The University of Missouri did not have a retirement plan prior to 1958. At that time the administration formulated retirement options and the faculty and staff chose a non-contributory defined benefit plan. Dramatic changes in the University’s retirement and benefits plans, proposed to begin on September 1, 1990, created concerns in pre-1990 retirees about whether their interests and concerns were being effectively communicated to the administration. These concerns led to the organization of MURA. Dr. C. V. Ross (Animal Science) and Dr. Bob Daniels (Psychology) were recognized by MURA as cofounders.

Throughout MURA’s history, the organization has held to is purpose to represent, promote, and protect the interests of the retirees and to promote the welfare of the University of Missouri. The constitution, available on the MURA website, outlines Objectives, Officers and Board of Directors, Rules of Order, Inurement Income, and Legislative or Political Activities.

Celebrating its 30-year history, the MURA NEWS June, September, and December issues identify its honored leaders and provide a comprehensive milestone listing. See Newsletter Archive. Milestones from 1990-2020 and after 2020 include:

1990: The UMC Retirees Association Founders’ Day is celebrated on March 20, 1990, at 2 p.m. About 250 retirees assemble at the Animal Sciences Auditorium. Clarence Verl “C.V.” Ross is the inaugural president of UM-CRA (University of Missouri-Columbia Retirees Association).

1992: MURA is approved as the acronym for the MU Retiree Association.

2001: John Parker begins Lifespan Learning Program.

2007: Proclamation renames MURA annual picnic as Ray Schroeder Picnic.

2007: John Parker begins MURA’s breakfast series with Bob Priddy, news director of Missourinet as the first speaker. His presentation is “A Mosaic of Missouri History.

2007: MURA Board of Directors approve a resolution supporting Chancellor Brady Deaton’s proposal to rename the Missouri’s flagship university as the University of Missouri (eliminating University of Missouri-Columbia as the name). Curators approve the name change on Nov. 29, 2007.

2011 the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute became a MURA partner.

2013: An electronic (list serve) distribution list is set up and maintained by Barb Harris for sending information electronically to MURA members.

2014: Leslie Palmer and Barb Harris are trained to maintain MURA website.


2015: MURA President Tom Henderson helps make the MURA Scholarship program a reality.


2015: Tom Henderson and John Parker establish what would become the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

2015: MURA Board champions free email for MU/UM retirees. Prior to that change by UM system IT, only emeriti faculty were afforded that opportunity and everyone else was charged a yearly fee of $25.


2017: MURA awards first two $500 scholarships for staff dependents.

2018: The last paper newsletter is mailed to all members. Beginning in November, paper newsletter is only mailed to members without an email address.

2018-9: MURA member George Smith receives the Nobel Prize Award in Chemistry. George and his wife, Margie Sable, 2017 MURA president, give a breakfast presentation about receiving the award. MU dedicates a bike rack parking spot to George to honor him.

2019: MURA is recognized with the MU Faculty Council Shared Governance Award highlighting 30 years in advocating, communicating, educating/ socializing and contributing to the university family.

2019: MURA hosts a scholarship fund-raising concert with the Dave and Deke Combo and reaps $8,141. Deke is son of the late Kitty Dickerson, who was MURA president in 2016.

2020: Celebrating MURA’s 30-year history, the first program of the year is Photos and Footsteps: Celebrating MURA’s Past by Ruth Tofle, Gary Smith, and Ken Hutchinson.  MURA NEWS in 2020 identify its honored leaders, milestones, and stories from MURA leaders.

2020: MURA archives papers with University Archives, University of Missouri.

2020: During COVID-19 pandemic, during MURA President Betsy Garrett’s term, MURA leads effort to initiate first UM Retiree Town Hall webinar in May addressing retiree issues including the topic of the security of pensions. Over 900 households are reached system wide. More than 120 questions are submitted.

2020: Because of COVID-19 pandemic, programs are canceled in April and May.  First MURA Virtual Breakfast occurs in June featuring David Sapp talking about Along Boone’s Lick Road: Key Link to the West. Online attendance is over 90 households locally and in other geographic locations.

2020: During “lock-down” of pandemic, MURA Bi-weekly Update emails begin new features of “Barbara’s Picks” of curated online free programs by Barbara Schneider, Program Chair, and “Personal Note” by Ruth Tofle, MURA President.

2020: All UM retiree organizations join MURA in support of proposal to continue .edu email for existing retirees.  Proposal is successful.

2020: Traditional MURA Information meeting is replaced by a fall UM Retiree Town Hall webinar in October addressing issues focusing on health care benefits. Over 600 households are reached system wide.

2021: Tom Henderson leads MURA Kitty Dickerson Scholarship Committee now providing three MU students $1500 scholarships.

2021: MURA initiates effort with other UM retirement associations to work with UM staff in increasing retiree communication.  Former MURA President Jo Turner and Membership Co-Chair leads efforts to (1) create UM website, (2) allow “opt-in” choice for pre-retirees to receive information about retiree associations, (3) identify use of preferred email to receive UM updates, and (4) increase retiree association membership.

2021: MURA President Ruth Tofle leads effort on five goals: (1) Advance information technology to effectively support MURA objectives; (2)  Initiate partnerships to include collaborators and sponsors to strengthen our organization and defray member costs; (3) Promote diverse membership growth among MU and UM staff and faculty retirees and pre-retirees; (4)  Increase the scholarship endowment with goals set by Scholarship Committee; (5) Benefit from member survey responses for continuing improvement of our organization.

2021: Webmaster Judy Maseles leads advancements with online registration and payment through PayPal for membership applications and event registration.  All event registrations are online.

2021: Secretary Mary Licklider leads effort to utilize Microsoft Teams for document storage of Policy and Procedures Manual and ongoing MURA business.

2021: MURA Faculty Member At Large, Art Jago, leads member survey providing longitudinal data after 2018 survey.

2021: Ad hoc committee with Ina Linville, Ruth Tofle, and Kee Groshong successfully work with Central Bank/Central Trust Company to co-sponsor programs to defray increased service and food costs of breakfast series and holiday event.

2021:  Co-education chairs Clyde and Cecile Bentley arrange program in first hybrid breakfast series in September reaching online and in-person persons.  Modifications are made during pandemic with masks, social distancing, and in-person cap of 32 diners. Mike Szydlowski, CPS Science Coordinator presents Back to School – Back to Nature: Boone County Nature School Update and Opportunities.