October 4, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Dr. Fred Ware, Chairman of the VSU Retirees Association

VSU Celebrates Opening of Retiree Center

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Retirees Association is proud to announce the opening of the Retiree Center.

Located directly across the hall from Human Resources in the University Center, the Retiree Center will serve as home base for the VSU Retirees Association.

The VSU Retirees Association strives to help retired faculty, staff, and administrators maintain their connection to the university throughout retirement by providing opportunities for them to remain involved in campus life and to serve as a resource to current faculty, staff, and students, as well as alumni. Its members also participate in statewide and national associations, such as the Georgia Higher Education Retirees Organizations and the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education.

Dr. Dennis Marks, 2014 chairman of the VSU Retiree’s Association, recently joined other higher education leaders in the statewide establishment of a new University System of Georgia Retiree Council, which now provides twice-a-year meetings of retiree representatives from all USG institutions. He currently serves as chairman of the USG Retiree Council.

An important and ongoing service provided by the VSU Retirees Association has been to assist retirees during the USG’s medical insurance coverage transition, which began in the fall of 2015. In response to concerns about the rising cost of health care, the USG moved from a defined-benefit program to a define-contribution program, which required each retiree to choose from a cafeteria of insurance plans. The Retiree Center will provide a place for retirees to work on updating their insurance coverage.

Dr. Denise Bogart, director of Human Resources, pointed out that VSU Retirees Association volunteers were instrumental last year in assisting human resources professionals in locating all of VSU’s retired employees and surviving beneficiaries. This was important because retirees who failed to select an insurance plan would no longer have any health care insurance supported by the USG.

Upcoming VSU Retirees Association events include the group’s first tailgate tent at the Oct. 22 VSU homecoming football game and its annual membership meeting and election in conjunction with the VSU Benefits and Wellness Fair on Oct 27. The current officers are Fred Ware, chairman; Bob DeLong, vice chairman; and Mary Helen Watson, secretary-treasurer. Council members are David Boyd, Ann Lacey, Bob Lee, John Magnasco, Dennis Marks, and Louis Schmier.

Visit www.valdosta.edu/administration/retirees/ for more information.