The University of Manitoba Retirees Association (UMRA) gained its official recognition by the University of Manitoba May 14, 2003.
UMRA is a founding member of the College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) and its purpose is to act as a liaison between the U of M retirees and the University, to encourage and promote a spirit of collegiality among members of the association and organize and promote activities for its members, and to facilitate interaction with other retiree/senior organizations.
University of Manitoba Retirees Association
Annual General Meeting, October 20, 2018
This document represents my first Annual Report as President of UMRA. Selected highlights of this past year’s activities are presented below.
A notable accomplishment by our organization is the achievement of critical mass for our endowed Bursary Fund. I am pleased to inform the membership that a bursary was awarded this past year to a deserving undergraduate student at the University of Manitoba. On behalf of retirees, UMRA made a significant donation to this fund last year to contribute to achievement of its critical mass.
The UMRA Postgraduate Scholarship Fund was established this past year and has already received donations towards its goal to recognize excellence in postgraduate research accomplishments by a graduate student at our University.
UMRA continues to sponsor the second prize in the annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition that occurs in March of each academic year. This activity strengthens our profile within the University. UMRA also benefits by having winners of this competition present their findings at the Spring Retirees Reception. Attendees have expressed their appreciation for this activity by award winners at this social event.
Retirees continue to generously support the United Way this past year, University retirees contributed $238,814 to the 2017 campaign, an increase of 3% over 2016, and representing about 40% of all donations from the University of Manitoba campaign.
Other University activities in which UMRA members participate include the Age Friendly University Program that is overseen by the Centre on Aging. The University of Manitoba was the first University in Canada to achieve this designation. In addition, we have participated in reinvigoration of a retirement preparation program that is offered from the Human Resources Department. Initial sessions for employees were begun in the Spring of 2017 and have been well received. This Program continues to evolve and provides valuable insight for employees contemplating retirement in the near future.
Members of the Executive Committee continue to meet with staff from Central Administration at the University to insure that the University regards our members as part of the greater University community. At these meetings we continue to advocate for issues important to retirees. One of the financially significant changes this past year has been the switch to electronic distribution of the Retirees Newsletter that is published twice yearly. I would like to remind retirees that all issues of this publication are archived on the UMRA webpage. In addition, we have been able to convince the University to maintain email access by retirees via the “umr” portal of the University’s electronic communication network.
Finally, I would like to thank all members of the Executive Committee and the members of other UMRA committees for their contributions to the activities of UMRA and its efforts to provide resources and assistance to its members. I encourage retirees to consider participation in the governance of our organization by volunteering for positions on committees and enlarging the vision of UMRA as an important cohort of the greater University community.
Dan Sitar, President