Retirees Club

Retiree Club Meetings are always an enjoyable occasion as UTA Retirees gather with other members, listen to invited speakers, and enjoy treats and coffee. We have retired after ten, twenty, thirty, and some members forty years. Each of us have special friends and experiences we will always remember. Only by attending do many of us happen to see friends we have worked next to for years and can now share stories of our families and mutual friends.

After our March 2020 meeting, we communicated with many and asked the question, "Is it safe to continue face-to-face meetings?" We decided that it was best to sit back and be safe. In the Fall of 2021, we attempted to again engage retirees in face-to-face meetings, but received very little interest. Consequently, we suspended monthly meetings at UTA until we felt it was safe for each of us.

Discussions with members, officers, and human resource staff prompted us to think of virtual meetings as many other University Retirees Clubs around the country have done. We began virtual meetings via TEAMS with special thanks to Gina Fenwick, HR Executive Assistant. We call Gina the TEAMS guru! Our members, who wished to join TEAMS, enjoyed each meeting in the comfort of their own homes. My granddaughter, Rose promised it was so easy! And after some hesitancy, I quickly joined and was comfortable. Aren’t grandchildren wonderful!

Each of our UTA Deans was invited to join a meeting. They were asked to share their college’s outstanding programs and faculty contributions for approximately twenty minutes. Retirees then joined in with questions and comments. We all enjoyed the casual conversations allowing us to get to know the Deans and the programs better. I asked if retirees could partner in programs in each of college! Several Deans mentioned, let us know what ya’ll would like to do and we can talk. A great invitation to all retirees!

Summer/Fall 2022 will be our second semester of incorporating TEAMS Club Meetings. Our numbers have grown with each meeting! These meetings will include an assortment of guests. Yvette Rodriquez and Victoria Zamora will begin with our only combination of face-to-face and TEAMS, as they discuss important health and insurance information! Other meetings will include discussions of retiree travel offered in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 with Karen Barclay from COLLETTE Travel! Dorothy Moore, a master of Bridge will introduce us to the game. Who knows, we many begin a UTA Retiree Bridge Club! Back by popular demand is Attorney, Laurie Varnelle will discuss legal and safety issues for seniors. We also invited Attorney Chrys Jones, who will speak about Elder Law and Special Needs Law. Dr. Minerva Cordero, UTA faculty who recently visited President Biden to receive a national award will join us in October. Dr. Myrtle P. Bell of the College of Business, a distinguished global leader will discuss racial equity and inclusion. Dean Scott Ryan, College of Social Work will share the college’s research and commitment to social justice and diversity issues. I called AISD to invite a speaker for our Retiree Meeting. Delighted, I was very quickly informed that the Superintendent would love to speak with UTA Retirees! Thank you, Dr. Cavazos!

A very special speaker, President Jennifer Crowley will join us in December 2022! Look forward to more news about this wonderful event!

Dr. Shirley Rose Theriot, President
UTA Retirees Club

Benefits Annual Enrollment

Annual enrollment for insurance is July 15-31, 2022. The UTA Benefits Team met with retirees on July 12th to discuss any plan design and insurance rate changes for the 2022-2023 benefit year. The recording of this session is available:



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August 22, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST
Chrys Jones
Chris shares important information in Elder Law and Special Needs Law.


September 12, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST

Dr. Marcelo Cavazos       
Arlington AISD, Superintendent of Schools 
Dr. Cavazos will discuss exciting programs and activities in our local school district and the effects of COVID-19 on students and teachers


September 22, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST

Dr. Minerva Cordero                                                                  
Professor of Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor
President Biden has named Dr. Cordera a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. One of twelve in the country.


October 3, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST

Laurie Varnelle                                                                          
Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney, Chief of the Elder Financial Fraud Team
Laurie returns to us after requests from many club members.


October 17, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST

Dean Scott Ryan
College of Social Work
Dean Ryan shares the faculty research and commitment to social justice and building conditions that remove barriers for diverse, and historically excluded individuals.


November 7, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST

Dr. Myrtle P. Bell
Associate Dean for Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Business
Dr. Bell was selected twice by the Society for Human Resource Management as one of eight professors among 100 distinguished global thought leaders from business, education, and government.


December 5, 2022 - 2:00 PM CST

President Jennifer Cowley

Jennifer Cowley is the first female president of The University of Texas at Arlington and the 10th overall. She is also a professor of public affairs and planning in the College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs.  Dr. Cowley has dedicated her career to public service. Before joining UT Arlington, she was the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of North Texas, where she led economic development partnerships, advanced diversity, and inclusion initiatives, fostered student success, bolstered the research portfolio, and helped increase enrollment. She worked at The Ohio State University for 16 years, serving as the vice provost for capital planning and regional campuses, associate dean of the College of Engineering, head of city and regional planning, and a professor during her time there. While at OSU, Cowley also led four regional campuses, helped develop the President’s and Provost’s Teaching Institute to aid faculty in improving teaching quality and advancing effectiveness, and created a capital plan that led to more than $1 billion in development over a five-year period.

            Prior to entering academia, Cowley worked in city government in Amarillo and College Station. She earned a Ph.D. in urban and regional science, master’s degree in urban planning, and bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University and master’s degrees in interdisciplinary studies and public administration from UNT. She is a fellow of American Institute of Certified Planners and a member of the executive committee of the Council on Academic Affairs in the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.  An Arlington native, Cowley and her husband, Jon, have a high-school-age son, Nathan, and a pet chinchilla named Chinchi.


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In 1985, Elwood Preiss, executive assistant to President Wendell Nedderman, called a group of people together to discuss the formation of an organization for UT Arlington retirees. The group included John Gardner, who was named chair of the Steering Committee; Joe Spradlin, who became vice chair/newsletter editor; and members Betty Hamilton, Fred Hunstable and Mary Smith.
Members of the Steering Committee formed several goals for the proposed Retirees Club:

  • Provide retirees with a means to sustain their relationship with the University, renew old friendships and make new ones.
  • Create fellowship opportunities for retirees to play games or gather for conversation.
  • Bring in University administrators to keep retirees informed about new developments and goals of the University.
  • Provide programs for enlightenment and entertainment.

The Steering Committee produced bylaws to govern the club. Officers included President, President-Elect, VP Membership, Secretary, Treasurer and Newsletter Editor. In 1988, the office of Games Coordinator was added. In 1989, the office of President-Elect became VP Programs.

In 1999, the Retirees Club formed a Retiree Roll of Honor to recognize the contributions of those club members who filled leadership positions in the club. Currently, 27 members have received this honor.

To further recognize the contributions of UT Arlington Retirees to the university and community, in 2007 the club awarded it's inaugural Distinguished Retiree Service Award to Elwood Preiss, proclaiming the award to now be called the Elwood Preiss Retiree Service Award. Subsequent awards have been issued to Joe Spradlin and Thurman Jasper.

For more information on becoming a member of the Retiree Club: