About the Retiree Center

Winona State University retirees (faculty, staff and administration) and their spouses/partner or surviving spouse/partner are considered members of the WSU Retiree Center. WSU Retirees register with the WSU Retiree Center to receive information about the privileges extended to all WSU retired employees.

The goals of the WSU Retiree Center encompass educational, social and service opportunities.

  • The educational goal involves a variety of continuing education and intellectual enrichment opportunities for retirees …almost anything - from short courses on computers to classes on a range of contemporary topics of academic interest.
  • Maintaining and enhancing social relationships is an important aspect of retirement and a key goal of the WSU Retiree Center.
  • WSU Retirees preserve bonds with the extended community of retirees that supports the mission and builds a multi-generational Winona State University campus. An important goal of the WSU Retiree Center is providing service to the University in many and varied ways.
Beginning in September 2003, two sociology professors, James R. Reynolds and Ronald A. Stevens, noted two national trends with implications for higher education: the graying of America (an aging professoriate) and a “baby boomer” redefinition of retirement (active, meaningful, contributing). The central question was, how could WSU meet the interests of retirees and continue to benefit from the knowledge, experience, expertise and institutional memory of these anticipated energetic and committed future contributors?

This question resulted in a comprehensive feasibility study (survey and focus groups including employees and retirees) combined with a web search that identified over forty existing retiree centers/organizations in higher education. This was followed by site visits to three well-established university centers (USC, UCLA & UNC-Ashville). The accumulated information generated a model and funding proposal that was approved by WSU administration in July/August, 2004.

Read the feasibility study results and proposal (PDF).

The WSU Retiree Center took shape in fall, 2004 with the formation of a seventeen member Steering Committee (now Advisory Committee) comprised of both current and retired faculty, staff and administrators. A Director search was initiated and a mission statement was developed that same year.

With an organizational structure in place, the following ongoing programs were developed:
  • Retiree Privilege Program (2005)
  • Living History Project (2005)
  • Senior University (2008), Socrates Café (2009)
  • Grandparents University (2011)
  • Retiree Center Scholarship Program (2014)
  • and the Travel and Day Trip Program (2015)
 Additionally, many volunteer and service opportunities are encouraged and facilitated along with a variety of organized social events throughout the year. Finally, an assessment program of the Center's structure, functioning, program and services was initiated in 2009 and conducted every three years.

Assessment results show the Retiree Center contributes a value-added benefit to the university and provides meaningful connections for retirees as well as valuable information for continued improvement.

Higher education institutions interested in developing their own campus-based retiree organization may contact the WSU Retiree Center Director for assistance and/or to arrange a visit.

Meet Our Team

Jessica Kauphusman

Director

jkauphusman@winona.edu

Nancy Amann

Office Manager

namann@winona.edu