More than 80 persons attended UIRA's annual business meeting and luncheon April 23, 2013, in the Kinnick Ballroom of the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Coralville. Besides reports from officers, the meeting included election of officers and a musical program. Minutes of the meeting can be found elsewhere at the UIRA website.
UIRA President Nancy Williams thanked volunteers who have contributed to UIRA and reviewed the year's activities. She reported Iowa retirees were represented at meetings of the Big Ten Retirees Assn. and the Assn. of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE). She noted joint activities of the UI Emeritus Faculty Council (EFC) and UIRA and said the two retiree groups have discussed merging.
In the audience were five past UIRA presidents: Kathie Belgum (2001-02), Karole Fuller (2006-07), Penny Hall (2009-10), Jean Hood (2010-11) and Dick Stevenson (2008-09).
Gene Spaziani, chair of the Membership Committee, reported UIRA currently has 611 dues-paying members representing 542 households. While overall membership declined by about 6% compared to last year, the number of new members joining increased by 15%—to 120.
UIRA Treasurer Joe Joynt reported figures for 2011-12: Income—$7,486; Expenses—$6,398; Balance at the beginning of the year—$19,569; Balance at the end of the fiscal year—$20,657.
In reviewing UIRA's programming for the past year, President-elect Rick Walton described the monthly meetings as “a focal point” for UIRA. He characterized the year's programs as “very interesting, relevant and generally well-attended.” He later introduced today's program.
Following lunch, UI Music Professor Stephen Swanson presented a medley of songs. A concert and opera singer as well as a teacher of singing and opera stage director, he has sung in opera houses in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands and has performed as a soloist with many of the world’s leading conductors. His accompanist was Casey Rafn.
Professor Swanson has recorded several CDs, including “Animal Songs: Bestiaries in English, French & German” (Albany Records). “Animal Songs,” produced in collaboration with UI Professor David Gompper, includes a cycle of nine songs based on poetry by Iowa's first poet laureate, Marvin Bell.
Joining UIRA President Nancy Williams and President-elect Rick Walton (center) was one of the founders of the association, Frank Cheng. Cheng is UI Professor Emeritus, having retired from the University in 1992.