As we weather the national crisis of COVID-19, I join with the rest of the TUARA Executive Board in encouraging you, our members, to stay safe, but also to stay engaged. Although our annual spring luncheon and membership meeting had to be canceled this year, we are continuing to work on your behalf. We are ready to follow any legislation that affects retirees and we will keep you updated, especially when contacting your legislators could make a difference. TUARA will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with energy and strength, ready to continue in our threefold mission of advocating for retirees’ benefits, providing informative programming and offering opportunities for social interaction.
All our efforts are now focused on these three initiatives, which are based on your responses when we asked you about the priorities most important to you as TUARA members. We are an active unit of the Alabama Education Retirees Association (AERA) and we are partnering with other institutions of higher education in strengthening advocacy for retiree benefits. Within the University, we now have TUARA representatives on all major UA committees to make sure retiree voices are heard on campus.
Our programs this year have included a presentation by Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox on the visionary ELEVATE program for the city and a reception that combined social interaction with valuable information about contacting our legislators in Montgomery. We were pleased with the excellent turnout at both events. We are also exploring joint programming opportunities with OLLI and other groups.
The Executive Board has nominated and approved new board members whose terms begin immediately. We are pleased to welcome our new secretary, Cheree Causey, and our new members-at-large Carolyn Dahl, Ray Gowhari, Lee Pike and Ben Winston.
We express our sincere thanks to our outgoing board members: Mary Bess Paluzzi, Philip Crunk, Gina Johnson, Carlene Jones and Voni Brown Wyatt. All these outstanding individuals have made significant contributions to TUARA’s operation over the last three or more years. We value their support for TUARA, wish them well and hope to see them at our events in the future.
The TUARA Executive Board appreciates the privilege of serving UA’s retired faculty and staff. As a member-driven organization, we encourage you to continue to share your thoughts with us.
We invite you to visit our new website at www.tuara.ua.edu and follow us on FaceBook. Watch for emails from TUARA and contact us with your questions, suggestions and concerns.
We look forward to seeing you when we are able to gather together again!
2019-2021 TUARA President
Events Focus on Legislative Issues, Plans for Tuscaloosa
TUARA programs this year have featured a presentation by Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, a legislative panel and a
reception that included information on the 2020 Legislative Session in Montgomery.
Maddox discussed the Elevate Tuscaloosa plan and Amy Haines, associate director of UA parking services, presented an update on campus parking at the fall 2019 membership meeting.
TUARA co-hosted a “Meet Your Legislators Night” in January highlighting proposed actions for the 2020 legislative session. West Alabama state legislators Sen. Gerald Allen, Dist. 21; Rep. Christopher England, Dist. 70; Rep. A.J. McCampbell, Dist.71; Rep. Rich Wingo, Dist. 62; and Rep. Kyle South, Dist. 16, participated in the forum which was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Tuscaloosa, with co-sponsors TUARA and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).
TUARA members gathered in February for a wine and cheese reception at the McAbee Center. Debbie Lane, legislative chair, presented an update on issues before the Alabama Legislature this spring as well as tips on contacting legislators.
TUARA members enjoyed catching up with friends and colleagues at a wine and cheese reception in February.
TUARA Welcomes New Board Members
The Executive Board has nominated and approved new board members whose terms begin in May. We are pleased to welcome our new secretary and members-at-large:
Cheree Causey, Secretary
Cheree spent most of her career in Student Affairs, beginning in 1988 with the Student Recreation Center and ending as assistant vice president and director of UA Early College. She retired in 2015.
Carolyn Dahl, Member-at-Large
Carolyn came to UA as dean of the College of Continuing Studies in 2001 and served in that position until 2013.
Ray Gowhari, Member-at-Large
Ray served as associate director for the College of Continuing Studies, working in the Bryant Conference Center. He retired two years ago after 26 years at UA.
Lee Pike, Member-at-Large
Lee served as professor and head of the Angelo Bruno Business Library. He joined UA in 1988 and retired in 2015.
Ben Winston, Member-at-Large
Ben joined UA as a staff counselor in 1976 and served as associate director of the University Counseling and Psychological Services Center. He accepted early retirement from UA in 1994.
TUARA officers serve two-year terms and may be re-elected for a second term. Board members-at-large serve three-year terms.
Students Receive Witt Scholarships
TUARA awarded the Robert E. Witt First Generation Book Scholarship for the spring semester to UA students Michael Duggar and Emily Parrish. The scholarships, funded by TUARA members’ donations, provided $500 for each student for the purchase of textbooks.
Michael Duggar is a sophomore from Daphne, majoring in aerospace engineering and mechanics and minoring in Russian He has an overall GPA of 3.433 and is in the STEM-to-MBA program. He also plays tenor saxophone in the Million Dollar Band. His goal is to work in consulting or management in the defense or space exploration industries.
Emily Parrish is a sophomore from Clanton with an overall GPA of 4.0. She just startedher first semester in the nursing program and is excited to have been promoted into the upper division of the Capstone College of Nursing. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to continue her education with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner.
Many UA students have significant unmet financial need – the difference between the cost of attendance and the amount a student receives in financial aid. Supporting the Robert E. Witt First Generation Book Scholarship is one way to make a difference for students in need. Please help by making a contribution. Make your check payable to The University of Alabama with “Robert E. Witt Book Scholarship” in the memo line. Mail your donation to TUARA, Box 861493, Tuscaloosa, AL 35486-0013. You will receive a tax-deductible statement from the University.
TUARA Service Projects Impact Community
TUARA has supported the West Alabama community this year by assisting the West Alabama Food Bank and donating items to the Tuscaloosa City Schools’ STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) program and Temporary Emergency Services.
Under the leadership of Pamela Pruitt, TUARA volunteer coordinator, TUARA members packed meals for Secret Meals/Backpack Meals at the food bank last fall. The program provides food for schoolchildren who may not otherwise have enough to eat over the weekend. Members also donated jars of peanut butter to “Beat Auburn Beat Hunger,” a food drive that generates thousands of pounds of food to the food bank each year.
Throughout the year, members donated items ranging from cardboard paper towel/toilet paper holders and plastic storage bags to Legos and marbles to the STREAM program. Teachers use these items for a wide variety of projects including the folk art robots pictured here.
TUARA also collected canned food for Temporary Emergency Services at the Wine and Cheese Reception in February.
TUARA Members Submit 3,500 Volunteers Hours for 2019
TUARA members make significant contributions of time and energy to the West Alabama community. In 2019, some 41 members reported more than 3,500 hours of volunteer service. Clearly, that number is just a fraction of the hours that members volunteer throughout the year.
We encourage all members to report their hours each month. Why is it important? Because TUARA reports community service hours to the Alabama Education Retirees Association, which, in turn, uses the hours to demonstrate the economic impact retirees continue to make on our state’s economy. AERA converts our community service hours to a monetary value at the rate of $24.00 per hour. TUARA’s 3,581.25 hours translates to $85,950 in monetary value! Be sure to submit your hours when the monthly e-mail reminders come into your inbox!
2019 reported hours include the following:
Arts (CHOM, theater, museum) 266
Church service projects 713.5
Health (Blood drives, clinics, nursing homes, home care) 6.5
Transportation (Errands and driving for elderly) 108
RSVP/Volunteer (Shut-ins, telephone) 228
Government (State, county, city, school) 221.5
TUARA is pleased to welcome new members:
Daniel and Kathy Avery
Patricia and Jeff Benton
John and Sandra Cates
Cheree and Jim Causey
Alan and Carolyn Goode
Larry and Mary Ann Moody
James and Judith Taylor
For information about joining TUARA or renewing your membership, visit tuara.ua.edu today and click on Membership Application. Invite your retired and soon-to-be-retired friends and colleagues to join as well!
TUARA honors the memory of members who have died and expresses our sympathy to their families. Please notify Betty Wedgeworth at email@example.com if you know of deceased individuals who should be added to the list.
John L. Brown
Financial Report – April 2020
|Income from 2019-20 Dues
|Board and UPS
The University of Alabama Retirees Association
Executive Board 2019-2020
Barry Mason, President firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathy Andreen, Vice President/President-Elect email@example.com
Kathleen Cramer, Immediate Past President firstname.lastname@example.org
Molly Lawrence, Vice President for Membership email@example.com
Donna Keene, Vice President for Programs/Arrangements firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Bess Paluzzi, Recording Secretary email@example.com
Betty Wedgeworth, Database Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Dulek, Treasurer email@example.com
Don Crump firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Crunk email@example.com
Benton Gup firstname.lastname@example.org
Gina Johnson email@example.com
Carlene Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah Lane email@example.com
Hank Lazer firstname.lastname@example.org
Pam Pruitt email@example.com
Ronnie Robertson firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Roberts email@example.com
Mildred Switzer firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Wright email@example.com
Voni Brown Wyatt firstname.lastname@example.org