The formation of the Dallas College Retirees Association begin in 1984 through the insight of Dr. R. Jan LeCroy, Dallas College Chancellor from 1980-1988. It was his belief that our retirees, who have made lifelong friendships, should have an organization that would enable them to continue to keep their friendships and their interest in the District current. Dr. LeCroy asked Assistant Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Affairs, Bill Tucker, to help in the formation of such an organization. Mr. Tucker and his assistant, Jan Brobst, invited retirees to the first-ever meeting at Eastfield College that Mr. Tucker chaired.
At this meeting, it was decided that there was a definite interest in the formation of a Retiree Association, and that a luncheon would be held inviting all retirees. It was from the discretionary funds of the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor that this luncheon and early meetings were made possible.
A proposed date for the luncheon was posted, but one of the attendees said it would interfere with finals. Since we academics are people who have programmed our lives by terms: Fall, Spring, Summer I, Summer II, the statement seemed logical until Bob Shofner asked, “Who cares?” It was Shofner's statement that crystallized the fact that the academic calendar no longer binds retirees.
There were eighty retirees at this time, and on Sept. 13, 1984, thirty-eight retirees met at the Lakewood Country Club for an organizational meeting.
At the luncheon, a nominating committee was named to establish the slate of officers for the Association. The committee, Marguerite Camp, Bill Sherman, Rita Nall, and Jim Hankerson, chose Charlene King, President; Robert Shofner, Vice President; Ted Carley, Treasurer; and Rita Nall, Secretary.
The first official meeting was held at Eastfield College, Thursday, February 28, 1985, at which Dr. LeCroy installed the elected officers. Left to right: Robert Shofner, Rita Nall, Ted Carley, Carlene King with Jan LeCroy. The Association set membership dues at five dollars per year.
Annually, officers are elected (the slate of all officers from 1985 through the present follows this brief history). The association officers are to meet four times a year: two business meetings and two social meetings.
Our Association, the fund received its initial boost when retiree Ed Stoorza contributed $250 that first year. Our funding was set up through the District Foundation. Our financial year, at that time, was to run from Sept. to Aug. Old habits die hard.
Initially, meetings were held on various Dallas College campuses, and in the homes of members. We were small enough organization then. The association had annual picnics and holiday parties, dinners and outings to sporting and theater events. The potluck was the menu of choice when a member had the meeting in his or her home. On some occasions, members would meet at various restaurants; a favorite was Crackers on Oak Lawn, owned by Gus Katsigris, and then head of the Food Services Program at El Centro College.
Later, the association opened a checking account for conducting the financial business of the Association, and the Foundation fund became our scholarship fund.
In 1991, association dues were raised to $10 a year, and the financial year changed from Sept. - Aug. to Jan. - Dec., and in 1997, the name of our newsletter has been modified to Ret-Express. In 2005, the by-laws were changed so that terms for officers term to go two-year terms rather than a one-year term, and the Vice President was given the responsibility of Membership Chair. Other minor changes were made to bring the by-laws in line with practices.
In 2009, we had accrued enough money to be able to award a $500 scholarship to an exemplary student. We have continued to award such a scholarship each year since then, and the District Foundation is of great assistance in the administration of this scholarship.
Our retirees have always retained their enthusiasm and willingness to serve. It is through these attributes that we have continued to grow. In 2011, there are over 900 retirees and 245 are members of the Retiree Association of the Dallas College. We have two meetings a year: a spring luncheon at El Centro College and a Holiday Luncheon at Maggiano’s in Northpark Center. There are groups of our retirees who regularly go to the theater, museums, and the racetrack.
We owe a debt of thanks to Vice Chancellor Bill Tucker and his assistant, Jan Brobst. Bill made the initial arrangements for our meetings and guided us into becoming an organization. Jan Brobst became our district liaison; she edited and printed our Dallas College Retirees Newsletter, which was, and still is, our greatest means of communicating to all retirees and members.
We wish to thank all the succeeding Chancellors in their willingness to give us the solid support we have needed through the years to remain an active organization.
The Hunan Resources was and has continued to be our primary link to the district, and without their continued support, we would not be able to operate as efficiently as we do. Also, Dorothy Pool and the Archives team in District Archives provided us with much of the information that we have included here.
We have grown, but our function remains constant. The Dallas College Retirees Association is the continuation of academic life to which we have dedicated ourselves. Unlike so many who retire, we are not left without the basis that has been our lives and the people who helped us live it.
We thank Jan LeCroy, and the members who have lovingly and loyally served the Association through the years.
April 20, 2011
Retiree Officer History