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History of the BGSU Retirees Association

The impetus to form a retirees association at Bowling Green State University took place several years ago when Dr. Sam Cooper, a longtime retiree of BGSU, was invited to attend a meeting of a group of retirees representing most of Ohio's 15 state-supported public higher education institutions. These retirees were in the process of organizing a statewide association of higher education retirees. Of Ohio's 15 institutions, about half had some sort of retirees organization, and Ohio State and Ohio University had well established and thriving ones. Quarterly meetings of these retirees eventually resulted in the formation of the Ohio Council of Higher Education Retirees (OCHER), which is now fully established and carrying out its purposes.

OCHER's two basic purposes are to be an advocacy group for more than 4,000 Ohio higher education retirees who are members of STRS and PERS and to assist in bringing into being a retirees organization in each of Ohio's 15 public institutions. OCHER's advocacy is directed toward STRS and PERS, the Interuniversity Council, Ohio's legislature and other similar groups. At present, all 15 of Ohio's institutions of higher education have a retirees organization. Representatives to OCHER meet quarterly and exchange ideas about activities on their respective campuses for the benefit and welfare of their retirees.

Dr. Cooper proposed to the University administration that a retirees organization be founded at BGSU. Top University officials enthusiastically endorsed the proposal. An organizing committee of retirees was designated which converted itself into a "temporary" retirees association, drew up a set of bylaws defining its purposes and its governance practices, and began functioning on July 1, 1995. As of July 1, 1996, these bylaws were revised to include retired classified staff as members.