Message from TUARA President Kevin Whitaker

It is an honor to be your president for 2023-2025.  As we emerge from challenging times, I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making many new friends.  I encourage every member of TUARA to do the same.  As president I will be your voice about issues relevant and important to us as retirees – your voice to the state representatives, your voice to the local community and your voice to the university.

Important update about parking on campus

Parking Services is moving to a new system that will scan auto tags to verify accessibility to parking areas. Members who plan to park on campus need to be sure they contact Parking Services to update their auto information if they change autos or get a new tag number.

TUARA Recognized at Annual AERA Meeting

At the recent annual meeting of the Alabama Education Retirees Association, TUARA was recognized as a Unit of Excellence for the 2022-2023 program year.  Congratulations, TUARA!

TUARA’s Annual Spring Luncheon

TUARA’s spring luncheon, hosted by UA President Stuart Bell, was held at the Capstone Hotel on Monday, April 24, with 100 persons in attendance.  Dr. Bell provided an update on news and activities at the University. TUARA’s annual business meeting, awards presentations, and election of officers and executive board members followed the luncheon.

Books for the Black Belt

We are pleased to announce that our luncheon attendees donated 115 books and $360 to the UA Center for Economic Development’s Books for the Black Belt project. Books for the Black Belt collects new or gently used K-12 books and distributes them to school libraries in Alabama’s Black Belt.

TUARA Awards

The following awards were presented at the spring luncheon.

The Judy Bonner Award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the leadership and service characteristics set forth during Dr. Bonner’s tenure at The University of Alabama.

This year’s recipient is Cathy Andreen who brought her many years of leadership experience and expertise in media relations at UA to TUARA significantly increasing both timely programming and active communications with the membership.  She always maintains a professional/friendly demeanor; she volunteers for jobs no one is willing to do; and she’s good at talking people into doing things they should have volunteered for to begin with!

The TUARA Community Service Award recognizes outstanding service to the West Alabama community.

Throughout its 15-year history, the UA Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has offered a wide variety of intellectually stimulating learning opportunities designed for people ‘50 and better.’  OLLI has filled a gap in learning opportunities for older adults in our community, giving purpose and meaning at a time of transition in our lives when work and family roles are changing.  OLLI makes our community a much more vibrant place to live and is most deserving of the TUARA Community Service Award.

The Partnership Award is presented to a person or organization that has offered notable service to TUARA.

Amy Haines, associate director of Parking Services, and her department have gone out of their way to accommodate TUARA in the last two years. In October 2021, they facilitated our first in-person event after Covid by allowing us to use the open lobby area of the deck for our first “Meet Us at the Deck” event.  Timed during UA’s fall break, the deck provided us with a COVID-safe environment and allowed members to renew their retiree parking permits, get new ACT cards, pay TUARA dues and visit with friends and colleagues in person for the first time in a year and a half.  In October 2022, Parking Services accommodated us for a repeat event, going out of their way to open the parking deck to our members at no charge in the midst of the busy fall semester.  Amy and her team deserve to be recognized with the TUARA Partnership Award for their exceptional service to TUARA.

New Officers and Board Members

New officers for 2023-2025
President – Kevin Whitaker
Vice-President/President-Elect – Debbie Lane
Immediate Past President – Cathy Andreen
Treasurer – Marie Robbins (2nd term)

New Members-at-Large
Three-Year Terms (2023-2026)
Rick Funk
Janet Griffith
Dan Meissner
Gregory L. Singleton

One-Year Terms (2023-2024)
Bill McDonald
Cynthia Szymanski Sunal
Dennis Sunal

Departing Officer and Board Members

TUARA wishes to thank the Executive Board members who have completed their terms.  We appreciate your service!

Susan McGuire, Vice President for Programs/Arrangements

Carolyn Dahl
Ray Gowhari
Lee Pike
Ben Winston
Beverly Kellen

Opportunity to Serve

We are still looking for a volunteer to serve as Vice-President for Programs/Arrangements.  If you are interested, please contact Kevin Whitaker using our TUARA email address at

Connect with TUARA

Follow TUARA on Facebook at