The Association of
Retired Rice University Faculty
Welcome to ARRUF, where innovation and collaboration transform retirement.
ARRUF Continues to Explore LONGEVITY MAGNET HOUSTON
ARRUF’S FALL 2023 offers frequent, intellectually rich meetings and trips along with lunches and discussions with friends! For example, the three figures in the top photo above, seen in ARRUF's 2022 visit to the MFAH exhibition, "Golden Worlds: The Portable Universe of Indigenous Colombia," convey how human experiences of JOY, CONTEMPLATION, and HUMOR persist across centuries.
This fall ARRUF continued to explore Houston as a longevity magnet. Like the US as a whole, Houston has a fast-growing 65+ population. ARRUF seeks a role in encouraging Houston’s communities to become a national model of collaboration, mutual appreciation, and success. ARRUF’s interest groups—in travel, nature, and arts—also show how individuals can pursue their passions in retirements and share them with others.
ARRUF activities this semester explore Houston’s fascinating cultural sites, longevity challenges, and beckoning pleasures.
Monday, December 4th, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
JOIN IN THE ART OF FESTIVITY AT KARIN BROKER’s STUDIO.
Take the ARRUF Bus to Karin’s Studio and Home (details below) or drive your own vehicle.
506 Delz Street, off of North Shepherd Drive
At ARRUF we treasure the season’s most basic and cherished gift of all, friendship. Please come to THE ART OF FESTIVITY at Karin Broker’s award-winning studio on Monday, December 4th, to see your friends in ARRUF.
Your Contribution to the Party: A BOTTLE OF YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE, which can be wine or a non-alcoholic drink. (Punch is provided). The party is being catered by Alice Blue Catering, whose food Karin rates, “Sensational!”
Also on view will be Karin’s own stunning art, her collections, and inimitable decorations.
The bus will leave from the Faculty Club parking lot (gather at the front entrance) at 4:30 p.m. and return to the campus shortly after 7:00 p.m. You may also come to the party in your own vehicle and arrive and leave as you choose.
ARRUF Interest Groups: "If You're In ARRUF, You're Interested"
ARRUF's Travel Group is led by Viqui Arbizu Sabater and Alfonso Da Luca, who live in Seville, Spain. They're ideal leaders for this group because as owners of a travel company, they can apply their expertise to program planning. Past interest groups have focused on memoir writing, travel, nature, and arts. This fall the NATURE GROUP will arrange our Harris Gully excursion; the Travel Group will arrange for a spring adventure, and the ARTS INTEREST GROUP will share arts performances on line and in person.
A new BOOK GROUP will tackle varied books related to our programs, beginning with Yale Professor Becca Levy's 2022 book: Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs about Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live. (If you would like to read ahead of the first meeting in October, the book is available on Amazon.)
SEND US YOUR IDEAS FOR OTHER EVENTS AND FUN TO email@example.com
ARRUF usually holds general meetings once each month. Interest groups meet on a flexible schedule determined by their specific projects. Click on the interest group headings above to find out more. And check the emails for dates for lunchtimes at the Faculty Club.
SHAPE ARRUF's FUTURE
Volunteers are needed for the following committees to support ARRUF's directors as we expand into full operation again this fall.
• The Activities Committee needs additional members.
* The Membership Committee, Thad Logan, Chair, has produced a list of all current members and intends to expand this project. They could use your help!
* The first Benefits and Privileges Committee, we hope you noted, succeeded in fostering changes in the library policies for retired faculty. Their survey is now over two years old; we need an update!
Want to get involved in virtual committee work for these committees? For more information, please contact former Director Mark Kulstad at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts Group Fall Book Discussions: A SERIES, every other week, beginning in October.
Monday, October 23rd, 11:00 a.m. Hybrid Session (In person, Zoom (Room 412 Fondren for those on campus.11:00 a.m.
The books and materials to be discussed are a serious effort to understand the population shifts ahead, the cultural differences that exist, and the opportunities to reframe Houston’s situation in preparation for the spring special event, which will bring together experts and Houston leaders.
Houston is a special case; our older population is growing fast, but so are our ethnic subgroups, which will soon be of comparable size and increasing influence. How can Houston make the shifts POSITIVE FOR ALL? This reading group will discuss issues related to this spring’s principal conference.
First book: Becca Levy’s Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs about Aging Determine How Long and How Well You Live. (2022). Note: Levy is Yale U. faculty. Highly readable.
November 6th, 11:00 a.m.
Discussion of Paul Irving’s 2018 presentation to ARRUF: Purposeful Aging and the Longevity Economy. Download under “Newsletters and Reports” on the ARRUF website arruf.rice.edu. View in advance, please. Room 412 Fondren for those on campus. 11:00 a.m.
FOR UPCOMING EVENTS, ARRUF URGES YOU TO COME HOWEVER YOU CAN.
Let the smiling friends who await you at ARRUF energize your participation.
Got a hitch in your "get along"? A wheelchair and an escort may be your solution. Others trust a sturdy cane or a motorized chair or scooter. We often have a special bus to make travel to off campus sites easy. ARRUF wants you to use the means that may work best for you. Choose your chariot!
Why are ARRUF members visiting Houston's gardens? For what they reveal!
In the past several months, ARRUF has visited settings and gardens that reflect different cultural visions:
- Bayou Bend Gardens' classic azaleas and statuary
- The Asia Society Center's raked gravel garden and horizon pool
- Distinctive foods and herbs for well-being at the Houston Farmers' Market
- Constructed ponds vital for migrating birds, and
- Rice University's bird habitats and architectural plan as well as the Faculty Club Garden (for a winter picnic in 2021)
The March 22nd lecture on the Houston Botanic Garden and the May visit to the Japanese Garden helped us think about gardens and cultures! Explore their pages describing their collections:
Houston Botanical Garden's Global Collection Garden (These web pages are definitely worth a look!)
March 29, 2023, Houston Botanic Garden
Now Houston has its own botanic garden, where exploration, fun, and learning take place simultaneously. HBG offers an exciting, art-enhanced replication of many botanic settings. Members experienced the garden's mighty resources on the field trip by
•. Attending the ZOOM lecture on March 22nd at 1 p.m.
•. Roving the Houston Botanic Garden itself on March 29th at 10:00 a.m. and
•. Enjoying a box lunch in the Picnic Grove.
For those wishing to drive independently to return later this spring or summer, the Garden Entrance is at
What's Been Happening at ARRUF This Fall? (and see events list of Past Hits!)
The ARRUF Bus ventured to Pride of Persia Rug Company and Post Modern Traditions, where Rice Ph.D.s MEHDI ABEDI (Anthropology) and LISA SLAPPEY (Literature) were our hosts. They treated us to an aromatic Persian lunch and gave a presentation about forging retirement identities by curating the objects of our living spaces, starting from the rug up.
Dr. Mehdi Abedi and Dr. Lisa Slappey
September 20, ARRUF ATTENDS.
This fall “ARRUF ATTENDS” calls attention to highly relevant webinars sponsored by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Two webinars this semester are closely related to ARRUF’s concern with Houston as a site for growing older—a longevity magnet city. We urge members to consider viewing the recording of this webinar if they were unable to attend and to bring their reactions to ARRUF discussions.
Housing Matters! The Kinder Institute’s Webinar: 2023 State of Housing in Harris County and Houston. This webinar included a summary of the 2023 State of Housing in Harris County and Houston Report. A panel discussion with local experts followed. A summary of the discussion is attached here.
August 28, OPENING CELEBRATION: CAMPUS UPDATE BY THE RICE ARCHITECT
How the Rice Campus Is Being Reimagined for a Future of Access, Research and Collaboration
George Ristow, University Architect, AIA, RA, presented recent changes and future plans for the campus and shared the vision these changes represent. Participants on campus discussed the changes over lunch from a new viewpoint: a conference room atop the Ralph S. O’Connor Building for Engineering and Science. In person and Zoom
MORE ARRUF EVENTS FROM SPRING 2023
May 6, A Visit to the Changing Vistas of Hermann Park's Japanese Garden
The Japanese Garden in Hermann Park, (SEE PHOTO ON RIGHT, AT TOP) like many of Houston's notable landmarks, is being made more beautiful and more consistent with the culture it represents. In 2022 Houston celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Garden, an active connection to our sister city in Japan and a horticultural space, by launching important renovations. The Park's gardeners have been guided by the original concepts of the Japanese landscape designer Ken Nakajima.
On May 3rd, ARRUF members followed the garden's realigned gravel paths with a horticulturist, knowledgeable of the plants and elements of the Japanese Garden. At the Azumaya or the Tea House, Tankokai Tea Masters demonstrated a tea ceremony emphasizing the fullest possible experience of each unique element and moment.
A Reception Honoring New Members
April 24, 2023
Remarks by President Reginald DesRoches and Provost Amy Dittmar,
and a "Fireside Chat" with Neal Lane, Introduction of New Members
Also, Introductions of New Members, Music, and a Preview of Activities
In Honor of Black History Month
February 2023 ARRUF FIELD TRIP TO THE HOUSTON BUFFALO SOLDIERS MUSEUM
ARRUF is continuing to explore Houston's remarkable ethnic diversity as a context for longevity. Look at our recent events (Past Hits) to see how the program of trips, museums, lectures and more is developing on this theme.
THE COLLECTING, ARTS and MUSEUMS GROUP will set up spring meetings soon.
In the meantime, the annual reading of Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory will be held on ZOOM on Dec. 16th. Look for the URL in your email on Dec. 15th. By now, most in our age group will have been vaccinated, so we should be able to have some in-person attendance at neat Houston spots and participate in other ZOOM events. Signing up for the Bard Graduate Center newsletter will give you access to some amazing resources on material culture. At the moment, an on-line exhibition of majolica ware is available (free).
To recall, the Arts Group had a single, delightful ZOOM pre-concert meeting in March, but it now needs to choose leaders and select places to go, things to see, and music to hear. (There are Schumann fans in the group.)
TRAVEL GROUP: The Travel Group Shares Best Moments EITHER in FONDREN 412 or via ZOOM.
Travel informs and indelibly imprints joy and beauty in marvelous memories. Tell ARRUF members about YOUR best moments as one of seven speakers with a tale to tell about great food, fabulous sunsets, hot bars, or other moments vivid in YOUR memory. Or listen from your own home via ZOOM. The Travel Group's new leaders, Viqui Arbizu-Sabater and Alfonso DuLuc, owners of a travel company in Seville, Spain, came back to Houston for a visit this summer. Members are looking forward to relief from the pandemic so that international travel can safely resume. Above, a photo of on the pilgrimage route to .
NATURE GROUP NEWS: HILL COUNTRY TOUR?
HILL COUNTRY TRIP RESCHEDULED FOR SPRING 2022: ARRUF is going to be on the move in the year ahead as we use our vaccination status and shared goals to enjoy venturing together.
In April 2021 the Nature Group held a session to hear Professor Emeritus Andre Droxler describe an area he has been studying in the Hill Country. The destination is of interest to NASA because of its similarities to an area to be investigated on Mars. A day trip to the site, planned for the fall, has been rescheduled. A spring trip is now planned. The trip should include a range of activities over a weekend, with a nearby resort serving as ARRUF headquarters.
If you would like to be contacted about this trip, reply by clicking ARRUF.email@example.com. You will receive more details as they become available.