Editor's note: This issue of AROHE Matters hilights activities to help retirees be meaningfully engaged with others through mentoring and volunteering and other activities to help retirees maintain and enhance social relationships and valued personal connections.

Issue Highlights
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President's Message

AROHE and retirement organizations (ROs) at higher education institutions are dedicated to enhancing the retirement experience of their members. A key way to do this is by building and maintaining social relationships through mentoring, volunteering, and other activities that bring retirees together with people from different generations and a vast array of life experiences. Everyone benefits when retirees share their talents and time with others.

    In this issue of AROHE Matters you will learn how ROs at different colleges and universities promote mentoring, volunteering, and other forms of purposeful social engagement. These activities often serve others while enriching the lives of the ROs’ members. Research on successful aging emphasizes the importance of maintaining personal connections and supportive relationships. Some of the valuable benefits include reduced cognitive decline, enhanced physical fitness, and prevention of mental health problems such as depression.

    In September, AROHE is planning a virtual summit focusing on the value of social relationships in retirement. It will be a great source of ideas for RO programming in the service of others and our members. You can see a preview of the Summit in this issue. I hope you will enjoy reading the March issue of AROHE Matters and plan to attend our summit in the fall.

    Best wishes,

    AROHE President Roger Baldwin

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    AROHE News

    Why Do You Volunteer?

    To be contributing, to be valued, to feel connected, to belong are essential for our well-being. Sometimes in retirement these essential elements seem out of reach. At AROHE we believe that retirees are assets of society who with the right infrastructure and support can reinvent, not retire from life and tackle the urgent complex problems of our time. Because of their work and life experiences retirees from higher education have much to offer their institutions, communities, and world.

    At AROHE we do work to provide that infrastructure—work that is worth doing. Consider joining us in transforming retirement by serving on AROHE's Board of Directors or on a committee.

    Visit https://www.arohe.org/Get-Involved to explore opportunities to get involved. Or just email us at info@arohe.org with your interests and a board member will be in touch to find a great fit.

    Bill Verdini, AROHE Nominations & Elections Committee Chair, verdini@asu.edu.

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    Retirement Organization News

    Running a Volunteer Fair Benefits Communities & Retirees 

    As a retired dean of the Central State University-Dayton Campus, I worked as an Encore Fellow assigned to the Dayton Metro Library to develop a Homework Help Program. We needed volunteers to work with students. We discovered there was no central database for retired personnel to find volunteer possibilities.

    We organized and implemented a Dayton Area Volunteer Fair for Older Adults. As the Encore Fellow, I led the planning and implementation of the fair. We scheduled it to take place in May 2020, during National Older American Month, which is celebrated in May of each year. Unfortunately, in 2020, the pandemic cancelled our Volunteer Fair. The good news was that the organizations honored their commitments and held the fair two years later.

    The fair concept worked to help us locate organizations that needed volunteers and people to volunteer. We included retirees from local universities. Library staff, organizations, and volunteer coordinators formed the committee. They met once a month for five months, and then weekly before the planned event.

    We used an online exhibit request form. Organizations prepared exhibits to show their volunteer needs. We planned interviews and panel discussion from current volunteers during the fair. The library provided staff, promotional materials, and exhibit space. Every participant gained from the fair. Coordinating and funding a Volunteer Fair can be done by the retirement organization at your university.

    To learn more. contact Kaye Manson Jeter, Ph.D., at kayejeter@gmail.com.

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    Community Volunteering UBC Special Interest Groups

    One of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Emeritus College Special Interest Groups (SIG) is Community Volunteering which aims to explore, enhance, and celebrate the role of volunteering in the lives of emeriti. The group has become a hub for UBC emeriti who are engaged in volunteer work and those seeking to learn about prospects and how to get involved.

    In its first year, monthly meetings introduced participants to opportunities for volunteers at Scholars at Risk, Academics without Borders, Doctors without Borders/Medicine San Frontières, Neglected Global Diseases Initiative, and the YWCA. SIG members from a wide variety of backgrounds (medicine, science, engineering, education, social sciences, and humanities) also presented their many amazing volunteer experiences. It is breathtaking to hear the extensive and varied activities, including promotion of English and science literacy and education programs; facilitating conversations between youth and Indigenous elders; working with seniors; sponsoring and mentoring immigrants and refugees from the Ukraine, Afghanistan and African countries; helping to establish a new university in Nepal; working with women and homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side—a neighbourhood with deep and complex social problems; and participating in meaningful, often high impact advisory and governing boards.

    Almost all the groups heard from are looking for volunteers, given concern for the growing number of crises at home and abroad, as well as the severe shortage of volunteers throughout Canada. Several members of the group have connected with the above organizations and are now volunteering in interesting and valuable outreach activities.

    For more information, contact office@emerituscollege.ubc.ca.

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    Enhancing Social Connections - Clemson Emeritus College

    The inspiration for this initiative comes from a time when the former director of the Clemson University Honors College was responsible for advising applicants for Rhodes Scholarships. During the campus interviews, applicants would often be asked, “If you could have dinner and conversation with a person, living or dead, who would it be and why, and what would you like to talk about? If possible, what would you like to eat?”

    This seemed to be an idea that would be of interest to members of the Emeritus College. The first program featured four presenters and their dinner “guests”: Charles Wesley, who, along with his brother John, were the founders of Methodism; William Shakespeare; Margaret Beaufort, a 15th-century feminist who was the mother of Henry VII and was known as the “Red Queen;” and Rose Valland, an art historian and curator who was instrumental in recovering artworks stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Twenty-one people attended—six in person and 15 online.

    Each presenter was given 15 minutes to introduce their "guest" and state what they would like to discuss over dinner, followed by questions and comments from the audience. The presentations were well received by emeriti, but it was determined that future presentations should be reduced from four to three. At the second program, the dinner "guests" were John James Audubon, ornithologist and bird illustrator; Sarah and Angelina Grimke, sisters who were prominent in the abolitionist movement: and Kaiser Wilhelm II, emperor of Germany from 1888 until 1918.

    Contact: Clemson University Emeritus College, emerituscollege@clemson.edu.

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    Survey of Academic Engagement by Retired Faculty - Professors Emeriti Club, University of Utah

    Emeriti at the University of Utah make significant financial contributions to the University (over $3 million in 2022), but we knew little about their academic activities after retirement. The Emeriti Club surveyed its members ihttps://emeriti.utah.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/59/2023/12/Final-Report-of-Acad-Engagement-Survey.pdfn fall of 2023 to explore their continued involvement in research, teaching, mentoring and other professional activities. About 700 questionnaires were distributed. Of the 85 responses we received, we found that:

    • More than half of the retired faculty who responded have published a journal article, and a third or more have published a book or book chapter.
    • Around half presented at a professional conference or were invited as guest lecturers.
    • About half said they continued mentoring PhD or Masters’ degree students.
    • 40% of the respondents were engaged in creative projects.
    • About a half of the emeriti continued to consult or serve on advisory boards

    It is clear that emeriti respondents are engaged in a wide range of scholastic activities thereby contributing to the mission of the University. Emeriti deserve the University’s support and recognition of their continued accomplishments. The report includes a set of specific recommendations for central administration including increased IT support and the designation of a staff member in the AVP office to function as liaison to the Emeriti Club.

    A copy of the full report is available at the University of Utah’s Emeriti Club website.

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    Retirement Trends and Resources

    April is National Volunteer Month

    National Volunteer Month in April celebrates the impact volunteers have on our lives and encourages active volunteerism in generations to come. Most often unpaid, they generously donate a part of their lives to do the work that nobody else likes to do — cleaning up after the event, fostering shelter dogs, chaperoning field trips, or helping the librarian; there are so many areas requiring volunteers. This month, we salute them for their unwavering services to businesses and communities and hold aloft their examples to inspire young and adults towards volunteerism. NATIONAL VOLUNTEER MONTH (nationaltoday.com)

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    Eldera: Unlocking the Widdom and Time of Older Adults

    Eldera is on a mission to unlock the wisdom and time of older adults as a new natural resource for societal thriving. Our platform is designed to concurrently solve two human crises: the mental health of kids and the loneliness of older adults while healing our deepening social divide.

    Eldera has built an online service, resources and safety checks that turn cognitively healthy older adults (60+ years old) into mentors and friends for young people (5 to 17 years old) starting with connecting them for weekly virtual conversations. Young people benefit from social-emotional learning and increased resilience, while older adults benefit from a sense of purpose and community. Eldera was highlighted by MSNBC as a “Solution for Loneliness”, by the UN's AI for Good as the case study on “How to use AI to reconnect generations'' and by USA TODAY as an “Uber for Eldercare” and have been featured in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNN and our members represented Eldera live on WGN Morning News!

    To learn more, go to https://www.eldera.ai/.

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    Older Americans Month Theme - Powered by Connection

    Every May, the Administration for Community Living leads the nation’s observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). The 2024 theme is Powered by Connection, which recognizes the profound impact that meaningful relationships and social connections have on our health and well-being. We will explore the vital role that connectedness plays in supporting independence and aging in place by combatting isolation, loneliness, and other issues. Older Americans Month 2024 | ACL Administration for Community Living

    Join us in promoting the benefits of connecting with others. Free resources available at the link above:

    • Sample OAM Proclamation
    • Logos (English and Spanish)
    • Activity Ideas

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    Women Talk Money Webinar Series

    Join Fidelity’s Women Talk Money team, renowned chef and Emmy-nominated producer Padma Lakshmi, and award-winning actress and producer Viola Davis, for our Women’s History Month Series, where you’ll learn steps to start planning and saving for the future you want, so you can feel good about your money every step of the way. Free events start on March 7. Register today.

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    It's Time We Stopped Talking About Retirement

    By Michael Skapinker, Financial Times contributing editor and author of “Inside the Leaders’ Club: How top companies deal with pressing business issues”

    When my 34 years on the staff of the Financial Times came to an end, I bristled when people asked about my “retirement.” I have since discovered that others my age also resent the word. Why? First, because we dislike ageing. Baby Boomers were the generation that was never going to grow old. A second reason I resisted the R word is that I had no plans to stop working. To read more, go to "It’s time we stopped talking about retirement" (ft.com).

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    Meditative Moment

    "And though I am with autumn, my ears still echo the songs of spring. But my sadness has turned into awe, and I stand in the presence of life and life’s daily miracles.”

    Kahil Gibran, Youth and Age by Kahlil Gibran - Poems | Academy of American Poets

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    Come Join Us in Transforming Retirement

    Since 2002 AROHE has supported both institutions and individuals by transforming the experience of retirement – the preparation, the transition, and post-retirement programming – into a smooth and productive life-course change.

    To renew, join or learn more, visit arohe.org or contact AROHE by emailing info@arohe.org or calling (530) 219-1049.

    Tell Us Your Story

    AROHE members are encouraged to submit stories that reflect activities, news and events from your retirement organization and campus that highlight the value retirees bring to their colleges and universities.

    The May issue of AROHE Matters will focus on the first stages of retirement. As the time for new retirements is upon us, how does your retirement organization welcome new retirees to their next life chapter, provide them the opportunity to stay connected to colleagues, and to learn from those who have retired before them about how best to navigate the transition from full time work in the early stages of next chapter life.

    Articles are limited to 250 words. A relevant picture (jpeg or png) and web links are valued additions to any article.

    Share your story for the March issue of AROHE Matters by April 19, 2024, to Patrick Cullinane, editor, at pcullinane@berkeley.edu.

    About AROHE

    AROHE's mantra is "Transforming Retirement."

    At AROHE, we know that higher education retirees are assets of society who reinvent, NOT retire from, life; positively impact their communities; and contribute to the greater good.

    AROHE champions transformative practices to support all stages of faculty and staff retirement, their mutually beneficial engagement, and continuing contributions to their academic institutions. By sharing research, innovative ideas, and successful practices, AROHE emphasizes the development and enhancement of campus-based retiree organizations and programs which support this continuing engagement in higher education.

    Privacy policy: AROHE will never sell or give your personal information to sponsors or partners without your expressed permission. This permission is typically done as a part of an event registration where members and registrants "opt in" to receive email notices from a partner or sponsor. In this case a member or registrant's email address is provided to the sponsor or partner.

    Copyright © 2020 AROHE. All rights reserved.
    Contact email: info@arohe.org
    Contact phone: 530-219-1049

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