The Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) program received only one application for 2021. Perhaps this is another of the countless adverse effects of the pandemic. Trying to create positive spin, I shall consider this an opportunity for us to replenish our program fund.
To date, UMRA members have contributed just over $6,000 since UMRA launched a fundraising campaign with the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) last August to raise support for the grant program. But that still leaves us well short of the $20,000 in matching funds that are available. More contributions are needed.
If you would like to make a contribution to the PDGR program, please give online through our UMF crowdfunding page, or contact Lynn Praska, UMF senior planned giving officer, at [email protected] or 612-624-4158.
In another development, there is a move afoot to encourage future PDGR applicants to include as part of their proposals a plan to provide mentorship for an undergraduate University of Minnesota student. The University has a great need for more mentors, and many of us in UMRA have more time available for this now than we had earlier in our careers.
Moreover, providing mentors for students who need them may help create incentive for the University administration to eventually restore its funding for our PDGR program. More to follow on this later.
—John Bantle, MD, chair, PDGR Committee