Join the Silver Gopher Service Corps

Service to the University and community is a key element in UMRA’s mission, and our members have frequently asked about opportunities to team up with colleagues on activities. In response to these queries, UMRA’s new “Silver Gopher Service Corps” will be making its debut in April.

The debut coincides with this year’s month of service initiative promoted by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA). Launched as a “Day of Service” in 2015 as a way for alumni and others to serve the community, this program has grown into a month-long activity.

URVC leaders Jerry Rinehart and Deanne Magnusson together with Will Craig, UMRA’s liaison to UMAA, have developed three team-oriented projects for this year.

On April 1, assisting the U’s Office of Admissions with the Future Gophers: Newly Admitted Students Welcome Day. Volunteers will be stationed throughout the Twin Cities campus to help greet and direct 2,300+ students and their families.

On April 20, we are engaging with the Twin Cities-based nonprofit Every Meal to pack take-home bags with nutritious food for elementary school students facing weekend food insecurity.

We are also participating with the Great River Greening project, which involves removing invasive species and planting native trees, flowers, and grasses. Dates TBD.

To solidify the team aspect of these projects and to enhance UMRA’s visibility as a service organization in the community, UMRA participants will have the opportunity to purchase Silver Gopher Service Corps t-shirts for $15 each.

Detailed information about these and more “Service Day” volunteer opportunities, including History Day Judging and Mock Jury Trials, will be emailed via the UMRA-MEMBERS Listserv and posted on the URVC website at urvc.umn.edu.

You can also go to the UMAA website for information about Minnesota, national, and international volunteer opportunities during the month of April. Search for Day of Service and, if you register to volunteer, please indicate that you are a “University Retiree” (if applicable) and UMAA will tally our participation.

Questions? Contact Jerry Rinehart at [email protected]du, Deanne Magnusson at [email protected], or Will Craig at [email protected].



This year’s election of UMRA officers and new board members will be conducted via an online poll from May 15 to 19, with the results to be announced at our annual meeting on May 23. Also on the ballot will be a vote to amend the UMRA bylaws.


Nearly 20 members of UMRA’s Silver Gopher Service Corps met as a team in mid-April to pack food for school children facing food insecurity at home in Minnesota. The food-packing event, held at the Every Meal Volunteer Center in Roseville, was superbly organized. It felt “good to be involved in a worthy cause,” said Clif Ware, one of the volunteers.


The UMRA Member Portal, also called our member database, is where you will make reservations for upcoming events, and renew your membership.  Beyond those functions, the portal has additional resources that you may find helpful.  


Applications for UMRA’s Professional Development Grants for Retirees will be posted on the UMRA website this summer. It is an annual competition open to all U of M retirees, with applications accepted from October 1 to December 31.


An enthusiastic group of stalwart retirees trudged through snow, ice, and wind to greet future students and their families on the University’s first-ever Newly Admitted Students Welcome Day, hosted by the Office of Admissions.


Soon you will be receiving an invitation to renew your UMRA membership for the 2023–24 year. UMRA is an all-volunteer organization that depends on membership dues to provide a wide range of opportunities and other benefits to its members. We hope you’ll renew before you get busy with your summer activities.