Dear UVA Retired Faculty
As the new academic year gets underway, many of us are remembering those years of being in the classroom or the lab or the library or even, for some, in the clinic. I invite you to take a moment and reflect on a peak professional experience. Awards, publications, scientific discoveries, and prestigious academic societies may come into mind. Many of you report specific teaching moments as peak experiences. Whatever our discipline or our school, we share significant connections to the University of Virginia. The Retired Faculty Association can become a mechanism of maintaining and growing the richness of connections with one another and the University.
A robust group gathered at the Omni on September 16 for a delicious lunch and Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Office “J.J.” Davis’ very interactive presentation. You can see photos from the luncheon here. I was most surprised by the number of persons gathered on Grounds on any day. Way more than just students, faculty, staff. A total of 47,500 persons from touring high school students to the people visiting patients at the hospital come on Grounds. J.J., as she encouraged us to call her, answered questions ranging from location of the new student residences (“plenty of space remaining!”) to the Commonwealth’s commitment to higher education to the onerous collection practices of the Medical Center to the University’s commitment to livable wage and affordable housing in the community.
Emeritus Professor of Biology Reg Garret is our speaker for the upcoming Luncheon on Monday, November 18 at noon at the Omni Hotel. You can register for the luncheon here. Reg will explain the DNA research and real-life application enabled the CrispR Technique. He will describe the process by which designer twins were conceived and delivered in China last year and discuss the ethical questions facing us going forward. Reg Garrett is an outstanding teacher, the co-author of the Biochemistry textbook in its tenth edition and an enthusiastic Semester-at-Sea faculty and Academic Dean. Reg and his wife have taken four grandchildren around the world on separate SAS voyages, homeschooling on board and interpreting the social behavior of college undergraduates in the classroom and the port.
Now is also the time for those of you who have not renewed your membership to the UVA Retired Faculty Association to do so!! And for those of you who have just retired to come to liven up this group with your energy, your ideas and new directions. And lastly, for the retired faculty who choose only to show up to for the President’s Luncheon in the spring, give membership and participation a whirl this year. We need your wisdom. We need your insight.
Changes for RFA
Yes, the Board of Directors is very aware that the transition to membership renewal and luncheon reservation online has been somewhat of a challenge. Some tinkering with the process will make it more usable for the next round. Based on that, we will be waiving the EventBrite fees for the November Luncheon. Registration will be online only.
Please let us know what is or isn’t working. Mariel Childress and the Alumni Association are committed to a successful transition to online communication. Share ideas for the web page with the Board members and Destiny Lee, our webmistress at the Alumni Association. I believe that moving Obituaries from a banner center to a less prominent position is a promising beginning.
In conclusion, we are all changing and evolving in the retirement phase of our lives and so is the UVA RFA. Please feel free to push and nudge, suggest, and volunteer. Call, write, email, text your ideas! Join! Show up! Share! You are what this organization is about!