More than fifty years ago a group of committed individuals gathered and became the nucleus of what is now known as the UTIA Retirees Association. Currently there are more than four hundred (400) life members. Membership is open to anyone who has worked for any of the four divisions of the Institute in any role. While many members are Retirees, the Association welcomes all those who were employed, regardless of length of tenure.
Today the purposes of the UTIA Retirees Association aim to provide an avenue for members to stay engaged with both UTIA and with their colleagues and friends. These goals are accomplished in a variety of ways:
- Communication — The UTIA Retirees Newsletter is published three times a year and is distributed by both electronic media (email) and hard copy. The newsletter editor also distributes updates as they are received. This includes awards and recognition, memorials, policy updates, event invitations and other newsletters and pertinent information from UTIA. There is also a Facebook page and a webpage.
- Support — Members continue to support UTIA in a variety of ways as both as individuals and as an organization. Among the projects sponsored by the Association are the State 4-H Essay and State 4-H Art Poster contests.
- Social Interaction — The Assocation provides opportunities to continue the friendships and fellowship that developed among co-workers. Several in-person meetings are scheduled each year in various parts of the state. For Association purposes the state is divided into four areas: Western, Central, Cumberland and Eastern. Each area has officers in addition to the state officers. Most areas have a spring meeting and some also have an informal gathering in the fall of the year. The State Association meeting is held in conjunction with the Eastern Area meeting in Knoxville, usually in April.
Appreciation: This Association is made up people who have a history with UTIA. Each person was involved with one or more areas of teaching, research and/or service and worked diligently to improve the lives of the people of Tennessee. I would like to express a sincere thank you to all those who support the Association and especially those who are willing to accept leadership roles. It is a pleasure to work with each of you. Truly it is a Blessing to be able to continue these relationships that are so meaningful. I am also indebted to the UTIA Administration and to the UTIA Marketing and Communications staff for the support that they provide to this Association.
My wish is for all to have a healthy, safe and enjoyable year. Take care and be well.
Ruth Henderson McQueen