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Dean's Column (March 2019)

Dear Extension retirees,

Extension is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year with both a look back at the organization’s accomplishments and a look ahead to its future.

If you attend a retiree luncheon or other Extension events throughout 2019, you will see and hear the theme “110 Years: Extending Knowledge and Changing Lives.” Those words mean that Extension has made a difference in Minnesota, and it will continue to do so.

At the same time, a committee of Extension faculty and staff is reviewing our strategic plan this year. Their work, which you’ll hear more about this summer, will help set a course for Extension’s 12th decade.

This milestone will be noted at Extension’s public-facing events all year long with special banners, buttons, stickers and other materials that can serve as conversation-starters with our stakeholders. The anniversary provides a wonderful opportunity for us to tell the story of Extension and why it matters.

I look forward to hearing your version of that stor…
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Fundraising milestone

Extension’s fundraising has reached the $11 million milestone for giving during the University’s Driven campaign. Thanks to generous donors, as of the end of February, Extension’s development effort had raised $11,010,631. That’s about 69 percent of our goal of $16 million by 2021.

More than 6,600 donors have contributed to Extension since Driven was launched in 2012, including 4,020 donors who made their first gift to Extension during this campaign. About 165 Extension faculty, staff and retirees have contributed nearly $800,000 (includes planned gifts).

60 percent of the money raised so far has been given to Minnesota 4-H. The remaining $3.5 million supporting other centers represents the largest gift totals for Extension programs in our history.

To find out more about Extension’s capital campaign or to make a gift, visit the giving page

Extension Retiree Luncheon

Join us for our annual summer Extension Retiree Luncheon in the Twin Cities. Reconnect with friends and colleagues, enjoy a delicious, complimentary lunch, hear about the latest happenings in Extension, and enjoy a featured speaker. We hope to see you this summer!

Twin Cities: Thursday, July 18, 12-2 p.m., Midland Hills Country Club, 2001 Fulham St., Roseville; RSVP by July 11. Please RSVP to Wan Tansatit, Extension development office, at (612) 624-7971 or
Jane Johnson Chief Development Officer

21st Annual Minnesota 4-H Golf Classic

The Minnesota 4-H Golf Classic takes place Monday, June 17 at TopGolf in Brooklyn Center. Gather your friends, family or business associates for a morning of golf supporting Minnesota 4-H youth programs, or register as an individual and we’ll find you a group. Registration fee includes three hours of golfing, breakfast, hearty hors d'oeuvres, eligibility to win great prizes, as well as an amazing silent auction.

Contact Shelly Tschida at for details.

Estate and gift planning strategies seminar

University of Minnesota alumni and friends, including retirees, are invited to attend an informative conversation about estate and gift planning. Hosted by the University of Minnesota Foundation, the estate and gift planning strategies seminar will cover these and related topics:
Strategies for creating an estate plan that reflects your wishesHow tax law reform may impact gift planningTax-wise gift options to benefit heirs, charities or bothCharitable gifts that can increase your lifetime income The discussion will be led by Jane Godfrey, '91 J.D., who leads the foundation's planned giving group after 20 years as an estate planning attorney.

Please join us for one of the three seminars:
McNamara Alumni Center: April 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m.Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: May 7, 1 to 2:30 p.m.Midland Hills Country Club: May 23, 9 to 10:30 a.m. If you'd like to attend, please RSVP to Beth Arnold at or 612-624-2203.

Thanks to all who completed Source magazine survey

More than 100 retirees mailed in or went online to complete the Source magazine survey. No other group had such a high rate of return. Thank you!

We are carefully considering the responses. One question was about the importance of receiving a print magazine versus reading stories online. We understand many people’s preference for print communications. We are planning to continue offering Source, but also to satisfy the desire many have for time-sensitive and multimedia stories online.

You can find many of those stories on our new Extension News and Highlights section, where we gather Highlights, Source stories, news releases and select stories from various Extension newsletters and blogs. We expect it to grow quite a bit in the coming year.

Thanks also to the many who contributed story ideas and other valuable insights. We greatly appreciate the time and thought you put into your survey responses.
Becky Beyers Director, Communications and Public Relations

Awards & Accomplishments (March 2019)

Congratulations to the following Extension faculty and staff who received awards in the past few months:

Jennifer Garbow, Extension educator in family resiliency, Center for Family Development, received the Thrivent Personal Finance Community Educator Award at Econfest, an annual event hosted by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education.

Catherine Rasmussen, Scott Chazdon, and former Humphrey graduate student Aimee Fritsch recently published an article in the Journal of Leadership Education (JOLE). “Old Concept, New Generation: Millennials and Community Leadership Programs."

Dorothy Freeman, recently retired associate dean, has joined the National 4-H Council in a part-time role focused on aligning private sector donors with 4-H’s priorities for equity. The council leadership noted in its announcement that Dorothy’s experience in 4-H “positions her well to support the Council’s fundraising efforts in support of equity, access and belonging.”