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Retirees - Meeting Highlights

December 2, 2011 

Silver Tracks: It is in the mail. New committees members: Rosemary Bamford, Gordon Elliott, and George Kulberg. Kelly will contact the committee to meet either after 9:30 on Tuesdays and all day on Fridays.

New Council Members: We need to replace Linda Reed and Cathy Bradbury. Gus DeSiervo and Rosemary Bamford have agreed to do another term. We need two professionals and one faculty member from business. The following names were suggested: Vicki King, Carolyn Dane, and Fran Griffin. Cathy Bradbury agreed to attend the January meeting. Cathy Pease and Brownie will coordinate asking new members to join the council.

Hikel Award: The President’s office is still crafting the Hikel letter. Brownie will stop by the President’s office to talk with Heidi. Cathy Pease will set the dates depending on when it sent to Deans and Administrative Managers. Final selection will be made at the March meeting.

Council members discussed our role and how we connect the President’s office with retirees. Cathy suggested Brownie query the President to determine what he wants from us.  Does he want feedback from retirees?  How do we facilitate this communication? Brownie suggested that he meet with the Silver Tracks committee next time.  Should we have the President have a box for the next letter possibly to indicate how retirees can help and support him.

November 4, 2011

Black Bear Exchange: Robin Arnold was invited to describe the Black Bear Exchange, a food cupboard and exchange for students, employees and local residents. The cupboard was the first of its kind nationally. The exchange is located in the back of Estabrooke Hall.  Each person is given a card and is allowed 15 items per week.  It is staffed by student volunteers and is also used as a training site for the School of Social Work.  Donations are most welcome and can be left at Estabrooke Hall or at the Bodwell Volunteer Center for Service & Volunteerism in Hannibal Hamlin Hall on the 4th floor. The cupboard is looking for food, pet food, and winter clothing. 

They have conducted several fundraisers. Brownie suggested that at each hockey game there be place for donations and that the game announcer reminds fans about contributing.  This should be done at every game. It was suggested that we do this at the Retiree Homecoming.  We might also have a booth for the cupboard.

Parking Permits: Cathy Bradbury announced that the campus police was putting warnings on cars in the parking lot.  Many of the council’s members have expired parking permits.  (Note to members—this year the campus did not send out renewal forms for Gold Card Holders. Remember to stop by the parking office to pick up new parking permits.  Also if you call they will send one to you.)

Other Business: Rosemary Bamford reminded folks that the Hikel Award information should be sent to departments.  Brownie will ask Heidi in the President’s office to have him send out a memo to push folks to make nominations.

October 7, 2011

Tony Richards was the guest speaker at the Council’s October meeting.  Issues discussed were the following:

CIGNA Health Plan
Changes for early retirees
Employee Changes

UMaine health benefits was put out to bid- Anthem, Aetna, Cigna-
We are switching to Cigna- we will save $5 million in administrative costs during the next 5 years.

Active employees and non-Medicare retirees are switching to Cigna.  Cigna does not have a Medicare product.

Medicare eligible retirees will stay with Anthem PPO- Cigna Dental for retirees as well.

Open enrollment for retirees will be November 1 through November 30.

Plan is functioning well.  Rate changes for non-medicare eligible folks will go up 5.5%

September 9, 2011

Guests: President Paul Ferguson and Provost Susan Hunter

President Ferguson has been in the office for 2 months and has been all over the state meeting with new students, parents, alum and corporate partners.

He reported that he is an “incredibly lucky president to inherit a superb leadership team”.  The president and his family were graciously welcomed to Maine and the University.  He looks forward to tackling the challenges that UMaine is faced with and is in the midst of trying to assess where the University needs to go.  The first challenge is to define who/what UMaine is- a bit of clarity is needed to define the role of the University as a land grant institution and be able to compete with other land grants of our size. The second challenge is to decide where we want to be going in five to ten years and get there using a sustainable model.  UMaine needs to be entrepreneurial; we cannot rely on the state.   

April 8, 2011

Joyce Rumery – Fogler Library – Joyce gave a very enlightening and interesting presentation of the library’s ongoing and new endeavors.

February 4, 2011

Newsletter News:
Brownie was able to secure funding for the retiree newsletter, Silver Tracks. The Development Office, Alumni Association and the President’s Office agreed to underwrite the cost of publishing and mailing.  He will speak to Amos Orcutt to secure additional funding from the UMaine Foundation so that we will be able to publish the newsletter quarterly.  The council discussed responsibilities of the newsletter, quarterly contributions and ideas for columns.   Brownie advised that at least one column should be saved each quarter fro on of the above-mentioned fund contributors.  In addition, the newsletter will be a good opportunity to highlight more of the Retiree Homecoming Fair and may serve as an invitation to the retired Umaine employees.

Insurance Woes:
It was noted that retired employees who live in Florida were not able to find their doctors on the list of providers that Anthem sent.  Thus making it a challenge and placing a burden on the patients to tmake sure their services are covered.

Hikel Award:
A nomination for the Hikel Award was sent to Catherine Pease.  She passed out copies of the nomination and the council reviewed the list of accomplishments.  The council moved to accept the nominee, Nancy MacKnight, and will forward her name to the President’s office for recommendation to receive the Hikel Award.


January 7, 2011

Retirees’ Quarterly Newsletter - Brownie has been pursuing funding for printing and mailing costs. To date, there has been no word from the President’s office.  Funding is still under consideration at the Development office.  We will continue to plan for the first issue to be mailed in April (second quarter).

Hikel Award- requests for nominations have been sent out by the President’s Office under the president’s name. The submission deadline is January 17th .

Home Coming Fair – John Bear Mitchell and John Rebar were suggested as a possible key speaker as well as Clyde Folsom and Gretchen Faulkner.  Brownie and Gordon will contact John Bear Mitchell and Brownie will contact John Rebar.

Kelly has checked with Alan Parks regarding captioning options. He suggested using CART. The person who has been used in the past, Sheri Majeski, charges $80/hour.  She is often able to work remotely.  However, as Wells technology is outdated, this may not be an option for her. Kelly will continue to pursue this option and get estimates from Sheri.

Homecoming Vendor List
Devon provided a list of last year’s vendors. The list was reviewed for vendors to invite this year. Mike will contact Dick Young at the bookstore. He will also contact Steve Abbott.  Linda will contact Jen O’Leary at Cooperative Extension.  Kelly will check in with Maine Athletics.  We will revisit and update the vendors list in February.

Catherine Pease will bring a mock-up of the announcement postcard to next month’s meeting.

Membership terms- The President’s Office has not yet approved the membership extension for Ginny, Gordon, and Brownie. All have indicated they would like to continue as members.  We nominated Brownie to continue as chair and he has accepted.  Linda will continue as committee secretary.

The next meeting will be February 4th

December 3, 2010

Retirees’ Quarterly Newsletter
A draft of a newsletter, with content, was reviewed.  Content pertaining to budget issues in the “did you know” box will be shown to Claire Strickland for her approval.  It was agreed the council should be involved in obtaining and/or writing, and editing the content.

A mailing would go to approximately 1,000 retirees at an approximate cost of $325.  Brownie will pursue funding for printing and mailing costs from the President’s office and/or the Development office. We will aim for the first issue to be mailed in April (second quarter).  It was suggested we consider changing the newsletter name from Highlights Quarterly to Silver Tracks.  The Web sub-committee should look at posting the newsletter contents to the Retirees Web page.

Homecoming – It is time to start planning the 2011 Retirees’ Home Coming Fair.  Devon Storman will bring the vendors list to the next meeting.  We will review evaluations and consider suggestions made, such as closed captioning like Senior College uses.

The next meeting will be January 7th

November 5, 2010

Carol Gilmore, a recently retired professor of the University of Maine, has accepted an appointment by President Kennedy to the Council to represent retired faculty.
Council Guest Eric Rolfson, Vice President for Development:
Eric Rolfson explained in detail, in a very informative and entertaining manner, the university’s $150 million comprehensive campaign. He explained how the campaign will go a long way toward allowing UMaine to fulfill its vision and its mission. Database mining of 90,000 alumni is being done to determine how much an individual is worth, past donations made, and future donation potential.  “There is an unbelievable potential for fundraising,” Eric said.  Alumni are potential donors and retirees (faculty and staff) should be approached to consider planned giving.  The latest report showed $140 million has been raised.  The campaign will end in June 2011.
Congratulations Virginia Fortier:
Virginia was congratulated for being a recipient of the “2 Those Who Care” award.  We are proud of your accomplishments, Virginia. Congratulations!

Retirees’ Quarterly Newsletter:
A newsletter draft layout created by Kelly Hoovler was reviewed.  Suggested titles for the newsletter—Silver Bear, Silver Tracks.  Kelly Hoovler will research cost with Printing Services.  A mailing would go to approximately 1,000 retirees.  We will try to get funding for printing and mailing costs from the President’s office and/or the Development office.

The next meeting will be December 3rd

October 1, 2010

Council welcomes:  President Kennedy and Provost Hunter to the meeting

Topics of Discussions with President Kennedy and Provost Hunter:

Council Seat Vacancy:
Dennis McConnell has resigned from the committee.  Carol Gilmore will be appointed to the vacant seat left by Dennis.

Homecoming Fair Invitations:
It was announced that starting in 2011 all retirees will receive an invitation to the Retiree Homecoming Fair.  Brownie explained how it came to be that the gold card holders list was what was used as the invitation list in years past.  President Kennedy agreed that all retirees should be invited.
The next meeting will be November 5th

September 10, 2010

Guest Speaker: Tony Richard, Director of Employee Benefits, University of Maine System

Changing of the Guard:
Brownie asked Linda Reed if she would step in as recorder. Rosemary Bamford has served for the past two years and asked for a replacement. Linda agreed to be the new recorder.  Thanks, Rosemary, for your good work!!

UMaine Health Care Program:
Our guest, Tony Richard, gave an extremely informative update regarding the UMaine Health Care Program.  The National Health Care Reform will not reduce costs.  The cost to the UMaine System is now 60 million/year.  Health care reform will impact employees and early retirees. In effect the increase in premiums will most likely eliminate early retirement for many.  The insurance opt out provision is still available for those who do retire early.  A letter with specifics will come from the systems office in late September.  There will also be more information included in the open enrollment materials.

The next meeting will be October 1, 2010

June 4, 2010

Guest Speaker: Sarah McPartland Good, Director of Planned Giving, University of Maine Foundation
Sarah McPartland Good reported that the program at homecoming went well.  A few people came up after the presentation to say they have included the University in their will and didn’t realize that they should let her know they are giving to the university.  Sarah indicated that it was a good turnout and she would like to present again next year.

Homecoming Review
Another successful homecoming this year.  About 120 people attended the event.  Upon reviewing the evaluations, it was noted that there were concerns regarding the inability to hear speakers and the room being too cool.  As we plan 2011 Homecoming, we will take concerns into consideration and explore ways to improve upon them. 

Welcome Mike Pullen
Mike Pullen, having recently retired from the University after 42 years of service has been appointed to the Council by President Kennedy.

Tony Richard will be our guest for the September Council meeting.
The next meeting will be September 10th.

May 7, 2010

Guest Speaker:  Todd Saucier, the President and Executive Director of the U Maine Alumni Association.

Todd encouraged the council to consider being ambassadors for the U Maine Alumni Association and encourage their fellow peers to not “go sit on the porch” after retirement, but to get involved by volunteering.  “Who are better advocates than the people who lived and breathed this institution?  You don’t have to be an alumnus to come and volunteer at the association.”  Todd went on to explain the various road trips he went on to broaden the reach of those associated with U Maine.  The Alumni Association has a van that has gone to 16 events along the east coast from Maine down to Florida to help maintain relationships with Alumni.  If they aren’t able to make it back for homecoming, they help facilitate a U Maine network near them.  “It’s tough for mature alumni to make the trip out.  We need to make more of an effort to go to them.”

Contact Todd Saucier for ways you can volunteer.

Board Vacancy:
Wayne Edgecomb presented his resignation to Brownie, opening up a classified vacancy on the council.  Mike Pullen just retired after 42 years and is very interested in being a council member.  Mike Pullen represents the classified group.


The last of the details for the Retiree Homecoming were discussed and finalized.  The council looks forward to another successful fair.

Continued discussions regarding the Gold Card Membership and meeting with Sarah McPartland Good to discuss Planned Giving.

The next meeting will be June 4, 2010

April 2, 2010

Gold Card:

Cathy Pease distributed information on the history of the Gold Card and the changes it has undergone. A subcommittee has been formed and will discuss who the council should represent and present their suggestions at the next meeting.

The members briefly discussed the recent proposed cuts at the university.


Cathy Pease and Devon Storman updated the council on several details regarding the planning of Homecoming events.

Rosemary Bamford suggested that Tony Richards might want to talk to the group. It was agreed that Cathy Pease would contact Tony to determine if he wants time to talk or prefers to have a written statement regarding the impact of federal health bill on retirees.

Members agreed that we will wear our Maine Hello shirts for the Homecoming.


Tony Richards will meet with us in September to discuss the impact of the health bill. Provost Sue Hunter and President Robert Kennedy will meet with us in October to review who the council represents.

Next meeting is May 7, 2010

March 5, 2010

Gold Card Issues:

Changes in the criteria for the University of Maine Gold Card inspired discussions around the role of the eligibility requirements for the Gold Card in relationship with the retirement eligibility requirements at the University of Maine. The Counsel will bring this discussion to the attention of the President’s office for further review.

Brownie reminded everyone that following the next meeting of the Council on April 2, those who can will go to Corbett Hall to work with the Grad students there on preparation of materials for the Retiree Banquets.

Next meeting is April 2, 2010

February 5, 2010

Jennifer Crittenden, Research Associate from Center on Aging. Three arms: Research, Service and Consultation (Senior College), and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Mostly grant funded.

Encore Leadership Project is a new major project with a focus on Smart Growth. This free training program focuses on environmental volunteerism statewide.  The training program is geared to develop volunteer leadership.

Another program provided by the Center on Aging is Safe Medicine Disposal for ME. To safely dispose of medications call 1-866-637-9743 to received envelope kits free of charge.

Gold Card:
As the Counsel learns more information about the changing eligibility requirements for retirement the discussion about the role of the Gold Card has further evolved.

New Member: 
Chair Brown is nominating Linda Reed as an addition to the council, representing professionals. Linda was the Web Master for the Extension Service.
We agreed that the March meeting would be devoted to further discussion.

Annual Report:
This will be sent to the President following the meeting.

Recognition Dinners:
Available counsel members will assist the graduate students on April 2 after the monthly meeting.

The postcards were briefly discussed and all agreed to finalize the details at the March meeting.

Next Meeting is March 5, 2010

January 2010

Annual Report:

Chair Brown distributed information on retiree contributions to the University. It was agreed to include the information in the annual report. Council members revised the draft report.

Chair Brown announced that President Kennedy has accepted the Hikel nomination.

Chair Brown shared a list of retirees to be considered for the professional position on the council. Members decided to forward to the President the names.


Table will be displayed at Homecoming for the Hikel award. It will include a poster of past participants and forms for nominations.

This year’s menu will include a sundae bar. There will be an extra charge of a $1.00 to cover costs.


It was suggested by the annual report subcommittee that Gold Card membership be discussed.

Next meeting is scheduled for February 5, 2010.

December 2009

Eric Rolfson from the Development Office:

Eric presented information on the role of the fund raising partners, why people gave, the giving cycle, historical fundraising and ROI, how you can help (have fun!), and how can the development help us help Maine. Fundraising goals are set through long-term strategic vision of the university. People give for a variety of reasons. Many gifts are given in memory and in honor of someone. Taxes are not the primary motivator.

Today 95% of the funding comes from 5% of the contributors. Successful solicitation is based on stewardship letting people know in a creative way the institution’s gratitude. The three partners, Alumni Association, Development, and Foundation work, with potential givers from college to senior citizens. The Campaign Maine’s goal is $150 million. The campaign has currently raised $117 million.  There are two years left in the campaign.

How can retirees help the university with its friend-raising? Think about annual/planned gifts, participation in the cycle, being comfortable with participating with fundraising, and enjoying the process. Retirees can help through prospect identification, cultivation of individuals to find if we can match their interests and the needs of the university, and creative recognition of the impact of the givers.

Hikel Award:

Name will be forwarded to the President’s office for consideration for receiving the Hikel Award.

Subcommittee Assignments for Annual Report:

Brownie has requested members volunteer for the subcommittee.  Gordon Kulberg, George Elliott, and Rosemary Bamford will work Cathy Pease to create the report. Suggested items to show what the council does are:

Next meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2010

November 2009

Silver&Fit Program:
Kristie Deschesne described the Silver&Fit Program for UMS Retirees. UMS Retirees may be eligible for the Silver&Fit Program offered by Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield which pays for their individual monthly membership dues in full to contracted health and fitness clubs, including UMaine Student Recreation and Fitness Center!  Anthem pays for $3.00 per visit up to 10 visits per month to the contracted health and fitness centers.

To find out if a retiree is eligible, go online to or call Silver&Fit Member Services at 877-427-4788 between the hours of 5am and 6pm (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday to enroll in Silver&Fit.,  This must be done to receive your Silver&Fit identification card which allow the contracted health club to sell you the Silver&Fit membership.

Contact Kristie Deschesne at the Student Recreation and Fitness Center at UMaine (207-581-3479) for a free week of membership to try out before you join the Silver&Fit.

The recreation center is open for all ages. Gold Card Benefit can be used to purchase membership for the center.  The new program of Fit For Life Program will be starting this summer.  It will include a week-long wellness retreat which focuses emotional, physical, nutritional, and social wellness.  The retreat is held on weekday mornings and there will be several sessions to choose from. Dates and fees will be announced.

Members agreed that we would assist with getting out information to retirees.

Giving Programs for UMaine:
Sara McPartland-Good described the planned giving program for UMaine. Many retirees already have an endowed fund with the University. There are a variety of ways to give.  The Foundation can work one on one as well as in small groups.  They would be willing to work with us to identify folks who might be interested in giving.  They also can do a mailing with us. Response rate for mailing is small.  Best is the one on one.

The members discussed a variety of ideas:
- Offer a small session at the Homecoming or at the Student Recreation and Fitness Center.
- Offer a mini-session in the morning session where Foundations could meet with a small group followed by individual times.

Gordon Kulberg asked if there is a list of the different ways individuals could give.  Sara indicated that she could put a list together. Sara agreed to pull together a list of gifts from retirees to the University. It will include Alumni, the Foundation, and the Development Office.

September 2009

Tony Richards from the Systems Office reviewed the past changes in the Retiree Medical Program and discussed possible future changes. Current retirees will stay on the Advantage Account for 2010 and there will still be a $300 deductible per person. There will be a premium increase and possibly a co-payment as well. The Dental Plan will remain the same. More information will be available in the system mailing in late October or early November.

In the spring the council decided to create an annual report for the President and Provost. Possible items to include in this report are the Hikel Award, information available to retirees, impact of homecoming on retirees supporting the university, and the Student Services “Hello Maine Greeters”.

Suggested speakers for future meetings are Len Kaye from the Center for Aging at Dirigo Pines, and Eric Rolfson, Vice President for Development.

The Homecoming survey comments seemed to focus on the lunch. Dennis McConnell suggested we structure the survey questions differently to learn more about our retirees. He also suggested we have wheel chairs available at Wells for Homecoming.

May 2009

Chair Brown distributed Maine Hello shirts for council members to wear at the Retiree Homecoming. We will ask EJ Roach if we could have 5 more shirts for door prizes.

Chair Brown shared a photo of the plaques for identifying the names of the individuals who are awarded the Outstanding Classified and Professional Achievements Awards. He has also requested that the plaque for faculty awards be moved to Wells Commons where the public can see them.

Retiree Homecoming:

Committee members are requested to arrive at 9:00 to get assignments and assist with greeting folks. Wayne Edgecomb recommended that we use the walkie-talkies to improve communications.

The Provost will present the Hikel recipient with the Hikel award clock. President Kennedy, who is unable to attend, will put his remarks on video. The video will be presented prior to Provost Susan Hunter updating retirees on University activities.

Catherine Pease recommended that we create an annual report that goes to the President. This report could highlight the activities of the committee.

April 2009

Tony Richards from the Systems Office updated and addressed questions about UMS Health Care. He reviewed Smart Value Plan and how it was going and the NDC (National Drug Block). Tony reviewed the history of the creation of task force to review the health care system for current and retired employees. As a result of the review the UMS selected Medicare Advantage Plan for retirees. The provider sends one bill and receives both Medicare and Anthem payments.

Chair Brown invited Tony Richards to return September 4, 2009 to update the information on the plan. He also will be present at the Retiree Homecoming.

Cathy suggested that in the fall we review website to update.

Brownie reminded members that our assistance would be appreciated for “Hello Maine” for welcoming students back in the fall.

January 2009

Sharon Oliver from Admissions presented information on the admission process and functions of the office:

Admission Key Functions (see handout): Marketing—outreach and recruitment. Tries to get targeted information in the hands of people who might be interested in UM. Tries to be personal and build relationships with students and how can UM meet their needs.
Operations Management: Office operations and processing of application materials
Outstanding Customer Service: This includes advising students, denial letters and a route back to UM.
Provides advisement to individual colleges on how to attract interested students

UM Marketing/Recruitment Messages: “At UMaine, you’re in a great place.”

- Stress the academic offerings. Academic offerings is the primary criteria identified in the research. Because of the uniqueness of departments, interested students are connected to the individual colleges.
- Opportunities and national travel is stressed.
- UMaine is an ideal size—best of both worlds – research university level with smaller classes.
- UMaine is made of small colleges and programs.
- First Year Residential Experience
- Natural Resources
- Always something to do on campus. This is especially important for attracting Southern Maine students

December 2008

Comments from Derek Hardy and Matt Ciampa about the Traditions Trail:
The class of 2010 was adopted by the class of 1944. The 2010 class has selected as a class gift the creation of the Traditions Trail. The trail begins at the Buchanan House to the Memorial Union. It will be a brick walkway (230 square bricks-each 8 X 10) with a plaque placed on each brick. Each brick can be dedicated to the classes or individuals. The cost of each block will be $2000.00. The beginning of the trail will have an arch. There will be four breakout areas with benches and lights to highlight specific traditions. Current traditions being considered are Maine Hello, The Beanie, Maine Day, Ivy Day, Mascots, Stein Song, Sophomore Owls and Eagles, All Maine Women, and Senior Skulls. Each Breakout Area will be sold for $20,000 and will include two traditions. A foundation fund will be established to maintain the trail.

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Office of Human Resources
5717 Corbett Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207)581-1581E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System