Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » York University Retirees' Association » Welcome from our Co-Presidents

Welcome from our Co-Presidents

Head and shoulders photo of Diane Woody
Diane Beelen Woody
Head & shoulders photo of Steve Dranitsaris
Steve Dranitsaris

As YURA co-presidents we welcome you to the YURA website; here you will find information about our organization, summaries of events and activities with photos, and a wealth of information about upcoming workshops and social outings as well as learning 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 400 retired staff and faculty members.

Our first year as co-presidents has been a very busy one, with the additional challenge of completing two office moves. We are now happily settled in the Lorna Marsden Honour Court and we invite members to drop by (Tues/Wed/Thurs between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.). We thank our Office Volunteers who are currently assisting us with implementing a process for Records Management. We are deeply grateful to our co-officers, Secretary Marla Chodak and Treasurer Melody King, and to all the members of our hard-working Executive Committee for their support during this past year. We encourage you to click on the tab “About YURA” and then on “Executive Committee”. At the bottom of that page, you will find short biographical sketches of our Executive Committee members. The Executive meets six times per year, in addition to the Annual General Meeting. We encourage all YURA members to renew their own membership, to suggest to their newly retired colleagues that they join YURA, to participate in events and activities with fellow retirees, and to support our fundraising for awards, scholarships and other initiatives that assist students at York University.

During the past year, we have worked to heighten YURA’s visibility as an important and relevant entity within the University Community. The Charity Challenge walk in October 2023 took place on the Keele campus, starting and ending at the YURA office, and raising over $20,000 to alleviate student food insecurity on campus. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, we were able to gather in person for our Annual General Meeting in late October which we held in hybrid format, so that those who prefer virtual attendance were able to join in, and others could gather in person to enjoy a lunch together and in particular, reconnect with one another. All were delighted to hear our guest speaker, Dr. Eileen de Villa, who gave a thoughtful and probing talk on Public Health Challenges and Opportunities. We think you will enjoy the photos now posted on the website; they show our members during the Charity Challenge walk and reconnecting with one another during the AGM.

YURA is fortunate to have a robust set of communication tools, including YURA’s quarterly newsletter and our “Person-to-Person” monthly bulletin, in addition to this website. We are delighted to have a sizable group of members interested in planning activities for the coming year. As plans get finalized, the calendar of events on this website will be updated.  Also posted on this calendar are events to which YURA members are invited that are offered by York University and by other universities and retiree associations.  Many of these are online.  We invite you to bookmark the YURA website and check it regularly.

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming activity such as the online, interactive YURA Café, a possible collaboration with the York University Centre for Aging and Research, or a “fun-learning”/social outing planned by YURA.