Dick reported that the new site has been attracting close to 2000 visits per month. He hopes that members will begin to get more actively involved by posting comments, suggesting/providing content, and using the site as a way of connecting with fellow retirees even when distances make face to face gatherings difficult.
#2. Latest numbers on retirees and those authorizing contact
Rob reported that since his last report (on August 6) the College has learned of nine retirements, five of which will take place at the end of this year. Three of these folks have so far authorized sharing their contact information with the Retirees Association. Information on two of them had already been forwarded to Dick, who has invited them to join. Information on the third person was provided at this meeting.
By way of background information, Rob noted that there are records on 481 living retirees, along with 65 who are deceased. Given that so few retirees from Cornwall or Brockville find it convenient to join the Retirees Association, our current membership of just over 100 could be considered a respectable proportion of available members.
#3. Update on College plans for 50th anniversary celebrations
The Province is planning system-wide celebrations for the community colleges to ensure some consistency in what is being done. St. Lawrence intends to go beyond these events and develop some specifically SLC activities, but no details are yet available. Gord explained that a major emphasis of the SLC events will be on the contribution that the College has made in its 50 years, to the surrounding communities and beyond. He wondered about the idea of an event designed exclusively for retirees. Upon further discussion, it was felt that ideally we would schedule a retiree event in conjunction with some other more general events that were being held over a two or three day period, perhaps over a weekend. The thought was that retirees might come to take part in a special event for them and then stay and partake of other events as well. Bill suggested that I.D. badges be prepared for retirees who attend any of the events, identifying them, their program area, and their years of service.
The College will be looking to the Retirees Association to develop and bring to fruition whatever special retiree event is to be offered. The College will also welcome a representation from the Association on the planning committee which will be established with respect to the 2017 events. The Association will canvass its members, including at the AGM next May, to determine the extent of member interest and willingness to participate in organizing such an event.
#4. Possible update of the Wall of Appreciation
Dick reported that much as he would have enjoyed seeing a re-creation (in digital form) of the Wall of Appreciation from 1997-1998, it is now his view that this is not a feasible option. Instead, and consistent with the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations, Dick indicated that he has already commenced work on a Book of Memories devoted to the first half century of SLC. He will incorporate the memories shared by retirees (some 20-odd stories to date), but will also fill in many of the gaps from his own recollections and from material that he is currently researching in the College archives. What he envisages is not an official College publication, but rather one long-time employee’s personal and incomplete perspective on SLC and the people and events that formed it.
The plan is to have this book ready in time for the 50th anniversary celebrations and, in particular, for any event held in 2017 specifically for retirees. Dick noted that Rob had indicated a willingness to look for some funding to create a supply of printed copies of this book, as many of the older retirees would prefer a hard copy to an electronic one.
Further discussions suggested additional possibilities for this Book of Memories. Bill referred again to the benefit of creating a digital version of many archival materials, such as College T-shirts depicting various programs. Some of this digital material could then become part of the book, part of the pictorial history of SLC. Bill noted that the Book of Memories could include serious stories about the evolution of programs at the college, variations of Faculty Forums, changing athletics activities, the changing location of the cafeteria, etc.
Gord suggested that we invite those currently working for the College to contribute their thoughts on memorable characters and events. This initiative would ensure that our record does cover the first 50 years and would be helpful in filling in the story since Dick retired from the College. Dick suggested that he work with Gord on how we word the invitation for current employees to participate in this project.
#5. College activities in 2015/16 of interest to employees
The College continues to work on procedures that would better ensure that the Retirees Association gets informed of events of potential interest to its members. At the moment, the plan is to create a College email address for our Association (or to use the existing one of email@example.com) and to make it part of the circulation list for AllNotes. This would appear to be the best way to keep the Association in the loop. If possible, this email address will be set up to link automatically to Dick’s email address for even greater convenience. [Alternatively – and this was not discussed at the meeting – the emails could be automatically forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org, since that email address is one for the Association and not for a particular member.]
Gord provided a list of upcoming events for our information. Specifically:
Campus Christmas Luncheons
Brockville Dec 15 11:30 – 1:30 Location to be determined
Cornwall Dec 16 11:30 – 1:30 Location TBD
Kingston Dec 17 11:30 – 1:30 Dining Hall
Note: Gord will determine whether retirees from Brockville and Cornwall are invited to the lunches on those two campuses, so that Dick will know how to publicize these lunches to the membership of the Retirees Association.
Children’s Christmas Party
Kingston Dec 17 4:00 – 6:00 SA Lounge
Note: Maggie will send details about this Christmas Party, which is only held on Kingston Campus.
Learning Connections Conferences
Kingston May 10 and 11 2016 details to be confirmed
Foundation Golf Tournament
May 19, 216 details to be confirmed
Note: The College will be setting up a committee to plan for this golf tournament and would welcome a representative from the Retirees Association.
Convocations for 2016
Cornwall June 3 Specific time TBD Aultsville Theatre
Brockville June 10 TBD Centennial Road Church
Kingston June 16 and 17 TBD K-Rock Centre
#6. College response to Association offer to provide a session on retirement issues
Gord indicated that the College is happy to accept the offer from our Association to provide a session about issues surrounding retirement. After some discussion, it was agreed that this session would fit best as part of the Learning Connections Conference.
#7. Creation of Emeritus Professor Category
Gord reported that the College had apparently had a policy some years back concerning the granting of an Emeritus Professor designation and that at least one such designation was awarded before the policy was allowed to lapse. A major problem was that no one seemed to know that the policy existed, least of all the retirees to whom it applied. Gord is in the process of taking that policy back to the management group for reconsideration.