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York University Retirees' Association

Image of 13 members of the YURA Executive from 2017, five women and 8 men, with 4 members sitting at the meeting room table and the other 9 standing behind.

The York University Retirees' Association
is a voluntary group which represents
retired employees from all the employee
groups -- faculty, staff and managers --
who wish to maintain contact with
the University and each other.

JOINING THE RANKS OF YORK RETIREES?

If you are a York retiree or planning to retire and would like
to receive a brochure with more information about the
Retirees’ Association (without having to surf this website),
please e-mail yura@yorku.ca

WELCOME.... DIANE BEELEN WOODY & STEVE DRANITSARIS, YURA CO-PRESIDENTS

Head and shoulders photo of Diane Woody
Diane Beelen Woody

We are very pleased to be starting our terms as co-presidents and to welcome you to the YURA website. In the past few years, much work has been accomplished to have these pages provide the latest information about upcoming events, activities, and volunteer opportunities. We strive to provide relevant information about wellness and well-being during retirement, the better to experience the joys and rewards of this stage of life, while simultaneously learning to navigate the inevitable challenges. We are proud to have one of the most active university retirees’ associations in Canada, with approximately 500 retired staff and faculty members.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on our ability to plan in-person events in the past few years. We remain hopeful that 2023 will bring more opportunities to share the unique joy of being together to establish deeper connections with one another and with the York community. In the meantime, YURA has learned to hold virtual events....

... click here to read more

Head & shoulders photo of Steve Dranitsaris
Steve Dranitsaris

YURA Office Relocates

In early January, the YURA Office moved from 101 Central Square, an office location our Association has enjoyed for more than twenty years. This move took place so that the University can provide additional space needed by Student Accessibility Services in the Ross-Central Square core.

YURA is now housed in temporary quarters in Room W129A in the Bennett Centre, the face building on the Student Services Parking Garage, located just south of the Schulich School of Business and within easy walking distance from the York University subway station.  This office is on the first floor of the west wing of the building. The easiest way to find the office is to enter the Bennett Centre at its southwest doors on Ian Macdonald Blvd. just north of the new Continuing Studies Building near The Pond Road.  Once inside these doors, we are in the suite located on the left side of the corridor.  From the Student Services Parking Garage, this same corridor can be accessed from the southwest exit of the garage on the ground level.  There will be directional signs.

Please follow the instructions posted at the suite entrance by calling the YURA phone number, 416.736.2100 extn. 70664 and we will greet you at the suite entrance.  The YURA Office is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Office operations resumed in this temporary location effective Tuesday, January 17, 2023.

YURA will move to a more permanent location in the Lorna Marsden Honour Court on York Blvd., across from the York University subway station in August 2023.

Update on Markham Campus provided to YURA members

At the YURA Café session on November 29, Gary Brewer, Interim President of the York University Development Corporation (YUDC), provided detailed descriptions, with photos and drawings, of the development of York’s new Markham Campus as well as the emerging plan for future development of the Keele Campus, recently approved by the University’s Board of Governors. For all YURA members to keep informed, courtesy of YUDC, the slide deck presented at the session can be viewed by clicking here.

President Rhonda Lenton reported in her recent New Year’s message, “The Markham Campus is progressing well. York will mark the completion of the campus structure with a Topping Off ceremony in the weeks ahead as we move closer to our official opening in Spring 2024. We are excited to welcome our first cohort of students for select programs this fall – to be delivered at our state-of-the-art Learning Space in the world-class IBM Canada headquarters until they can be transitioned into the new [York University] building.”

Magical Practices for Stress Busting - Winter 2023 Sessions

Developed by Dr. Harvey Skinner, founding dean of the Faculty of Health at York, these 30-minute online practical programs are offered for enhancing wellness and managing stress. Are you looking for more energy and less stress? Give it a try. Qi Gong classes run for 8 weeks, Mondays and Thursdays, from 12:00 to 12:30, January 30 through March 23. Mindfulness Meditation classes run for 8 weeks, Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m., January 30 through March 20. For more information and to register, please click here.

Donations for 2023

YURA members are encouraged to consider a donation to the one or more of the YURA sponsored student awards or other worthwhile YURA-sponsored projects at the University.  Among these are the YURA Graduate Student Award, the William Small Award, the YURA Mature Student Bursaries, the Student Food Bank, the York Camps Subsidy Fund (for local kids from disadvantaged families) or the Access to Postsecondary Program (aimed at middle school youth from the local Black Creek community).

To make an on-line donation or to arrange monthly contributions, please click here.

YURA Membership for 2022-2023

Click here for more information, instructions and forms for both membership renewal and applications to become new YURA members. Membership registration is encouraged by August 15th of each year.

2022 YURA AGM Highlighted by Talk by Dr. Irvin Studin

Head & shoulders photo of Dr. Irvin Studin, dressed in a blue suit with a yellow tie
Dr. Irvin Studin

Considered one of the leading international policy thinkers and strategists of his generation, Irvin Studin is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Global Brief magazine and President of The Institute for 21st Century Questions. He is also the Chair of the Worldwide Commission to Educate All Kids (Post-Pandemic).

Dr. Studin explained Canada's multiple crises coming out of the pandemic, and how Canada can survive and succeed, in domestic and international terms alike, in a wicked post-pandemic world.

The 2022 AGM was held on Friday, October 28 at 11 a.m. For more information about the YURA Annual General Meeting (including background materials) and this year's speaker, please click here.

Membership Survey Results Summarized

More than 60% of YURA members participated in a survey conducted last winter and spring by the Association's Executive Committee to learn about what members thought about current activities and how YURA could better support its members in the future. A summary of survey results, prepared by professor emeritus and former YURA co-president Ian Greene, can be found by clicking here.

YURA Raises $25,691 for Graduate Student Awards in 2022 Charity Challenge

For the fourth straight year, YURA participated in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge to raise funds for graduate student awards at the University. The YURA team consisted of 9 YURA retirees and one York faculty member who undertook to seek sponsor donations from former colleagues, co-workers, family and friends. Another six York retirees and one family member joined in YURA's two "virtual" 5 km walks in High Park and in Newmarket in early October. The $25,691 raised puts YURA over its $115,000 goal needed to endow the three Graduate Student Awards that are given annually. Sincere thanks to all participants and supporters over the past four years for making this endowment a reality! For further details and photos about this year's Charity Challenge, please click here.

College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC)

CURAC is the national organization of the postsecondary retirees' associations across Canada.  It speaks for the collective on a variety of public policy issues.  It provides a number of important services to its members, including an annual conference that highlights best practices among its member associations and promotes collaboration. YURA was among the founders of CURAC.  

All YURA members should check out the CURAC website to learn about the initiatives in which it is involved and the services and activities it offers to all retiree association members, including members of YURA.

Academic for Life Online Magazine Introduces CURAC Column

Good  news for members of university retiree associations. The University Affairs (UA) online magazine called Academic for Life now includes a CURAC column. The first article that was published is by Dr. Fred Fletcher, professor emeritus of political science and communications studies at York University,  as well as chairperson of the communications committee for the CURAC/ARUCC board of directors. Fred is a longstanding member of the YURA Executive and has contributed enormously to YURA, ARFL and CURAC.

This initial article outlines the history and present goals of CURAC. YURA members may benefit from its historical and current perspective.

Click here to read the article.

Dr. Fred Fletcher

2022 CURAC Virtual Assembly

The 2022 CURAC Virtual Assembly was held on Thursday, May 19th. Co-hosted this year by the University of British Columbia Emeritus College, University of Victoria Retirees Association and Simon Fraser University Retirees Association, the program focused on "Faces of Wellness and Well-being." Presenters included Dr. John Helliwell, Dr. Angela Brooks-Wilson, Dr. Gloria Gutman and Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews. To view the Youtube video of the Assembly, including the CURAC Awards presentation, please click here.

Anne-Marie Ambert honoured by CURAC

At the 2022 CURAC Virtual Assembly on May 19th our Anne-Marie Ambert was honoured for her contribution to YURA and to CURAC. Anne-Marie has been the editor of the YURA Newsletter and the Person to Person bulletin since 2011. More...

Anne-Marie Ambert
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YURA Events Calendar

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