The 19th annual ASURA Retirees Day was held on Saturday, February 25, 2012 in the Memorial Union on the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University. In a nutshell the event was well attended; all the presenters showed up; and a good time was had by all!
This year’s Retirees Day Committee consisted of Carol Berg (ASURA Office Liaison), Marilyn Dennett, Barbara Eschbach, Gary Kleemann, Wilma Mathews, Barry McNeill (chair), Evelyn Partridge, Sheila Stokes, and Zeke Prust. The committee held its first meeting on August 25, 2011, met twice in September, and once a month thereafter.
The day started with registration and coffee, cakes, and chat in the Cochise Room. This was the second year the Cochise Room had been used this way it was very popular. At 9:30 the attendees were told the show was about to begin and it was time to move to the various presentation room. As usual there were two morning sessions each with four presentations.
- Reconstructing the View: Photography, Time and Historic Places by Professor Mark Klett
Marks program was very popular (27 attendees) and received high marks. His talk generated many interesting questions regarding his photography, research and observations over numerous years. The audience especially enjoyed the changes over time demonstrated by the annual photo of Mark with his daughter! The presentation of 10-ft wide composite images of the Grand Canyon, both overall and in various details, were intriguing and exciting.
- Arizona’s Political Pulse by Dr. Bruce Merrill
Bruce’s program was also very popular (30 attendees) and he received all 5s on the evaluation form. He covered a number of current topics including the upcoming Presidential Preference Election.
- The Business of Solar Energy: Today and Tomorrow by Russ Patzer
Russ had a small but very interested audience (10 attendees). His discussion of energy conservation (i.e., you can use less energy for the same comfort level if you increase the efficiency). He also explained the benefits of leasing (the current favorite financing approach) versus purchasing of a PV system.
- Algae-based Fuels and Products: An Opportunity for Arizona by Dr. Milton Sommerfeld
Milton’s session was also small (16 attendees) but was another session to receive all 5s on the evaluation. People who had seen his presentation several years ago were amazed at the progress that has taken place in the past few years.
- Adventurous Spirits: Arizona’s Women Artists, 1900-1950 by Dr. Betsy Fahlman
Betsy had a very popular session (30 attendees) and was the third presenter to receive all 5s. She had a number of wonderful slides of the art work produced by the early women artists and had a number of wonderful anecdotes that brought to life early Arizona.
- Real Estate and Economic Outlook by Dr. Jay Q.
ButlerJay’s session was smallish (14 attendees). Jay presented many facts about the housing market. He felt the market was beginning to resemble the boom market with many of the purchases being made by investors, not home owner
- U.S. Healthcare: What do we want? With recent health reform, are we on track to get it? by Robert Smoldt
Bob’s session was another very popular session (34 attendees). The audience was quite engaged and interested in his take on the barriers to achieving the type of health care we need and desire.
- The World Within: Visualizing the Biology of Cells by Dr. Robby Roberson
Robby’s session was another small one (14 attendees). His cell images were pretty spectacular.
The lunch program featured Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s official State Historian. We were very fortunate to get Marshall given his heavy Arizona Centennial schedule. As it happened he had to be at Scottsdale Community College by 1:30 p.m., so to accommodate him we moved his presentation to the beginning of lunch. Marshall was introduced by Dean Smith, Marshall's old friend and longtime member of ASURA. Marshall gave his show while the audience ate, and while this was not ideal it was the best we could do. He gave a very entertaining show which included many stories of events he had participated in across Arizona. It was a fitting end to the day: full of humor and good will, and made you feel good about living in Arizona.