Time to renew your membership
Soon you will be receiving an email or letter inviting you to renew your UMRA membership for the 2023–24 year. We hope that you’ll renew before you get busy with your summer activities. Even better, go right now to Member Portal > Renew Membership and renew. If we get renewals by the start of UMRA’s fiscal year on July 1, we’ll have a handle on how much money we’ll have to work with next year.
If you’re on the fence about renewing, let me make a case for why you should. UMRA is all about opportunities, and this past year we offered a lot of them
- Six in-person luncheon forums and three virtual forums with talks by prominent public figures including Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon and University political scientist Kathryn Pearson
- Eight virtual living well workshops on topics ranging from bone health to taking advantage of the University of Minnesota Libraries
- A well-attended summer social at Como Park and a lovely boat ride down the Mississippi River in the fall
- A wide range of special interest groups, where you could connect with others to read, hike, and take pictures, or learn about family history, travel, and financial issues
- Easy and meaningful ways to do volunteer service through the University Retirees Volunteer Center and UMRA’s new Silver Gophers Service Corps
- Grants for research and professional development, with nine retirees receiving them this year
- Publication of articles by UMRA members in the online Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays
UMRA also advocated on your behalf. When the University announced a plan to discontinue UMN email privileges for retirees, we were able to secure a pledge that UMRA members would continue to have access to their UMN emails and associated Google workspaces.
UMRA is an all-volunteer organization that depends on membership dues. I think we provide a terrific deal for our $30 annual dues charge. I hope you agree and will renew your membership for the coming year.
—Ron Matross, UMRA president
For 2023 grant year, the UMRA PDGR Committee reviewed 10 applications for Professional Development Grants for Retirees. The applications covered a diverse set of topics and goals. The PDGR Committee recommended that nine be funded in April 2023. The recipients represented the Morris and Twin Cities Campus. The awardees and grant abstracts are listed on the 2023 PDGR Abstracts page.
In mid-July, a hacker on the “dark web” claimed they had gained access to University records with more than seven million Social Security numbers. Here’s what you can do if you are concerned about the security of your records and online identity.
Meet UMRA member Paul Ranelli, a man of many talents. His LinkedIn profile identifies him as professor emeritus, Santa Claus, photographer, voice talent, and public address announcer. Funny AND educated!
With this year’s World Series coming up soon, UMRA member Ron Matross is savoring memories of sharing America’s pastime with his son at the old Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis in the 1980s. Those were glory days for the Minnesota Twins.
UMRA members have logged nearly 200 hours of volunteer service to the University and broader community through the Silver Gopher Service Corps since its launch six months ago.
How I learned, this summer, that my great aunt, one of my paternal grandfather’s sister, was included in a fresco at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. As far as I know she is the only relative of mine who is part of a fresco anywhere in the world.
Meet UMRA member Joni Mitchell, no relation to the “other” Joni Mitchell but there is an interesting connection.
Applications for UMRA’s 2024 Professional Development Grants for Retirees competition will be accepted beginning October 1. Funding of up to $5,000 per grant is available.
Sneak Preview Days have been happening at the University for many years. This year, adding 18 UMRA Silver Gopher Service Corps volunteers put a new twist on the welcome. Who better to provide a friendly greeting and lend a helping hand than those of us who have spent our careers at the University?
One of the great benefits that come with UMRA membership is the discounted rate for parking in University parking facilities. Forgotten whether you’ve already renewed your UMRA membership for 2023–24? It’s easy to check online.
Eric Hockert and Ron Matross represented UMRA at the 2023 Big Ten Retirees Association Conference held at UW–Madison in late July. They enjoyed sharing ideas and practices with the other conference attendees, and came away with several ideas worth pursuing.
The UMRA Board has selected Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville as the location for five of our in-person luncheon forums in the coming year, in part because of the high marks those who attended last year’s forums gave the location for its food, service, and easy and free parking.
As retirees, we are all learning to adapt to a world that seems to change on a daily basis. So, the editorial committee of the Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays (JOIE) is inviting UMRA members to share their thoughts on resilience via a short essay.