|A history of success: Retirees’ Association and United Way|
|Posted Thursday, June 7, 2012 11:00 AM|
|When Edward Kennedy, 2011 campaign chair for United Way of Winnipeg, wrote to thank the university for its outstanding effort in the recent campaign, President Barnard echoed his sentiments by thanking the university community.|
It’s hugely significant that of the nearly $540,000 contributed by U of M faculty and staff to the campaign, about a full quarter of that amount — over $125,000 — was donated by members of the Retirees’ Association (UMRA).
“The impressive contribution of the University of Manitoba Retirees Association to the United Way clearly demonstrates the generosity of our former staff and the vital and close connections they have maintained with our community of learning, discovery and engagement,” says President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard.
Current chair of the Retirees’ campaign for the United Way campaign Brian Macpherson notes that, in fact, the Retirees’ Association traces its own history back to the university’s involvement in the annual campaign.
The formation of the Retirees’ Association
In early 1996, John Mundie became the retirees’ representative on the University of Manitoba United Way Campaign, replacing John Steele.
He had retired in 1995, and when Emoke Szathmáry was appointed as president and vice-chancellor of the university, she expressed her interest in bringing retirees into closer contact with each other and the university, based on her experience with other universities. She sponsored the first President’s Reception for Retirees, which took place on the Bannatyne campus with William Norrie as guest speaker.
Meanwhile, Mundie had brought together several other retired persons who had served in various positions at the university, including Helen Glass, Bob Hudson, John Markham, Vera Moroz, John Steele, Steve Stothers and Edith Williams. Bernice Furlong joined the group later in the year.
The group took on the name Retirees’ Committee.Bob Raeburn, director of university relations division at the time, worked on the task of exploring how the group could be further connected with the university. Eventually the arrangement provided retirees with a direct link to the university, its administration and resources.
“It was a way of maintaining retirees’ connection to the university,” says Mundie, “but it was also a way for retirees to stay in touch with one another.”
In 2004, the association drafted its constitution and was recognized by the university as having official status after its members went on to establish a national association (College and University Retiree Associations of Canada, or CURAC) alongside the local one.
According to its mandate, the purposes of the UMRA are: to act as a liaison between the retirees and The University of Manitoba; to promote and defend the interests of retirees in the pension and benefit plans of the University; to encourage and promote a spirit of fraternity and unity among the members of the Association, and to provide a means for continuing the associations which members enjoyed as employees of the University; to organize and promote recreational, educational, and other events of benefit to members; and to facilitate interaction with other retiree/seniors organizations.
The President’s Reception for Retirees has continued to be sponsored by the president’s office to this day. The 31st annual reception was held on Saturday, April 14 in Marshall McLuhan Hall at the Fort Garry Campus. President and Vice-Chancellor David Barnard provided an update on events and developments at the university, and speaker Jerry Gray, former dean of the I. H. Asper School of Business and current chair of the Board of The Friends of Upper Fort Garry presented “Building a Future For Upper Fort Garry.”
The bi-annual reception provides retirees, their spouses or partners and survivors of former faculty and staff an opportunity to maintain their connection with each other and the university.
The fall President’s Reception will be held at the Fort Garry Campus on October 13, 2012. The annual meeting of UMRA will also be held at this time.
|For more information, contact:|
Mariianne Mays Wiebe
Editor, The Bulletin
Marketing Communications Office
Phone: (204) 474-8111
Fax: (204) 474-7631