ASURA 20th Retirees Day - February 23, 2013

Morning Chit Chat & Coffee Cake

Twenty Retirees Day Programs

Aaron Brown

Mark Vinson - A Centennial Celebration of Arizona Architecture

Dr. Jay Braun

Celebration in the Ventana Room

Stephanie deLuse

Denise Bates

Visit our Photo Gallery for more pictures

The 20th annual ASURA Retirees Day was held on Saturday, February 23, 2013 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 Barbara Eschbach, Gary Kleemann, Wilma Mathews, Barry McNeill (chair), Donna Portz, Mary Stevens, Jan Thompson, and Hal White. The committee held its first meeting on September 20, 2012, meet twice in October, and once a month thereafter.                                    

The day started with registration and coffee, cakes, and chat in the Cochise Room. This was the third year the Cochise Room had been used this way it was very popular. At 9:15 the attendees were told the show was about to begin and it was time to move to the various presentation rooms. New this year, there were three sessions each with three presentations. The first session featured the following three talks.

First Session

Partisan Media and the Damage to Democracy by Aaron Brown

This was the most popular session of the day with over 50 attendees. The presentation discussed how decades of work in and observations of domestic and international media provided a singular view of the changing media and the effects they have on our democratic process.

Beethoven:  Man of Mystery by Dr. Lou-ellen Finter

Dr. Finter presented various “facts” about Beethoven, some of which were hard to verify and were presented as “mysteries”. A few of the “mysteries were: birth date, the identities of  the Immortal Beloved and Elise. There was an interesting web presentation of Für Elise that showed the score, video of the hands playing the piece from above and to the right of key board and set of colored boxes making visual the music.

Shift the Way You Shop by Kimber  Lanning

Kimber Lanning is an entrepreneur, arts advocate and community activist who works to cultivate strong, vibrant communities and inspire a higher quality of life in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Lanning is actively involved in fostering cultural diversity, economic self-reliance and responsible growth for the Phoenix metropolitan area. In 2003, Lanning founded Local First Arizona, a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the economic and cultural benefits provided by locally owned businesses.

Second Session

Humanities: A Model for Collaboration and Possibility by Dr. Neal Lester 

The presentation explained the new effort at Arizona State University to promote humanities research and programs locally and beyond. As one of the only initiatives that involves ASU faculty, students, emeriti, alumni, administrators, staff, and surrounding communities. With national and international visibility, Project Humanities brings individuals and communities together to “talk, listen, and connect.”

A Centennial Celebration of Arizona Architecture by Mark Vinson

This was another popular session (32 attendees). Mark marched the audience through many samples of the Arizona architecture, some immediately recognizable, some not so. Mark had short stories about many of the buildings.

The Continuing Adventures and Investigations of a Mars Rover by Dr. Steve Ruff

The presentation reviewed engineering aspects of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, their past discoveries, and results from new investigations with the Curiosity rover.

Third Session

Income Inequality: Why is it Growing in the U.S. and Around the Globe by Dr. Lee McPheters

The presentation seemed to be enjoyed by all who attended (30 or so attendees). It was a factual presentation of a controversial issue presented in an unbiased manner by a person very knowledgeable of the subject matter. The audience left with lots of factual information and a lot to think about.

Better Dreams for Better Futures: The Center for Science and the Imagination by Dr. Ed Finn

The presentation gave an overview of what is being done at the Center For Science and the Imagination and its core mission: promoting more creative and ambitious thinking about the future

The Corroding Brain: Myths, Speculations and Facts by Dr. Jay Braun

Jay talked about how like every other part of one’s body, the aging brain changes. These changes show up most readily as behavioral changes. The behavioral changes are disconcerting to most of us, especially those changes that have us stuttering to find a familiar word or name.

Luncheon Program

The lunch program began with a brief review of the past twenty Retirees Day events. Five of the past Retirees Day Chairs were present and recognized for their efforts. The luncheon program Writing ASU History: Choices in Building Community and Balance was presented by Drs. Stephanie R. deLusé and Denise E. Bates the co-authors of Arizona State University.The book is full of pictures and the presentation focused on how they made decisions on what pictures to include and what subjects to focus on. They showed how following a trail of contacts eventually lead to some family’s living room where they found important pictures not seen outside the family. The audience was engaged for the entire talk. After their presentations the authors autographed copies of their book, which was being sold by ASURA as fundraising effort.........


Barry McNeill