Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education

Editor's note: This issue of AROHE Matters highlights how retirement organizations and others help new retirees learn about the array of opportunities that lie before them in retirement and the multiple ways involvement can enhance this new life chapter.

Issue Highlights
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President's Message

One of the most important missions of higher education retirement organizations (ROs) is to ease the transition from employment to retirement. This transition is usually a gradual process that occurs over months or years rather than at a one-time event like a ceremony or celebration. Adjustment to retirement is complex, especially in higher education where people identify closely with their work and want to maintain purposeful engagement once they leave full-time employment. 

    Retirement organizations can play a critical role at this time of transition and help new retirees learn about the array of opportunities that lie before them in retirement and the multiple ways involvement in an RO can enhance this new phase of life.

    This issue of AROHE Matters shares examples of what ROs in various parts of North America are doing to welcome new members of their institution’s retiree community. The articles offer ideas for reaching out to potential new members and inviting them to get involved. Some organizations share constructive ideas for navigating the challenges of this new and uncharted phase of life. Others suggest ways to help recent retirees stay connected with colleagues and even find potential new friends who may share a hobby, possess a mutual desire to continue serving, or have common goals to acquire new knowledge or learn a specialized skill.

    The best ROs enrich the lives of retirees. The initial task is to find ways to reach out to new retirees and invite them to get involved. The articles in this AROHE Matters may help your RO to discover new ways to fulfill that mission.

    Best wishes,

    AROHE President Roger Baldwin

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    AROHE News

    Social Relationships: Key to a Happy & Successful Retirement

    Eric Hockert, AROHE Board Member, AROHE Summit Chair, and

    University of Minnesota Retirees Association President

    Mark your calendars for AROHE's free virtual summit on September 18, 2024, 10 a.m. PDT. Registration will open in early July.

    Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad from Brigham Young University (BYU) will enlighten us with her expertise on the vital role of relationships in enriching social connections, addressing the prevalent issue of loneliness among older adults and retirees. As a distinguished professor of psychology and neuroscience, she leads the Social Connection & Health Lab at BYU and serves as the founding scientific chair and board member for both the U.S. Foundation for Social Connection and the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection. In her recent TED Talk, she emphasized, "It’s time we prioritize our relationships like our life depends on it, because it does."

    In May 2023, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory titled "Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation," shedding light on "the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection in our country." Even predating the COVID-19 pandemic, around half of U.S. adults reported experiencing measurable levels of loneliness. Disconnection profoundly impacts mental, physical, and societal well-being. Research reveals that loneliness and isolation elevate the risk of developing mental health issues, with the absence of connection paralleling the mortality risk of daily smoking.

    We hope you will join us to engage in this critical discourse, followed by a panel discussion featuring retired faculty and staff from across the U.S. and Canada. Together, we will explore avenues to foster joy and purpose in the next chapters of our lives post-full-time employment.

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    Why Should You Volunteer? Its Surprising Benefits

    Bill Verdini, AROHE Past President and Nominations & Elections Committee Chair

    An article that I recently read on the benefits of volunteering provides some answers. According to authors Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and Lawrence Robinson, volunteering can help you make friends, learn new skills, advance your career, and even feel happier and healthier. Opportunities abound at AROHE to do all those things.

    We are assembling a Nominating & Elections Committee that will recruit and nominate individuals for AROHE Board positions. Our bylaws require that two members of the committe be from the AROHE membership who are not members of the Board of Directors. Are you, or do you know someone, who may be interested?

    We will be recruiting individuals to serve as president-elect, treasurer, and secretary of AROHE and as board of director members-at-large once the committee members are appointed. Are you, or do you know someone, who may be interested?

    We always value your support for our committee work, almost all of which is virtual. Visit to explore opportunities to get involved. Or just email us at with your interests and a board member will be in touch to find a great fit.

    I close with a final question, "Why do I want you to volunteer?" Because AROHE cannot transform retirement and our world without you! If you or someone you know is interested in joining the AROHE cause, contact me.

    Bill Verdini, AROHE Nominations & Elections Committee Chair,

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    Retirement Organization News

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
    "Creating a Life You Love In Retirement" 

    The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill offers a seminar titled, “Creating a Life You Love in Retirement” as part of the Retired Faculty Program. It was co-founded by UNC’s Retired Faculty and Professionals Association and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, which administers and hosts the program as part of its efforts to support and empower faculty at all stages of their careers. The Retired Faculty Program is tailored specifically to meet the unique challenges of retiring from the academy.

    Each spring, retiring or recently retired faculty members meet weekly for conversation and lunch for eight weeks. Two co-leaders, veterans of previous iterations of the seminar, facilitate. The syllabus for the seminar is posted to the university’s Canvas site. Weekly readings, ranging from relevant newspaper articles to full-length books inspire writing assignments, which are then shared in discussion. Included in the readings and as a continuing resource is the much-praised UNC Faculty Retirement Planning Guide.

    Topics undertaken in the readings and writing assignments examine the practical and encourage the creative aspects of retirement: leaving one’s office and department, the continuing of research careers and professional associations, financial and household management, undertaking new recreational activities and service opportunities, aspirational travel and adventure, and, looking ahead, preparing for issues to be faced in final years.

    The seminar concludes with a celebratory dinner at a local restaurant. Cohorts have chosen to meet regularly in subsequent months and years to continue in fellowship.

    For more information about the IAH Retired Faculty Program, please visit our website or contact us at

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    Life in Early Retirement for UBC Emeritus College Members

    Rites of passage are important, as is support in the early phase of retirement. At the University of British Columbia (UBC), we address this in a number of ways. The president of UBC hosts a celebratory reception for newly retired emeritus faculty members. They are congratulated, receive a warm welcome to the UBC Emeritus College, and are encouraged to maintain a rewarding connection to UBC.

    All new members of the Emeritus College receive a letter of welcome which contains information about the College, useful e-links and an invitation to actively engage. We learn about members’ interests when they complete the Membership Information form.

    New retirees are provided with opportunities to hear the stories of recently retired colleagues who have embarked on different life paths. We recommend the viewing of the AROHE webinar series, Reimagining Retirement.

    Newly retired members are listed on the Emeritus College website and University departments are encouraged to do the same. Each academic unit has a designated college representative who acts as a liaison between the College and his/her department. Armed with a list of College members in their unit, they endeavor to contact new retirees. Departments are encouraged to include all retirees in their social and academic events.

    Recently, new and established members interacted with one another at the Emeritus College’s Meet and Greet. Information tables showcased the College’s special interest groups, programs and committees.

    The Emeritus College conducts a comprehensive survey of its members every four years. Recent retirees indicate how UBC and/or the College can assist them in this new life phase. For more information, contact Linda Leonard at and/or visit UBC Emeritus College website.

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    Lunch and Learn - Kwantlen Polytechnic University Retirees Association

    To promote our organization and the many benefits of membership, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Retirees Association (KPURA) constantly strives to connect with university faculty and staff that are planning their retirements. Because of confidentiality rules, the KPURA Board is not able to access the names and contact details of these employees directly from the University. However, KPU’s Human Resources (HR) Department does maintain the current list. At our request they will organize online meetings at which KPURA is able to speak to employees that are in the process of setting their retirement date.

    On February 15, 2024, HR invited more than two dozen employees who had expressed their intentions to retire soon to a “Lunch and Learn” Teams meeting. The HR director opened the meeting and reviewed many steps that employees must take to terminate their employment and start their pension. Four KPURA directors presented a PowerPoint presentation which introduced our organization. Each director described a project that KPURA is currently involved. Benefits of membership were also discussed including organizations that support retirees/seniors to which KPURA belongs.

    Most importantly, the presentation included contact details of our organization: web page address, email address, and Facebook group name. These presentations and participation at KPU on-campus events are part of our promotional campaign to increase recognition of our organization as a supportive resource for KPU employees that are planning their retirement and those that are retired.

    For more information contact Carol Barnet, chair, KPURA Board of Directors,

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    New ASU Program Brings Generations Together for Innovative Service Projects

    The Cogenerational Service Academy at Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, launched in 2023 with support from CoGenerate to bring together older and younger persons in innovative service projects in Greater Phoenix and Tucson communities, is a thriving example of how multigenerational collaboration can address societal challenges.

    The Academy teams emerging leaders from the Center’s Public Allies Arizona AmeriCorps program with older adults recruited from its Experience Matters suite of programs. This innovative approach enriches the experience by ensuring a vibrant mix of generations.

    Before diving into their projects, Academy participants went through training sessions on leveraging diverse age-related insights, fostering an environment where sustainable community impact could flourish.

    Projects this year included creating videos for social media about economic opportunities provided by AmeriCorps and Public Allies; starting a podcast about inclusive employment practices; supporting businesses in Tucson with events and networking; and planning cleanup events in Payson to stimulate economic growth through tourism and local patronage.

    Jessica Tindal, a Second-Year Ally with Public Allies Arizona, said, “Our cogenerational member was the link we needed to truly unite and fully form as a team.” Program participant Jayson Matthews said that the interplay of different life stages enriched the work environment. Julie Heineking, an alumna of Public Allies Arizona, highlighted the importance of collective decision-making in a cogenerational setting where every voice is valued. Their experiences reflect the Academy’s core ethos: that bridging generational gaps can unveil innovative pathways to addressing community needs.

    Members of the ASU Lodestar Center’s Cogenerational Service Academy represent diverse generations, races, ethnicities, and lived experiences.

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    Retirement Trends and Resources

    Online Conversations - Cognitive Benefit for Socially Isolated Older Adults

    Regular online conversations show potential for helping prevent cognitive decline in socially isolated older adults, according to results from an NIA-funded study published in The Gerontologist. Social isolation is a risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. Read more.

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    Music - Connection and Health Benefits

    Music has always played a vital role in human culture. People produce, appreciate, and enjoy music in a wide range of contexts. Moreover, music offers both mental and physical health benefits, including reduced stress, elevated mood, lowered blood pressure, and relief of pain and symptoms of depression. In August 2023, the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging asked a national sample of adults aged 50–80 about their experiences with music, the benefits music provides, barriers to engaging in musical activities, and the overall importance of music in their lives. Read more.

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    "Ageless Aging: A Woman's Guide to Increasing Healthspan, Brainspan, and Lifespan"

    "Ageless Aging" is a book that presents a pioneering new way for women to age—an ascent that includes feeling youthful and vital while gaining wisdom, resilience, and experience. It provides a holistic, actionable plan that will help women make use of all the tools available to them as they grow older. Read more on Amazon.

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    Intimacy and Sexuality in Older Adults

    Sexuality is the way we experience and express ourselves sexually through feelings and physical touch, while intimacy is a feeling of closeness and connectedness in a relationship that can occur with or without a physical component. Normal aging brings physical changes that can sometimes interfere with sexuality and intimacy. Read more.

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    Redesigning Retirement - Harvard Business Review

    It is time for a new deal between employers and older workers. Today’s workforce and workplace are in unprecedented flux. Organizations have serious talent gaps to fill, for all sorts of reasons: high employee turnover, low employee engagement, the dramatic shift to remote and hybrid work, the continuing Baby Boomer retirement wave, rapid advances in technology. Many of the most critical positions require sophisticated skills, experience, and social acumen. Those needs cannot all be met simply by hiring and training inexperienced workers or leveraging AI. Redesigning Retirement (

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    Meditative Moment

    "As we've grown older, the results have been surprisingly good."

    Jimmy Carter, "The Virtues of Aging"

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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 or contact AROHE by emailing 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 July issue of AROHE Matters will focus retirement organizations plans for fall homecoming, welcoming retirees back to campus and renewing of social and educational activity Tell us your story about your retirement organization activities to help retirees re-engage with campus and their next chapter lives and help retirees maintain and enhance social relationships and valued personal connections.

    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 July issue of AROHE Matters by June 10, 2024, to Patrick Cullinane, editor, at

    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:
    Contact phone: 530-219-1049

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