New association seeks to connect retirees, University

TURA officers, from left, are: Dr. James Kimbrough, Carol Ballard, Dr. Sam Shelton and administration liaison Ray White. Not pictured in Dr. John Dew.

TURA officers, from left, are: Dr. James Kimbrough, Carol Ballard, Dr. Sam Shelton and administration liaison Ray White. Not pictured in Dr. John Dew.

A new organization is helping to strengthen the ties between Troy University retirees and the University.

The Troy University Retiree Association (TURA) officially formed in February when officers were elected and a constitution approved. The group held its first general membership meeting in June.

Dr. Sam Shelton, the association’s president, said the idea to have a formal retiree organization came from Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., TROY’s Chancellor. Ray White, vice chancellor of the University’s Montgomery Campus, serves as the administrative liaison between the officers and the University leadership.

“Dr. Hawkins was really the initiator of this effort because he felt such an organization would be beneficial to both the retirees and the University,” Shelton said. “An interest meeting was held in December, and we began with an organizational meeting in February.”

TURA is designed to:

  • Promote continuing volunteer support and advocacy support to alumni, other departments, students, faculty and staff and friends of the University;
  • Help enhance the scholarly and other professional objectives of the institution;
  • Communicate on behalf of retired Troy University personnel with representatives of the University, government and other groups relative to the welfare of retired persons and for Troy University students;
  • Facilitate lifelong learning opportunities in sponsoring and promoting educational programs relating to the needs and desires of retired persons;
  • Gather with other Troy University retirees to learn, engage and provide support in areas of interest to the University;
  • Serve as a recruiting ambassador to prospective Troy University students, faculty and staff;
  • Educate the public about the problems and needs of retired persons; and
  • Work with the Troy University designated senior leader to provide input and recommendations from retirees to University leadership.

June’s meeting featured comments from Jill Johnson, executive director of the Alabama Education Retirees Association, who addressed the work of her organization and how it benefits TROY retirees.

“We can be members of the Alabama Education Retirees Association, and they work on our behalf with the legislature and for our benefits plan as retirees, which is very important for retirees,” said Carol Ballard, TURA secretary. “TURA also provides avenues for retirees to come back to volunteer in various ways and still be a part of the University.”

Dr. James Kimbrough, TURA vice president, encouraged Troy University retirees to become a part of the organization to remain connected and continue to give back.

“It helps us to remain involved in the institution where we spent a lot of years,” Kimbrough said. “We can contribute to the University in many ways, and the University can contribute to us in many ways. It also gives us the opportunity to be around people we worked with to share experiences and to encourage them and be encouraged by them. I think that is very important.”

Shelton said his long-term goal for the organization is to improve communication.

“There are a lot of resources among retirees,” Shelton said. “When you are at a University, you really become attached to the institution. It’s not just a job. When we retire, there can become a vacuum if you don’t know how to continue to contribute. I want to see us have better communication and better opportunities for us to offer our services to the University. My long-goal is to keep us linked to the University and the University linked to us.”

Annual TURA dues are $25. Additional information, as well as a membership form, is available by contacting the officers: Shelton,; Kimbrough,, Ballard,; Dr. John Dew, Member-At-Large,; or White,