UMRA returns to campus for May 2022 Annual Meeting and Forum

UMRA members (from left) Ginny Hanson, Mollie Woodbury, Becky Anderson, and Jeanne Markell were at the Campus Club for UMRA’s May 2022 Annual Meeting and Forum and happy to see each other in person. Photos: Jean Kinsey

UMRA held a celebratory annual meeting on May 24, 2022, with an in-person luncheon at the Campus Club on the Twin Cities campus. Around 80 members attended the event, and nearly 20 participated online. Outgoing President Jan Morlock welcomed many U of M special guests including Provost Rachel Croson, vice presidents Matt Kramer and Bernard (Bernie) Gulachek, and John Coleman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA). 

One reason for celebration was UMRA’s new memorandum of understanding with the University, signed by President Morlock and Provost Croson on March 1. Another was UMRA’s successful reunification with the University Retirees Volunteer Center. 

Provost Croson spoke in appreciation of UMRA’s work, as individuals and as an organization, in service to the University and our communities. She committed to maintaining a close, cooperative relationship in furtherance of our missions. 

President Morlock also recognized the work of the UMRA Zoom Team, consisting of Virgil Larson, John Anderson, Kris Mortensen, and Mary Koppel, who kept UMRA forums and workshops going during COVID when many retiree associations shut down. UMRA’s monthly programs were at least as well attended via Zoom as they had been previously. 

The election of officers and board members occurred virtually during the previous week. Morlock announced the results were unanimous and welcomed new board members Russell Luepker and Kate Maple and returning board member Will Craig. New officers include Eric Hockert as president-elect, Kristy Frost Griep as treasurer, and Julie Sweitzer returning as secretary. Morlock thanked departing board members/officers, Frank Cerra, Gary Engstrand and Greg Hestness.

Incoming President Ron Matross then briefly took the podium to thank Morlock for being “a delight to work with and for deftly bringing us through the challenges that the past year presented to us.” As an expression of appreciation from the Retirees Association, he also presented her with a gift certificate for tickets to the Guthrie Theater and a word cloud describing her leadership of UMRA. 

Morlock returned to the podium to conclude the formal annual meeting and introduce CLA Dean Coleman as the keynote speaker for the forum. Dean Coleman described how CLA has defined the skills students acquire as liberal arts majors. The student body has become more racially and ethnically diverse, but COVID created challenges in maintaining international students. The college’s Public Life Project is changing how CLA prepares students for public life and addressing the conflicts of our time. 

View the slides of UMRA’s May 2022 Forum with CLA Dean John Coleman.

The new Liberal Arts Engagement Hub in the recently renovated Pillsbury Hall has hosted many community partners who define their projects and bring new perspectives to collegiate life. 

Ron Matross ended the meeting by encouraging all to join UMRA’s summer celebration at Como Lakeside Pavilion in St. Paul on August 9, and next year’s in-person luncheon forums. 

—Julie Sweitzer, UMRA secretary

As members of the University of Minnesota Retirees Association were joyfully gathering on May 24, 2022, for their first “reunion” at the U of M Campus Club in Minneapolis after 27 months of separation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unaware of an unspeakably tragic event that was unfolding in the small town of Uvalde, Texas. There, a lone, 18-year-old gunman entered an elementary school armed with an assault rifle and shot to death 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers. As parents, grandparents, and educators, we grieve the loss of life and the loss of innocence inflicted on the surviving family members, Robb Elementary School children, teachers and staff, first responders, and members of the Uvalde community.

—Kristine Mortensen, news editor

Publication date: 
May 29, 2022
At A Glance
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Annual Meeting and Forum

Welcome back!

Campus Club, Fourth Floor
West Wing Dining Room
Coffman Memorial Union


10:45 a.m.

Check in


11:15 a.m.

Buffet lunch


Annual Meeting and Forum

Featured speaker
John Coleman, dean
College of Liberal Arts

Chicken in heirloom tomato sauce with roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and seasonal vegetables. GF.
For vegetarian/vegan option, please request when making your reservation.

RSVP by May 13

Prepayment of $25 per person.

Reserve and pay online or contact Diane Young at

Cancellations and refunds will be honored until May 13. We are not able to accommodate registrations on the day of the event.

For a discount of $1 per hour in University parking facilities, use the QR code on the back of your UMRA membership card when exiting. Credit cards only.

UMRA policy requires all participants to be vaccinated. Masks are optional.

Make your reservation today!

Unable to attend in person? Please register and join UMRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Forum via Zoom.