The Northwest Retiree Association gathered for an inaugural meeting: front, Steve Sutton, Rosalie Weathermon, Jolaine Zweifel and Dr. Jim Eiswert; back, Brenda Untiedt, advancement database, research and communications specialist for Northwest’s Office of University Advancement, Dr. Robert Dewhirst, Nancy Hardee, Dr. Janice Brandon-Falcone, Dr. David McLaughlin, Ray Courter and Dr. Richard Fulton.

With 22 chapters throughout the world comprising Northwest Missouri State University’s Alumni Association – including chapters for former members of the Bearcat Marching Band and Bearcat football team – a new affiliate group has formed to support retired employees of the University.

The Northwest Retiree Association gathered for an inaugural meeting in December at the Michael L. Faust Center for Alumni and Friends on the Northwest campus. More than 100 individuals have signed up to join the group, accounting for more than 1,770 total years of service.

The group seeks to be a resource for new retirees and assist them in transitioning to retired life while providing a community for social and intellectual activities. Any former Northwest employee vested in the University retirement system, and their spouse, is invited to join the group.

Northwest retirees Ray Courter, Dr. Jim Eiswert, Dr. Janice Brandon-Falcone, Dr. Richard Fulton and Jolaine Zweifel initiated the association with the support of the Office of University Advancement.

“I’m sure we’re going to come up with all sorts of mini projects and larger projects that we can do,” Eiswert, who retired last year as an associate professor of philosophy after 27 years at Northwest, said. “For me, the most important thing is this: Some of us have experienced, upon retirement, after 30 years or 20 years at Northwest, all of a sudden, I’m out there alone. You might have other communities, churches and so forth, or you may have found ways to stay connected, but we want to make sure all of our retirees in the Northwest community are looked after, engaged with, taken care of, working together, to continue our relationship with the community and the University.”

The group distributed its first newsletter in January and has additional short-terms goals of creating an online directory, offering research assistance, sponsoring educational lectures and organizing a walking group. It also could establish a scholarship program as well as chapters in other locales.

“We’d really like to see us keep our involvement with the University because that’s what made us Northwest retirees,” Brandon-Falcone, a retired professor of history, humanities, philosophy and political science, said. “You don’t have to say goodbye. I know we have retirees scattered everywhere.”

For more information about the Northwest Retiree Association and opportunities to get involved, or send an email to