About 300 members of the MU Retirees Association gathered May 20 at the Reynolds Alumni Center to show their generosity to the university, honor retirees of the year and visit with old friends.
Association president Tom Henderson presented a $3.6 million check to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs, who accepted it on behalf of MU. “As former employees of MU, each of you in this room have given your time, talent and service to make this a special place,” Henderson said. “Your contribution in the workplace made a real difference. Now, as retirees, many of you continue to make a difference by contributing to the annual faculty, staff and retirees campaign known as It’s My Mizzou.”
The $3.6 million gift is the largest in recent years from the retirees, who gave $2.8 million in 2015, $888,019 in 2014 and $2 million in 2013.
The faculty retiree of the year is Nan Erickson, who retired in 1994 from the College of Education's Department of Practical Arts and Vocational Technical Education. Erickson has served in all of the association’s leadership positions. As president, she was instrumental in establishing a communications committee to disseminate information about the group’s purpose.
The staff retiree of the year is Kee Groshong, who retired in 2002 from Administrative Services. In addition to serving as association president, Groshong also has volunteered as a member of MU Friends of Music and University Club. He played a significant role in the restoration and preservation of Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone and original epitaph.
“I think retirees for the most part have a great affinity and connection to the university,” Groshong says. “Many of us are very appreciative of what MU meant to us. I got an education, a career of 37 years and a rewarding 14 years of retirement.”
Retirees have a lot in common, says member Gary Smith, former registrar. “The association provides an avenue for socialization, and in retirement it’s as important to stay socially involved as it is to exercise. Our group holds several annual events, and some members who have been friends a long time look forward to these times because they only see one another a couple of times a year.”