Age-Friendly University

Today, unlike any time in history, there are more older people than children in Minnesota. This demographic reality is here for the long term and will impact the core of work in all sectors. As they move into retirement, today’s older adults and Baby Boom Generation carry with them lifetimes of experience in innovation, creativity, and leadership. At the University, we choose to purposefully engage them for the betterment of our University and communities. To coalesce our work across campus, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is the first institution for higher learning in Minnesota to enroll in the Global Network of Age-Friendly Universities.

Age-Friendly UMN Council

On September 8, 2020 President Gabel endorsed enrollment of the University of Minnesota in the Global Network of Age Friendly Universities. The enrollment was subsequently accepted. This enrollment also established the Age-Friendly University of Minnesota Council.


The University of Minnesota is a leader in age-friendly work, older adults are fully integrated into University life, and our students are fully prepared to meet the needs of our changing communities.


The Age-Friendly University of Minnesota Council believes:

  • We all benefit from intergenerational approaches and exchanges
  • Lifelong learners bring experience and perspective that enrich education
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central pillars to all the work we do
  • Ageism is a pervasive form of bigotry that must be challenged and eliminated

Members of the Council

Members of the Council represent UMN Twin Cities programs and affiliated organizations, including:

Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing – Sue Nankivell

Center for Healthy Aging & Innovation – Rajean Moone

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health – Christina Cauble

MN Northstar GWEP – Teresa Schicker

Office for Equity and Diversity – Keisha Varma

Office of Public Engagement – Amber Cameron

One Stop Student Services – Julie Selander

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute – Kate Schaefers

U of M Alumni Association – Marissa Smith 

University of Minnesota Extension – Mary Jo Katras

University of Minnesota Retirees Association – Lynn Anderson

University of Minnesota Women’s Club – Susan Hopp

University of Minnesota Foundation – Helene Benitez

Age-Friendly University Day

On June 26, 2023, we held the second annual Age-Friendly University Day at McNamara Alumni Center. This event convened over 200 retirees, older Minnesotans, and lifelong learners together. The day featured a keynote presentation by Diana Pierce, a panel hosted by NPR correspondent Chris Farrell, breakout sessions on financial fraud, mindfulness, and climate change, and the opportunity to visit with 20 exhibitor booths.

Mark your calendars, the next Age-Friendly University Day is scheduled for June 24, 2024!


Rajean Moone, PhD


Fireside Chat with Justice Alan Page & Richard Leider.
Staff pose with Goldy the Gopher at the Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation's exhibit booth.
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