Upcoming Events

Event Date: June 24, 2024, at 8am

Healthy aging, mindfulness, fighting ageism, and more will be the focus of the third annual Age-Friendly University Day to be held on the U of M Twin Cities campus.

Event Date: June 28, 2024, at 2pm

Edith Wharton is best known for her stories about upper-class New York society into which she was born. Age of Innocence is her eighth novel, published in 1920 was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1921.

Event Date: August 28, 2024, at 5:30pm

Enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Jonathan Padelford, leaving from the Harriet Island dock in St. Paul, boarding time at 5:30 p.m. We will have a brief program on board by Patrick Nunnally from the River Life Program of the Institute on the Environment.

Event Date: August 31, 2024, at 11:59pm

August 31 is the due date for annual reports and updates.  Annual Reports, Toolkits, web page updates, operating document updates and archives collections are all due each year on this date.

Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 10:30am

Autumn is a wonderful season in Minnesota so plan to join UMRA at the Andersen Horticultural Library at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Kristen Mastel, head librarian and curator, will reveal its treasure trove of publications and artifacts relating to plant history, horticulture, and natural history. After the tour, those who are interested may stay to eat lunch together, sitting outside if the weather is nice. Later, you are invited to a one-hour tram tour of the entire Arboretum that includes natural areas of flowering shrubs, bogs, and forests, family garden and landscaping showpieces, and the red barn farm

Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 12:30pm

After a summer break the UMRA Photo Club will next meet September 10, 2024 in the meeting room of the Hennepin County St. Anthony Branch Library. For those interested in lunch, meet at the Great Dragon at 11:30 am. For September the THEME will be Curves


The following article summarizes the original event which is listed below the summary.

Fostering a tradition of welcome - the International Institute of Minnesota

Tue, September 27 2022, 11am

UMRA’s 2022–23 program year got off to a wonderful start in September with Jane Graupman’s presentation on the work of the International Institute of Minnesota to help immigrants and refugees begin their lives as new Americans in our state. Conference Room ABC in the Campus Club, Coffman Memorial Union, was filled with an upbeat mood, renewed energy for the new year, and excellent food. Everyone in attendance seemed delighted to be back together in person. 

The subject of the presentation by Graupman, ’84 B.A., was as timely now as it has always been throughout our country’s history. She shared a wealth of refugee facts and figures, including:

  • Almost 90 million people were forcibly displaced throughout the world in 2021 including 27 million refugees, half younger than 18. 
  • The federal government has proposed refugee admission to the U.S. in FY23 of 125,000.
  • Minnesota has resettled nearly 40,000 refugees in the last 15 years.

Graupman, who has been with the Institute for more than 30 years and has served as executive director since 2010, then described the Institute’s efforts to help refugees find affordable housing, employment, and schools.

Read about a pilot program launched by the International Institute together with the city of St. Paul to provide refugees with a guaranteed monthly income.

She concluded by mentioning the Institute’s work to develop a medical careers pathway as part of its workforce development program, a top-performing refugee resettlement program, and anti-human trafficking services that help new Americans in the state maximize their talents and become fully contributing members of American society.   

During the Q&A session, when Graupman was asked what we can do to be of help, she promptly responded, “Volunteer!” Jerry Rinehart, on behalf of UMRA and the University Retirees Volunteer Center, agreed to follow up with Graupman to seek ways we can contribute to the Institute’s work with new Americans.

—Eric Hockert, UMRA Program Committee chair and president-elect




New Americans in Minnesota

Tue, September 27 2022, 11am
Jane Graupman
Executive Director
International Institute of Minnesota

Campus Club West Wing Dining Room Coffman Memorial Union

Jane Graupman, executive director of the International Institute of Minnesota, will be the guest speaker when we meet in person for UMRA’s first luncheon forum of the 2022–23 program year on Tuesday, September 27, in the Campus Club West Wing Dining Room. Plan to arrive by 11 a.m. for a buffet lunch starting at 11:15.

There were 5.61 million immigrants in Minnesota in 2019 according to a brief history of immigration published in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. In other words, all of us should consider ourselves immigrants. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said in a 2021 demographic analysis that for the state to experience meaningful population growth in the future it will need to come from international migration. And in July, KSTP reported the federal government had told state officials there were 857 applications from Ukrainians hoping to relocate to Minnesota. People from other countries want to come here, and this will have economic implications for everyone.

Making Minnesota welcoming

Graupman, ’84 B.A., will provide a primer on facts about the refugees and immigrants in our community, the role played by the International Institute in making Minnesota welcoming, and the impact of new Americans on our local economy. Founded in 1919, the nonprofit organization provides comprehensive services to new Americans in our state. The Institute is located on Como Avenue near the U of M Twin Cities campus in St. Paul and the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

During her 32 years with the Institute, Graupman has been instrumental in creating a nationally recognized medical careers pathway as part of its workforce development program, a top-performing refugee resettlement program, and anti-human trafficking services that help new Americans in the state maximize their talents and become fully contributing members of American society.

Graupman continues to be a tireless advocate for new Americans in our community, leading the Institute through participation in more than 90 community outreach events reaching more than 4,000 individuals in the last two years.

I hope to see you in person on September 27 for what promises to be an informative and timely presentation. Reservations are due by September 17.

—Eric Hockert, UMRA president-elect and Program Committee chair