We just concluded an eventful and exciting year for our Association. Under the capable direction of past president, Jim Griesen, we achieved several important goals. The first was to host the first Big Ten Retirees Association conference. By all accounts this conference was extremely successful. A second milestone for our association was an expansion of our membership to include all official retirees of UNL. This action resulted in expanding our potential membership and necessitated a change in our name from the UNL Emeriti Association to the UNL Emeriti and Retirees Association. A heartfelt thanks goes to Jim Griesen for his excellent leadership this past year.
I am pleased to welcome you to another year of interesting and enjoyable activities for association members. Our president-elect, Rita Kean, has developed a wonderful array of speakers for spring semester, starting in January with The Evolving Role of the Nebraska State Museum. Dr. Susan Weller, director of the museum, will be our special guest. In February our attention will turn to athletics with Shawn Eichorst speaking as the director. March and April will be focused on newly published books. Joe Starita, will discuss his book in March, A Warrior of the People, which is about America’s first Native American doctor. Robert Diffendal will follow in April, focusing on Great Plains Geology.
In addition to our luncheon meetings/speakers there will continue to be coffee house chats, international discussions, campus tours and holiday celebrations.
So far, as a result of the expansion of membership, nine new collegial members have been approved by the Board, including James Guest, University Health Center; Earl Hawkey, Registration and Records; Glen Schumann, University Housing; Vi Schroeder, University Communications; James Yankech, University Health Center; Aldine Harmon, College of Education and Human Sciences; Judy Hofeldt, College of Education and Human Sciences; John and Patricia Staver, Professors Emeriti from Purdue. Please welcome these individuals as you see them at our meetings and activities. If you would like to recommend collegial members who have officially retired from UNL or emeriti from other institutions living in the Lincoln area, please send me their names, affiliation, and contact information.
During our annual retreat, board members agreed to an ambitious program of work for 2017. In addition to our on-going activities, the major goals for 2017 are as follows:
- Continue to explore a partnership with the Alumni Association
- Develop a new brochure for the association
- Revise operating procedures to reflect the changes in by-laws
- Investigate service given by members to the (1) University and (2) community
- Investigate new award possibilities and establish new awards appropriate for our association
- Continue to identify potential collegial members and invite them to become members
I look forward to working on these goals with the Board and our membership. I encourage you to communicate any ideas you have that will strengthen and improve the association.
Julie Johnson, President