Past Programs

Past UMRA Forums

Dean, Medical School; VP of Health Sciences
September 28, 2021 - 12:00pm

Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, will share with us the story of how the faculty, staff, and students at the University of Minnesota Medical School responded to the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented effort of adaptation, collaboration, and service.

September 14, 2021 - 9:00am

What does it take to navigate constructive relationships between the University and the sovereign nations whose histories go deep in the lands that are now the state of Minnesota? We’ll find out when we meet the University’s first senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations Relations. 

Como Lakeside Pavilion
August 17, 2021 - 11:30am

You are invited to an in-person, outdoor summer social and lunch at Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Parkway N, St Paul. 

Lunch will be provided by Dock & Paddle restaurant at Como Lakeside Pavilion. There are five sandwich or main course salad options; all include a nonalcoholic beverage.  The fee per person is $20.

The Pavilion is a covered, open-air, dining venue overlooking Lake Como. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Free parking is available in two adjacent lots, both with access off Lexington Parkway.

Questions may be directed to Bill Donohue at

For the safety of all, this event will be for UMRA members and their guests who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by August 17. 

Register by August 10.

June 14, 2021 - 11:00am

The UMRA Forum will return in September. Please check back later for program dates, times, and details.

Photo of an early summer beauty in the Lyndale Park Rose Garden in Minneapolis by Frank Busta, UMRA Photo Club member.

June 8, 2021 - 9:00am

Misinformation about the integrity of the 2020 elections has become a pretext for changes in numerous states to erode the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Join us for this special summer webinar on June 8 with John Gordon, executive director of the ACLU of Minnesota, to learn what’s at stake and what is being done to protect the voting rights of Minnesotans.  

Board of Regents
May 25, 2021 - 12:00pm

Join us on Tuesday, May 25, by Zoom to elect board members and officers for the coming year. The Nominating Committee has recruited a slate of high-quality candidates to carry UMRA forward. The election will be followed by a forum with Regent Kendall J. Powell, who will conclude his two-year term as chair of the University’s governing board in June. 

May 11, 2021 - 9:00am

Join us for UMRA A.M. on May 11 when Professor Stephen Befort, a national authority on labor and employment law, will talk about labor arbitration, with particular emphasis on police conduct cases and the potential effectiveness of proposed reforms. 

April 27, 2021 - 12:00pm

Minnesota faces deep challenges with educational equity. Professor Michael Rodriguez will help us to understand the challenges and what the U of M College of Education and Human Development is doing to prepare education professionals to meet the challenges.

April 13, 2021 - 9:00am

What is the cumulative effect of high consumption? Do we need to rethink our relationship with the rest of the world as resource competition intensifies? Professor Emeritus Jim L. Bowyer will help us to address these questions and related issues in a fast-moving presentation based on his recent book, The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise.


Past Living Well Workshops

July 20, 2021 - 4:30pm

UMRA’s late-afternoon workshop on July 20 will be a free wine tasting with U of M research winemaker and enologist Drew Horton. He will speak with us about how to properly taste wine, what it takes to breed wine grapes in Minnesota, and what U of M grapes are being used to make the best local wines today.

May 3, 2021 - 11:00am

How are your hands holding up as you age? Our May workshop presenter, Ann Van Heest, MD, is one of the U’s top hand experts. She will talk about what happens to the complex anatomy of our hands as we age.

April 20, 2021 - 11:00am

Join National Park Ranger Sharon Stiteler, aka the “Birdchick,” to learn about opportunities for birding and wildlife viewing along the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area and the huge, mysterious groups of crows circling over the river gorge between Minneapolis and St. Paul.

March 16, 2021 - 11:00am

Are you getting ready to downsize? Unsure what to do with all the files from your office? Planning to spring clean during the pandemic? Our March 16 workshop presenter, Erik Moore, head archivist for the University of Minnesota, will help us to assess the potential value of what we’ve stored away.

March 2, 2021 - 11:00am

RESCHEDULED. A weakening voice can impact one’s ability to thrive in later years. The good news is, there are things we can do to build and maintain our vocal strength, as we will learn in this workshop with Peter Watson, PhD, from the U of M Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. 

January 19, 2021 - 11:00am

Our Living Well Workshop for January, the month when people traditionally head back to the gym, will focus on building physical fitness and activity into our lives, an especially challenging task in a pandemic winter. 

November 17, 2020 - 11:00am

With people living longer than ever before, the post-retirement stage of life can be almost as long as the working years. In this workshop, Lucy Rose Fischer, author of I’m New at Being Old, and her husband, Mark Fischer, will show how these years can be the best time of our lives.

October 20, 2020 - 11:00am

Medica Chief Medical Officer John Mach, MD, will be among the presenters for UMRA's October workshop focused on U of M retiree health plan options for 2021. Open enrollment begins November 1. 

September 15, 2020 - 11:00am

Are you concerned about the safety of your digital data? If not, you should be. This one-hour presentation by U of M Security Analyst Jenny Blaine will provide an overview of cyber threats and best practices for protecting ourselves from them. 


September 15, 2020 - 11:00am

UMRA’s monthly Living Well workshops will continue in September with a presentation on internet security previously scheduled for March 11.