Forming the Georgia Consortium
(from the Fall 2012 AROHE Newsletter)

Chair’s Column, taken from Georgia State University’s Emerities, February and May 2012

by Dave Ewert

On January 5th, 2012, the Georgia State Emeriti Association and Emory’s Emeritus College hosted a day-long meeting of representatives from retiree organizations similar to ours from 11 public and private institutions of higher learning in Georgia.

Group Picture (2)
Front row: Dorothy Zinsmeister (Kennesaw State University), Jo McIver (Georgia Institute of Technology), Ellen Jones (Kennesaw State University), Martha Wicker (Clayton State University), Annette Satterfield (Georgia Institute of Technology), Catherine Carter (Georgia Perimeter College), Betty Molloy (Georgia Perimeter College), Debbie Novak (University of West Georgia), Marla Thompson (Morehouse University).

Second Row: Glenn Novak (University of West Georgia), John Bugge (Emory University), Fred Roach (Kennesaw State University), Ian Gatland (Georgia Institute of Technology), Dave Ewert (Georgia State University), Dave Welter (Georgia Regents University), Ron Swofford (Georgia Perimeter College), Gene Hatfield (Clayton State University), Bill Flatt (University of Georgia), Bill Shropshire (Oglethorpe University), Glenn Abney (Georgia State University), Harry Dangel (Georgia State University).

During the meeting, attendees shared information about their respective programs and activities. Across the board, the most popular programs deal with retirement benefits. Additionally, some retiree organizations are either funding student scholarships or aspiring to, and one of the retiree organizations provides research grants for its retired faculty. Other associations offer ambitious programs such as overnight trips and overseas tours.

The consensus at this meeting was that we should establish a Georgia association of higher-education organizations that are dedicated to working with their retirees. One participant said, “I got so much from the interactions and absolutely have a list of ideas to implement quickly and some to work on adding.”

The Georgia consortium had its second meeting April 20th at Emory. Again, there was an enthusiasm for sharing thoughts on programs. Since our first meeting, other schools adopted and adapted programs similar to our High Museum visits and economic forecasting presentations which was gratifying and encouraging.

Because of GSU’s and Emory’s effort to form the Georgia consortium of higher education retiree organizations, the president of Columbus State University invited me to speak at their annual meeting of retirees. In my presentation at Columbus State I could discuss GSU’s programs plus what a dozen other Georgia schools are offering. This information and the examples used should help Columbus State initiate and develop its own retiree organization.

Our Emeriti Association learns and benefits from what schools across the nation are doing for their retirees by being a member of the Association of Retirement Organizations for Higher Education. The Georgia consortium schools, to further their growth, will be members of AROHE.

Within AROHE, the success of the Georgia consortium is not going unnoticed. For example, in early June, Clemson University hosted it first meeting to form a consortium of South Carolina schools. At AROHE’s October meeting at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, my colleagues at Emory and Clemson and I will have a session discussing the purpose of local consortiums and how to launch and manage them.

(Note: Dave Ewert is the Chair of the Emeriti Association at Georgia State University and a co-founder of GA-HERO. He is Professor Emeritus of Finance and Director Emeritus of the Executive M.B.A. program at Georgia State University.)