’s building; learn about skyways, and much more. Stay for a reception in a condo on the 23rd floor. This tour is limited to 35 persons.

Publication date:
Jan 5 2018

Due to longer life expectancy, many of us could live for 10 to 30 years after retiring, which means we could live through several major changes in interests, activities, and identities in later life. This workshop, led by UMRA Cares Committee Chair Ron Anderson, is designed to help guide our thinking about assessing and reassessing the primary meaning and purpose in our lives. 

Publication date:
Jan 5 2018

Participants in UMRA’s November workshop learned about the challenges of caregiving among older adults and the variety of services offered for adult caregivers by the Wilder Foundation in St. Paul, including Tai Ji Quan, a specially designed balance training regimen.

Publication date:
Jan 5 2018

The February book will be The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham, with discussion led by Judy Helgen.

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

UMRA Book Club members share their November discussion of Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. 

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

Many elderly people risk falling and breaking a hip as a result of poor balance. If you are at least 70 years old and not involved in a physical activity/exercise program, you are invited to participate in the new Ready–Steady program, offered by the School of Nursing. Help find the best ways to avoid accidental falls through strength-building and balance exercises. Compensation provided.

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

“Tax Planning in Uncertain Times” was the topic for the first meeting of the new special interest group, Financial and Legal Issues (FLG), led by Andy Whitman in December. Members learned about end-of-year possible tax actions and set out a schedule of speakers and topics for the coming year.

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

News you can use: Parking discount coupons are one of UMRA’s best membership benefits. If your supply is running low, here’s how to send for more!

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

UMRA November audience laughed as Steve Sack, award-winning cartoonist with the Star Tribune, talked about his 36-year career in visual commentary on politics, society, and the world.

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

Ten applications were submitted by the December deadline for the 2018 Professional Development Grants for Retirees program. The approved proposals will be announced in March. 

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters, by Emily Esfahani Smith, explains a growing new movement within psychological research that is fundamentally reshaping our understanding of the good life. It’s a very readable book for academics and non-academics alike.  

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

As the Cares Committee has been exploring alternative transportation options, they have encountered some successes and some frustrations. They invite readers to share their experiences and recommendations with others. 

Publication date:
Jan 4 2018

Three honored with 'Service to UMRA' awards in May

In 2013 and 2014 UMRA presented service awards for three types of service – Service to UMRA, Service to the University, and Service to the Community. This year the executive committee awarded three awards for Service to UMRA. All three of the awardees have served UMRA for many years in demanding positions, which required steady and consistent leadership. All three are leaving their respective positions this year. With thanks, we recognize them for helping to making UMRA the successful organization that it is.

Ginny Hanson became UMRA’s newsletter 13 years ago. Under her leadership the newsletter was redesigned, expanded, edited, printed and mailed eight months of each year. It has been one of our main communication methods among UMRA members. Ginny not only solicited all the content for the newsletter from a variety of UMRA members, but she edited it ruthlessly, making it grammatically correct, readable, and attractive. She was the photographer at most UMRA events, adding her photographs to make it even more appealing. Her former experience in University Relations Communications and Marketing proved a valuable asset in this demanding retirement position.

Every summer Ginny would “educate” the incoming presidents about their duties to write a monthly column and help solicit content for the newsletter. Attending board meetings and joining committees, Ginny has been a continuous pivot point around our communications activities.

To quote earlier presidents: Frank Miller (2007) said, “The reason that the newsletter looks so good is that publisher/editor Ginny Hanson has such an eagle-eye for aesthetic and literary infelicities. I have also consulted with her about organizational dynamics, a domain in which she has a lot of “street smarts.” Warren Ibele (2006) said, “Our Newsletter, which receives favorable comment when Big Ten officers exchange views, is the product of editor/publisher Ginny Hanson, who has patiently dealt with multiple article writers and flexible deadlines with rare good humor.”

David Naumann served on the Board of Directors for five years and has been vigorously working on the website for UMRA since 2014. Educating himself and UMRA members in how to use University software (Drupal) has been an enormous help in building an interactive and workable communication tool. Dave’s knowledge and motivation have been invaluable in moving UMRA into the 21st century. He has found expertise to help with programming and design of a website and database that works for us. His vision of how we can use the Internet to communicate with our members and the larger community has served us well. We now have an interactive website and database where we can use credit cards to make luncheon reservations and join and renew membership. His website partner, Cathy Gierke says, “Dave has worked tirelessly, and determinedly. As he retires from the board and the position of “Web Master” we thank him for his dedication to and hard work in developing our web page. We also wish him well as he watches us build on his contributions.”

Jan Hogan-Schiltgen has chaired the Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) Committee for four years. She led the charge to obtain funds from the provost’s office and coordinated the grant review process and the administration of the grants with the University’s Associate Vice President for Research. During her tenure as chair of this committee, 37 retirees received a grant. She is motivated by the belief that retirees who are pursuing new knowledge or continuing ongoing passions will not only appreciate the financial help but will produce research and writing that is valuable to all of us.

She says “The quality of applications and the diverse scholarship interests keep me committed to this small grants program.” Prior to chairing the Professional Development for Retirees Grant Program, she chaired a committee to establish a U of M Foundation account and raise money to support the grants program in case U administrators did not fully fund the program. In 2011, we raised about $25,000 from 45 retirees to use as an emergency fund.

In 2014 Jan received a “Service to Community” award from UMRA for her leadership of volunteers to open a shelter for the homeless. Jan is a true servant to her community and to UMRA. We thank her for her extraordinary vision, dedication, and service. 

Past President Jean Kinsey presents special award to Earl Nolting

In 2014 Earl Nolting received the UMRA Service Award for his tireless efforts to make UMRA a strong, vibrant organization. He had been the treasurer and a member of the membership committee. But he was just getting started. As a founding member and chair of the Cares Committee, he has helped to design and coordinate our workshops and a program for caregiver advice. It was his idea to procure sponsors so we could expand the newsletter and for many years he has arranged for the campus discounts UMRA members enjoy.

“It seems that Earl has an idea a week for ways to find benefits and activities for UMRA. While I was president I came to call him UMRA’s Energizer Bunny,” Jean said as she presented Earl with a special thank and a “reminder of how much we owe him and love him.” 

Publication date: 
August 31, 2017