The UMKC Retirees Association promotes the needs, interests and welfare of all retired staff and faculty and actively supports the mission and goals of UMKC and the UM System.

Programs. UMKCRA has had and will continue to have a fascinating array of programs this spring (all on Zoom due to the pandemic). The January program featured Michael Tabman, retired FBI agent, speaking on “Extremism: Left and Right.” In March the noted historian of the Kansas City Monarchs, Phil Dixon, spoke on “The Monarchs and the Negro Baseball League.” The spring event on April 10 featured Dean Mary Anne Jackson (School of Medicine) on the topic of “COVID-19 Vaccines and Herd Immunity: Opportunities and Challenges as We Look to the End of the Pandemic.” The group is looking forward to othe next event on May 21 with the Kansas City Zoo on "Advancing Wildlife Conservation: The Kansas City Zoo’s Mission to Conserve Wildlife Around the Globe." Recordings of most of the events will soon be on the website. After several summer programs the organization will welcom new retirees at an event on Sept. 23 (hopefully in person and TBA).

Recognitions. Every year UMKCRA honors a university faculty retiree for outstanding contributions and achievements to the university, UMKCRA, their profession and/or community during their retirement period. The award is also given to a UMKC staff retiree to recognize outstanding accomplishments during retirement including service to the university, UMKCRA, the community or enhancing the overall experience of students, staff, faculty and retirees. This year at the spring event the organization combined the awards from 2020 and 2021 since the 2020 event had been canceled due to the pandemic. The following individuals were recognized:


Jakob WaterborgFaculty: Jakob Waterborg: for his outstanding efforts as a founding member of the Emeritus College and continuing activities in sustaining it, as well as his work as a member and chair of the Institutional BioSafety Committee, and contributions generally to the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences.





Pat Hovis FrenchStaff: Patricia Hovis-French: for her tireless work on advising and advocating for underrepresented students for fellowships and scholarships in the School of Graduate Studies and also her service as secretary and president of UMKCRA.






daveFaculty: David Skitek: for his unwavering support of UMKC School of Computing and Engineering students through leadership in developing a golf tournament that has raised over $100,000 in scholarships and mentoring students for competitive teams and events.





WurreyCharles Wurrey: for continued service to the Department of Chemistry both as a James Olson Professor and continued research as P.I. on a grant—along with chairing the working group that founded the Emeritus College in 2014 and subsequently planning many of its programs.





Gail SchatelStaff: Gail Metcalf Schartel: for extraordinary service to UMKCRA, including as vice-president, president, past president and organizer of many activities that have contributed to the organization’s programming and vitality.





Scholarships. The association now administers two different scholarship programs for which they had funds to make the following awards:

Scholarship in Aging

This endowed scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate applicants in any school or college at UMKC.

Pratik AdhikaryPratik Adhikary, Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, studying improvements in quality of life in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.




Maya BaughnMaya Baughn, B.S. in Health Studies; research on how older adults, particularly Hispanics and Blacks, can regain pre-COVID levels of physical activity.






Breanna Hawthorne-CrosbyBrieanna Hawthorne-Crosby, B.S./M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, exploring the relationship between fitness tracker data and balance data in older adults with the goal of increasing balance and mobility.





Going for Excellence Scholarship

This scholarship originating with the Women’s Club is now administered by UMKCRA and is open to highly meritorious female junior or senior applicants with at least a 3.5 GPA. This year’s winners with their majors are:

Emma CouchEmma Couch (BSN)






Keisha JonesKeisha Jones (chemistry; pre-dentistry)






Ella RouseElisa Rouse (Bbology/chemistry; pre-medicine)






Lauren TextorLauren Textor (English)






 Congratulation to all of the scholarship winners!

Benefits. The committee, chaired by Robert Piepho, meets with other UM System retiree associations and central administration to keep an eye on all retiree benefits including health care. All retirees are benefiting from this work.

Volunteer activities. Some members of UMKCRA have been serving as volunteers for the UMKC vaccine clinic sponsored by the School of Pharmacy for faculty, staff and students.

Join! Membership in the UMKC Retirees Association (UMKCRA) is open not only to all retired faculty and staff, but also to all employees over the age of 55 eligible for retirement. In addition to regular membership benefits, special benefits to members include reduced rate tickets to KCRep and Conservatory performances, access to Swinney Rec Center and discounts at the UMKC bookstore, among others. Membership dues are nominal and can be found on the website along with application information.