UW Retirement Association

July 25, 2018

UW Encore Digest July 2018

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Engaging Experience for the Greater Good 


Special OlympicsThree giant purple words in all caps appeared on the Rainier Vista lawn on July 1. They read “RISE WITH US”. The official slogan of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games (hosted by Seattle and located, for the most part, on the UW Seattle campus) was also an invitation from the event organizers to get involved. UW retirees, their friends and family members accepted the invitation. They “rose” to assist with several components of the week-long event including the Opening Ceremony cheer line, the athlete housing check-ins, and the bocce ball, tennis and powerlifting competitions. Many also served the important role of “Fans in the Stands”, cheering athletes on.   Sincerest thanks to everyone who served as athlete escorts, line judges, scorekeepers, guides, cheerleaders and more.

Volunteers’ Reflections

“There were so many athletes with their families on campus,” says Margi Wadden, UWRA first vice president, who helped to organize the UWRA presence at the games. “You could feel the energy.  The athletes would be walking across campus in groups of ten, organized by event, and you could hear a lot of chanting and laughing. But when they reached the venue they became very serious about their performance.”

Janet and Alan

Janet Primomo, a retiree from the nursing program at UW Tacoma, helped the athletes stay calm as they waited in the staging area for their turn on the court. “I had a delightful conversation with four young women who were interested in knowing more about Seattle. They also asked about my career, my family and if I had any animals at home.


“I was inspired to be among the athletes and so many caring coaches and volunteers. It felt good to be in a place where respect and dignity for all human beings was the norm. I was reminded that every human being can enjoy life in his or her own way.  The Special Olympics reminded me how important it is to be sensitive to the needs of each individual.”

Alan Wood, a retiree from interdisciplinary arts and sciences at UW Bothell, also worked in the staging area. He talked with several athletes, including one older woman and a younger one. “They were very relaxed and stressed what a wonderful experience this was for them, quite apart from whether they won or lost. They emphasized that they had made a lot of friends and that getting to know people was the real underlying purpose and meaning of the competition.

“Never once did I see any trace of frustration or annoyance from the competitors, at either themselves or others.” Wood also was impressed with the event staff. “They were totally devoted to the competitors, not in any way condescending or patronizing but treating everyone as if they were no different from anyone else.”

Vince Stricherz, retiree from News & Information, was a scorekeeper for bocce. “I was quite impressed by the great humor expressed by some of the athletes and the focus most of them brought to the event. What I saw reinforces my belief that people with various limitations can be quite competitive whether in an athletic endeavor or at work or in school, if proper accommodations can be made to compensate for their limitations.”

“A big shout-out to our retirees who recognized how worthwhile it was to give a few hours of their time,” says Wadden. “I also hope this whets their appetite for volunteering in general. UWRA is a great resource for working with organizations, both on and off campus. I hope this encourages people to seek out opportunities for making a difference in the lives of others.”


VeggiesUW FarmPeak Season CSA Vegetable Boxes and Cut Flowers CSA – Sign up deadline is August 13th – Sign up now for these tasty and wholesome reminders of the great work done at the UW Farm. The faculty/staff price of $200 for five weekly boxes of farm fresh produce is available to UW retirees. Boxes can be picked up every Wednesday, August 15-September 12 at the UW Farm (Center for Urban Horticulture) or at the UW Club. Cut Flower CSA’s are also available! Sign up to participate in summer’s bounty and/or beauty HERE. Learn how you can share your time and skills and get your hands into the fertile earth at the UW Farm HERE.


JV EnCorps – Sign up deadline is August 15:  JV EnCorps, a program of JVC Northwest, facilitates transformative opportunities for service and reflection for adults 50 and older who are committed to social and ecological justice. During their ten months of part-time volunteer service, participants meet regularly in community to thoughtfully explore the values of community, simple living and social and ecological justice.  Learn more about this valuable chance for community and personal reflection HERE or email JVE at JVESeattle@jvcnorthwest.org

Two Chances to Support Student Research! Drop into either or both of these sessions to view undergraduates’ research in STEM fields AND in the Arts and Humanities.

urp_153Summer Quarter STEM Research Poster Sessions –August 15th – 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. – Mary Gates Commons

Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities (SIAH) Symposium – August 17 – 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Mary Gates Hall, Room 389 –SIAH gives undergraduates studying in the arts and humanities an opportunity to undertake an extensive research project. The theme of this year’s project is Seattle’s Upside Down: Unearthing the City’s Deeper Histories.

Learn more about these undergraduate research presentations by contacting urp@uw.edu


Maintaining Campus Connections in Retirement: Have you returned to the UW to lend your skills to a UW program, unit, department or school – either as a volunteer or in a paid capacity? We’d love to hear about your experience as we identify meaningful ways to maintain engagement with the UW. Please email us at uwencore@uw.edu or call 206-685-7728. \

Questions? Feedback? Suggestions? Please contact us at uwencore@uw.edu.