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History of the Section

NCA policy documents identify the Emeritus/Retired Members Section as follows:

"The mission of the Emeritus/Retired Members Section, E/RMS, is three-fold. We promote research and other activities related to the common interests of emeritus/retired members and of the NCA. We serve as an advocate for the concerns of emeritus/retired members. Finally, we seek avenues of communication between our Section and other NCA units in order to gather and disseminate information bearing upon shared concerns and interests.

"E/RMS has established interdisciplinary research exchanges with a host of other NCA units and invites the submission of thematic and/or discussion panels as well as research presentations for competitive review. We publish a biannual newsletter entitled the RE Minder [sic -- The mission statement carried in the Fall 2008 issue of the Emeritus Reminder says that the newsletter is entitled The Reminder. The newsletter actually is called The Emeriti Reminder. -- History Committee]. We also are focused upon building a section membership base that deals with important, ongoing issues of 'retirement' which are becoming increasingly complex and often confusing for many. Hence, E/RMS seeks to enlist NCA members over the age of fifty, particularly those presently nearing or contemplating retirement.

 "Note. If our research interests and/or retirement issues are of concern to you, please select the Emeritus/Retired Members Section as one of your interest groups when renewing your NCA membership."

This history will briefly describe the activities of the section since it originated as an NCA committee in 1991. Generally, those activities have been compatible with the section's mission as defined by NCA.

The Founder

Indisputably, the guiding spirit for the section was Paul Boase of Ohio University. Not only did he organize the original committee in 1991 and serve as its chair until 1993, he also edited until his death in December 2000 the section's occasional newsletter, The Emeriti Reminder. He passed the blue pencil on to Ted Foster, also of Ohio University. Throughout the years, Ohio University has supplied the necessary resources and personnel to get The Emeriti Reminder to the section's membership with only a little NCA support currently amounting to about three hundred dollars a year.

Two of the eight tributes to Boase after his death (December 2000) in the online Communication Research and Theory Network (CRTNET) mentioned his activities on behalf of the section.

Bill Eadie, then associate executive director of NCA and CRTNET editor: "After retirement, Paul moved back to his beloved Oberlin. He continued to be active in the discipline and edited the newsletter for the Emeritus/Retired section of NCA. In fact, my last contact with him was in October, when he wrote asking for a set of labels so that the newsletter could be sent out. He mentioned casually that he would not be able to make the Seattle convention this year, and I was somewhat surprised, because he regularly attended and obviously enjoyed keeping up with old friends, former students, and the field's scholarship."

John Bowers, NCA past president (1984), a regular CRTNET contributor, and a member of the committee that wrote this history: "Paul Boase edited the Retired and Emeritus Newsletter as Bill Eadie reports, and he did so with great good humor and substantial effect in keeping the rest of us (whose attention tends to wander) interested and active. I'll miss his prose."

The committee on history cannot hope to emulate either Boase's or Ted Foster's style. Instead they will quote those voices from The Emeriti Reminder now and then in what follows.

Chronology: Dates, People, Programs

This section of the history will present, year by year, officers, business, events, honors, observations, convention programs of the section, sometimes convention program personnel, and sometimes attendance at the business meetings, from the beginning in 1991 until 2014. The chronology relies on The Emeriti Reminder. Occasionally, the account will intersperse other quotations from The Emeriti Reminder or observations by members of the history committee.

For much of the period, officers, though elected at the NCA convention in November, assumed office on July 1. This chronology lists officers as of the business meeting at the NCA convention in November.

1992
Convention City. Atlanta.
Officers. Paul Boase, committee chair; Paul Boase, editor.
Business. Emeritus/Retired Members Committee organized.

1992

Convention City. Chicago.

Officers. Paul Boase, committee chair; Paul Boase, editor; Gale Richards, chair, archives committee; Malcolm Sillars, secretary.

Business. (1) SCA archives to be located at the University of Utah's Marriott Library with Malcolm Sillars as liaison between SCA and the library. Bill Work, SCA executive director, discussed tapes collected by SCA in the past and offered any help he could give in establishing the archives. Ken Harwood expressed the Committee's thanks to the University of Utah. (2) Many accolades to Boase for Volume 1, Number 1 of The Emeriti Reminder. (3) SCA granted the Committee's $300 budget request, used mainly for The Emeriti Reminder.

1993

Convention City. Miami.

Officers. Austin Freeley, committee chair; Carmendale Fernandes, vice chair; Malcolm Sillars, secretary; Robert D. Kully, program planner; Paul Boase, editor.

Business. Agreement established between SCA and the Marriott Library of the University of Utah with Malcolm Sillars continuing as archives liaison.

Events. The emeriti banner that had adorned a corner of NCA no-host convention cocktail parties went lost, strayed, or stolen.

Observations. Robert Kully lived fifteen miles from the epicenter of the California earthquake, and he was rocked and rolled a bit -- lost some art objects, sustained cracks in his house. But he did not lose his sense of humor, remarking that southern California has four seasons: floods, fires, droughts and earthquakes.

Convention Programs. Options and Opportunities in Retirement, II; A Tribute to Kenneth G. Hance.

Convention Program Participants. Austin Freeley, Sam Keltner, Carmendale Fernandes, Dwight Freshley, Robert Weiss, Jerry Anderson, Harold Cook, Robert Maclauchlin.

Business Meeting Participants. Paul Boase, John Bowers, Carmendale Fernandes, Robert Kully, Gale Richards, Malcolm Sillars.

1994

Convention City. New Orleans.

Officers. Carmendale Fernandes, committee chair; Robert Kully, vice chair; Malcolm Sillars, secretary; Paul Boase, editor.

Business. (1) Procedures established for archiving materials at the University of Utah. (2) Bob Kully proposed that the committee petition the SCA Legislative Council for status as a caucus, a status that would increase the group's eligibility for SCA financial assistance. Passed unanimously.

Events. A sad note, the death of "one of our most active, distinguished emeriti, W. Charles Redding."

Honors. Carmendale Fernandes, SCA Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award.

Observations. (1) A punny department entitled "Our Readers: Write or Wrong" established in The Emeriti Reminder. (2) Another California earthquake story from Bob Gunderson, who "woke up just in time to catch a potted plant that happened to be flying past. I turned on my battery radio and the announcer urged me to put on my shoes [to avoid any broken glass]. Once my shoes were on it seemed silly to go back to bed, which would have been a more sensible procedure." (3) Anticipating the New Orleans convention, editor Boase wrote, "Surely emeriti qualify either as saints or sinners and no matter which class claims you, everyone will expect you to come marching in."

Convention Programs. Retrospections and Predictions on the Discipline and the Profession.

Convention Program Participants. Sam Becker, Malcolm Sillars and Robert Scott.

Business Meeting Participants. Carmen Fernandes, Paul Boase, Leslie Ann Coger, Dwight Freshley, Gary Gumpert, Sam Keltner, Robert Kully, Joan Leininger, Malcolm Sillars.

1995

Convention City. San Antonio.

Officers. Carmendale Fernandes, committee chair; Robert Kully, vice chair; Malcolm Sillars, secretary; Paul Boase, editor.

Business. Vice chair Robert Kully volunteered to draw up a set of by-laws for the caucus.

Events. Boase in The Emeriti Reminder noted "a new birth" to mark the group's transition from committee to caucus status effective for 1996.

Honors. Robert Kully, SCA Lifetime Excellence Teaching Award.

Convention Programs. The Communication of Intolerance, Bigotry and Prejudice; Opportunities for Communications Consultants; Strange Definitions and the Nature of Institutional Support.

Convention Program Participants. Robert Kully, Gust A. Yep, Enrique D. Rigsby, Larry L. McPhail, Lesley DiMare, Samuel M. Edelman, Dolores V. Tanno, Emmett Long, Milton Dobkin, James L. Gaudino, Robert Jeffers, W. Scott Nobles, Sam Becker, Gary Gumpert, Robert Jeffrey.

1996

Convention City. San Diego.

Officers. Carmendale Fernandes, caucus chair; Robert Kully, vice chair; Malcolm Sillars, secretary; Paul Boase, editor.

Business. Vice chair Kully proposed and the caucus adopted a set of by-laws.

Events. NCA president Judith Trent recognized emeritus members with individual "Certificates of Recognition."

Observations. The meeting observed the deaths of members Robert Gunderson and Howard Holliday with a moment of silence.

Convention Programs. Finding New Careers Outside of Education; Honor Paul Boase: Colleagues Pay Tribute.

Convention Program Participants. Carmendale Fernandes, Fran Gunderson, Sam Keltner, Scott Nobles, Paul Boase, Joan Leininger, Ronald Arnett, Sue DeWine, William Denman, Charles Stewart, Ray Wagner, Jeffery Auer, Bruce Gronbeck, Richard Quianthy.

1997

Convention City. Chicago.

Officers. Robert Kully, caucus chair; Joan Leininger, vice chair; Gale Richards, secretary; Paul Boase, editor

Business. (1) Several members were appointed at a request from the NCA president to an Emeritus Advisory Council. They were Robert Kully (chair), Lloyd Bitzer, Paul Boase, Milton Dobkin, Dwight Freshley, Gary Gumpert, Lucy Keele, Sam Keltner, Joan Leininger and Gerald Sanders. (2) Malcolm Sillars resigned as secretary due to medical problems, and Gale Richards replaced him. Sillars agreed to continue as archives liaison. (3) Kully and Leininger reported that the budget of $500 had been spent on a reception, the newsletter, and office expenses. (4) A motion by John Bowers to discontinue emeritus "Certificates of Recognition" failed.

Events. Scott and Judy Nobles serendipitously ran into Paul and Connie Boase on the original love boat, the Island Princess, during a Baltic cruise.

Convention Programs. Methods of Interaction Across Distance and Time for Mutual Professional Growth; A Tribute to Robert Kully "Where at Least Seven of His Friends Will Try to Say Something Nice About Him"; You've Come a Long Way, Baby.

Convention Program Participants. Pamela Hayward, Sam Becker, Norman Clark, Paul Boase, Bobbie Nicholson, George Denger, Richard Jennings, Dianna Latson, Joan Leininger, Pamela J. Cooper, Sue DeWine, Kathleen Galvin, Anita Taylor, Judith Trent, William Eadie, Margaret Fieweger, Beverly Hendricks.

Business Meeting Participants. Kenneth Andersen, Paul Boase, Bernard Brock, Leslie Coger, Milton Dobkin, Dwight Freshley, Charles Gruner, Gary Gumpert, Carolyn Keefe, Robert Kully, Joan Leininger, Scott Nobles, Gerald Sanders.

1998

Convention City. New York.

Officers. Robert Kully, caucus chair; Joan Leininger, vice chair; Gale Richards, secretary; Paul Boase, editor.

Business. Robert Kully reported that the caucus had enlisted 248 members and suggested that the caucus might consider transition to the status of a section, thereby increasing its representation on the Legislative Council.

Observations. Can anyone match Don Streeter's teaching record? At age eighty-six, he completed sixty-four years of teaching, many of them at the University of Houston.

Convention Programs. Affirmative Action in Retrospect: A New Vision; Freedom and Expression in Higher Education: A Retrospective View; Grazing the Green Pastures: Possibilities in Retirement.

Convention Program Participants. Gerald Sanders, Carolyn Keefe, Dwight Freshley, Robert Kully, Bernard Brock, Jimmie Trent, Robert Dick.

1999

Convention City. Chicago.

Officers. Joan Leininger, section chair; Gerald Sanders, vice chair; Gale Richards, secretary; Paul Boase, editor.

Business. Vice chair Gerald Sanders proposed and the new section adopted a Constitution and By-Laws.

Events. (1) The caucus became a section at the 1999 convention. (2) Gerald Sanders lost his gall bladder, and (3) Joan Leininger had cataract surgery. (2) NCA president-elect Ray McKerrow, with the concurrence of the section, decided to discontinue the Emeritus Advisory Council.

Honors. Joan Leininger reported that at the Central States/Southern States joint convention in St. Louis, Dwight Freshley was singled out for high honors for his many years of service in SSCA and that Sam Becker delivered an outstanding address at the noon luncheon meeting. At the convention, President John Daly singled out Robert Kully for outstanding service to NCA, to the E/R Caucus, and to the NCA Advisory Committee. According to editor Boase, "The President omitted another of Bob's many accomplishments, namely, as the moving force in our transformation to a section. Thanks, Bob!"

Convention Programs. Creative Worlds in Community Education; Contemporary Rhetorical Analysis: Are Conservative Theorists Being Marginalized?; Scholarship After Retirement: The Demand and the Possibilities.

Convention Program Participants. Joan Leininger, Isa Engleberg, David Bodary, Sonya Hopkins, Sandra Mohundro, Gerald Sanders, Bernard Brock, Gary Gumpert, Ernest Bormann, James Aune, Ronald Reid, Richard Vatz, Lee Weinberg.

Business Meeting Participants. Joan Leininger, Gerald Sanders, Paul Boase, Bernard Brock, Gary Gumpert, Ed Hollatz, Vernon Jensen, Carolyn Keefe, Sam Keltner, Robert Kully, Bill Roberts, Mary Roberts, Jimmie Trent, Bill Eadie.

2000

Convention City. Seattle.

Officers. Gerald Sanders, section chair; Dwight Freshley, vice chair; Joan Leininger, secretary; Ted Foster, editor.

Business. At Gerald Sanders's recommendation and subsequent adoption by the business meeting, (1) officers were assigned terms extending from July 1 to June 30, and (2) officers would henceforth be elected for two-year terms.

Events. (1) J. Jeffrey Auer died. (2) NCA suffered a destructive fire at the national headquarters on July 26. (3) Founder Paul Boase died at age 85 late in the year 2000. (See tribute earlier in this history.) A veteran of World War II, Paul taught at Oberlin and at Ohio University. He published five books and thirty-five articles, and his service to NCA and to the section is incalculable. His successor as editor, Ted Foster: "It was your editor's privilege to visit Paul the day before his death along with my wife Sue, to find him the same Paul I had known since 1964. We went to lunch at Kendall cafeteria with Paul and Connie where he ate with relish and where old friends and acquaintances dropped by."

Honors. Dwight Freshley, section vice chair, in October received an outstanding alumnus award from North Central College.

Observations. (1) Dwight Freshley, a member of the history committee, took his wife Jean from the convention to the Seattle Space Needle to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. (2) According to The Emeriti Reminder, "Ninety-one year old Gifford Blyton … is still giving a speech on 'The 20-Worst Century.'"

Convention Programs. Old Presidents Don't Die: They Still Use Their Faculties; Sometimes a Great Motion; Stifling Free Speech; School Violence: A Program for Prevention; Engaging the Discipline in Campus Health Issues: Changing the Culture of College Drinking by Using Communication Strategies; Freedom of Expression: Affirmation, Challenges, and Suppression.

Convention Program Participants. Kenneth Andersen, Haig Bosmajian,

Charles Gruner, Gerald Sanders, Robert Kully, Linda Lederman, Lea Stewart, Marilyn Young, Thomas Workman, Nancy Harper, Milton Dobkin, Jane Blankenship, Frank Dance, Mark Knapp, Michael Osborn, Barbara Clinton, Larry Farrar, Tom Kelly, Jill Ward, Peg McEvoy, Hal Fulmer, Patrick Wheaton, Mei Zhou, Paul Achter, Gordon W. Stables III.

Business Meeting Participants. Kenneth Andersen, Bernard Brock, Dwight Freshley, Robert Kully, Joan Leininger.

2001

Convention City. Atlanta.

Officers. Gerald Sanders, section chair; Dwight Freshley, vice chair; Joan Leininger, secretary; Ted Foster, editor.

Business. The section decided that officers would serve for two-year terms.

Events. Chair Gerald Sanders reported that Bill Henderson of the University of Northern Iowa edited the spring 2001 edition of The Emeriti Reminder. In the fall, Ted Foster of Ohio University became the editor.

Convention Programs. View From the Top: NCA Women Reflect on Their Presidential Years; Old Wine Is Best; Papers in Honor of Paul Boase: (a) His Life as a Mentor and Colleague, (b) His Research in Public Address, (c) The Social Gospel and Other Work, (d) His Work in Freedom of Speech and Ethics; Senior Citizens Don't Abuse Alcohol, Do They? Investigating Alcoholism Hidden Among Older Adults.

Convention Program Participants. Jane Blankenship, Anita Taylor, Beverly Long, Patti Gillespie, Sharon Ratliff, Judith Trent, John Poulakos, Bernard Brock, Moya Ball, Richard Vatz, Sue DeWine, James Elmes-Crahall, William Denman, Ronald Arnett, Robert Kully.

2002

Convention City. New Orleans.

Officers. Dwight Freshley, section chair; Bernard Brock, vice chair; Joan Leininger, secretary; Ted Foster, editor and publications chair; Wanda Sheridan, assistant editor and publications chair.

Convention Programs. Defusing Intercultural and Gang Tensions in Schools; International Communication: Partnerships and Exchanges; 9/11: One Year Later.

Convention Program Participants. Bernard Brock, Shea Howell, Priscilla Meddaugh, Jack Kay, Susan Eggely, Gerald Sanders, Craig R. Smith, Tony Palmeri, Cori Dawber.

Business Meeting Participants. Gerald Sanders, Bernard Brock, Iris Gonzales, Diane Casagrande, Ray Benkendorf, Dwight Freshley.

2003

Convention City. Miami Beach.

Officers. Dwight Freshley, section chair; Bernard Brock, vice chair; Joan Leininger, secretary; Ted Foster, editor and publications chair; Wanda Sheridan, assistant editor and publications chair.

Business. Gerald Sanders made a plea that emeritus/retired members renew their memberships in the section.

Convention Programs. Bush's War on Terrorism: Two Years Later; Comparing Public Address and Cultural Studies: A Round Table; Reaching Out: Community College and University Educators Working Together; Nietzschean Strains in Burke.

Convention Program Participants. Gerald Sanders, Bernard Brock, Craig R. Smith, Tony J. Palmeri, Cori Dauber, David Zarefsky, Sandra Berkowitz, William Trapani, Barbara Biesecker, Joan Leininger, Tyler Tindall, Michael H. Jones, Mary Bozik, Melissa Beall, Lynn Disbrow, Raymie McKerrow, Mark E. Huglen, James W. Hikins, Caroline J.S. Picart.

Business Meeting Participants. Dwight Freshley, Gerald Sanders, Joan Leininger, Bernard Brock, Patti Gillespie, Richard Quianthly.

2004

Convention City. Chicago.

Officers. Bernard Brock, section chair; Patti Gillespie, vice chair; Joan Leininger, secretary; Ted Foster, editor and publications chair; Wanda Sheridan, assistant editor and publications chair.

Observations. Chair Bernard Brock pointed out that although NCA officers recognized E/RMS as "valuable advisers" to NCA, "none of the officers have requested any input from E/ RMS."

Convention Programs. Moving Forward Into Retirement: Communication in Nonacademic Settings; Ethics at Issue in the Communication Classroom; The Retired Professor as Mentor; An Ode to Age -- and Humor; Predicting the Presidential Election; Bush's War on Terror: Three Years Later.

Convention Program Participants. Sharon Ammen, Nicole DeNicolo, Erin Goldstein, Sarah Hollingshead, Tawnia May, Amberlynn McCoy, Sophia Medley, Amanda Miller, Kelly Moore, Sarah Vaughn, Kayla Wiggins, Bernard Brock, Patti Gillespie, Joan Leininger, Gerald Sanders, Tony Palmeri, Diana Carlin, Kathleen Kendall, Richard Vatz.

2005

Convention City. Boston.

Officers. Patti Gillespie, section chair; Kenneth Andersen, vice chair; Ray Benkendorf, secretary; Ted Foster, editor and publications chair; Anita James, associate editor and publications chair.

Events. Austin J. Freeley, the section's second chair, died. He was remembered as a pioneer in the organization of communication discipline governing units. A member of the history committee remembers his booming voice saying "Welcome to Boston!" when Freeley was director of forensics at Boston University. According to The Emeriti Reminder, he "was hoping to return to his roots in Boston for this year's NCA convention. However, the Great Timekeeper in the Sky held up the '0' card and Freeley joined his friends and colleagues who had gone before."

Convention Programs. Current Research on Communication and Aging: Five Perspectives; An Oral History Project by the Emeritus/Retired Members Section: A Panel Discussion; What Have You Done for Me Lately? Retired Faculty Discuss Continuing Affiliations With Their Institutions to Their Mutual Benefit; Performing 200 Years of American Literature and Art at the Boston Athenaeum; Today's Political Polarity: Good or Evil?; A Memorial Tribute to Austin J. Freeley.

Convention Program Participants. Ray Benkendorf, Howard Giles, Todd Stoney, Jake Harwood, W. Lance Haynes, Mary Lee Hummert, Jon Nussbaum, Kenneth Andersen, Judith Trent, Kristin Langellier, Della Pollock, Deborah Hefferin, Beverly Long, Timothy Gura, Judith Espinola, John Anderson, Bruce Henderson, Patti Gillespie, Bernard Brock, Kathleen Kendall, Craig R. Smith, Gerald Sanders, Diana Carlin, James Klumpp, Craig Allen Smith, Malcolm Sillars, Joseph Miller, Ted Jackson, Robert Kully, George Ziegelmueller, David Steinberg.

Business Meeting Participants. Kenneth Andersen, Ray Benkendorf, Bernard Brock, Gladys Crane, Dwight Freshley, Patti Gillespie, Joan Leininger, Beverly Long, Bill Roberts, Nancy Oft Rose, Gerald Sanders.

2006

Convention City. San Antonio.

Officers. Patti Gillespie, section chair; Kenneth Andersen, vice chair; Ray Benkendorf, secretary; Ted Foster, editor; Anita James, associate editor.

Business. The section arrived at "no meeting of the minds," in the words of chair Gillespie, on a possible name change.

Events. Bernard Brock, past chair of the section, died on March 31, 2006. Brock was an eminent Kenneth Burke scholar and was founder of the Burke Society of NCA. He was a Northwestern Ph.D., had taught in high school, coached debate at the University of Minnesota and served as professor of communication and rhetoric at Wayne State University, 1971-1997.

Honors. The section acknowledged with great gratitude Ohio University and its contributions by way of publishing The Emeriti Reminder. Honorees included editor Ted Foster, Brenda Nelson, Brenda's predecessor Wanda Sheridan, faculty members Anita James, Vicki Rhodes, Director of Communication Claudia Hale, and Dean Greg Shepherd.

Convention Programs. Life After Retirement; Enhancing Lifelong Learning Through Theatre and Other Arts: Research Findings, Best Practices and Opportunities for NCA Professionals; What Does/Should/Can the Emeritus/Retired Members Section Contribute to NCA?; Intergenerational Connections: "Ah Yes! I Remember It Well!"

Convention Program Participants. Gerald Sanders, Robert Kully, Nancy Oft Rose, Jean Burns, Raymond Ross, Michael Osborn, Kenneth Andersen, Roger Smitter, Patti Gillespie, students of St. Mary of the Woods College, Barbara Lieb, Janet Rubin, Krin Perry.

2007

Convention City. Chicago.

Officers. Kenneth Andersen, section chair; Larry Schnoor, vice chair; Ray Benkendorf, secretary; Ted Foster, editor; Vicki Rhodes, assistant editor.

Business. An ad hoc committee chaired by Gerald Sanders and consisting of John Bowers, Ray Benkendorf and Coleman Bender updated the language of the section's constitution.

Honors. Larry Schnoor received the Wallace A. Bacon Lifetime Teaching Award from NCA. Dwight Freshley, E/RMS chair in 2002 and 2003, became the eponym for the Southern States Communication Association's Dwight Freshley Outstanding New Teacher Award. Dwight presented the first award at the April 2007 meeting of the SSCA in Louisville to Billy Bethea.

Convention Programs. Two Performances: "Group Therapy for Shakespeare Women" and "Meditations on Trying Travel"; Life After Retirement; Conquering Pain and Loss; Upon Retiring: Move or Stay Put?; Upgrading for the Future and Protecting a Landmark: The Palmer House.

Convention Program Participants. Sharon Ammen, Beverly Long, Gladys Crane, Joan Leininger, Barbara Lieb, Nancy Oft Rose, M. Susan Anthony, Elizabeth Ortiz, Austin Goebel, Chanel Reeder, Christine Ridgway, Ryan Ely, Patti Gillespie, Kenneth Andersen, Larry Schnoor, Ray Benkendorf, Gerald Sanders, Jean Burns, James Patterson, Gustav Friedrich, Allan Kennedy, Penny Krampien, Victor Harnack, Ken Price.

2008

Convention City. San Diego.

Officers. Kenneth Andersen, section chair; Larry Schnoor, vice chair; Ray Benkendorf, secretary; Ted Foster, editor; Vicki Rhodes, assistant editor.

Convention Programs. From Forensics Competition to Public Performance: Building a Bridge; How It Happened: Election 2008; Mentoring From Both Sides; UnCONVENTIONAL Crones.

Convention Program Participants. Liesel Reinhart, Sona Movsesian, Steven T. Seagle, Rafel Augustin Guerrero, Diana Carlin, James Klumpff, Craig R. Smith, Judith Trent, Robert Kully, Gerald Sanders, Suzanne Osborn, Anita Taylor, Gary Gumpert, Susan Drucker, John Bowers, Sandra Metts, Cynthia Lont, Sharon Ammen, Nancy Oft Rose, Robert Stockton, Chanel Reeder, Christina Ridgway, Tyler Hutcheson, Noreen Seghaefer-Faix, M. Susan Anthony, Ray Benkendorf, Barbara Lieb, Patti Gillespie.

2009

Convention City. Chicago.

Officers. Kenneth Andersen, section chair; Larry Schnoor, vice chair; Ray Benkendorf, secretary; Ted Foster, editor; Anita James, associate editor; Vicki Dornbush, assistant editor.

Honors. President Andersen presented plaques for distinguished service to Robert Kully and to Gerald Sanders.

Observations. The history committee notes that ninety-four NCA conventions have occurred between 1915 and 2009. (The association held no convention in 1918.) The rationale for site selection has favored the Central region, and the pattern for conventions has been Central, then East, then Central, then West, then Central, etc. Here is the frequency distribution alphabetically by city: Anaheim 1; Atlanta 2; Boston 3; Chicago 31; Cincinnati 3; Cleveland 3; Columbus 1; Denver 2; Detroit 2; Evanston 1; Houston 1; Los Angeles 3; Louisville 1; Miami 1; Miami Beach 1; Minneapolis 1; New York 15; Salt Lake City 1; San Antonio 3; San Diego 2; San Francisco 3; Seattle 1; St. Louis 2; Washington, D.C. 5.

Convention Programs. Asilomar at Thirty: Reflections on the 1979 NCA/ICA Conference in Honor of Gregory Bateson; Election 2008: A Retrospective Look a Year Later; Honoring Unknown Mentors; Three Graduate Programs of the 1960s: Relevance Then, Relevance Now.

Convention Program Participants. Carol Wilder, Arthur Bochner, L. Edna Rogers, Herbert Simons, John Wiemann, Larry Schnoor, Diana Carlin, James Klumpp, Craig Smith, Judith Trent, Robert Kully, Patti Gillespie, Kenneth Andersen, Allan Kennedy, Robert Hariman.

2010

Officers. Larry Schnoor, section chair; Barbara Lieb, vice chair; Ray Benkendorf, Secretary; Patti Gillespie and Gerald Sanders, co-chief consultants; Ted Foster, editor; Anita James, associate editor; Vicki Dornbush, assistant editor.

 Analysis

SCA Archives

For the first few years of the organization's existence, its business meetings were preoccupied with the establishment of an SCA Archive at the University of Utah's Marriott Library. Malcolm Sillars was the liaison between E/RM, SCA, and the library.

The most recent reference the history committee found to the Archive is in the November 1999 issue of Spectra. That article notes the existence of the archive, gives the dates of its documents as 1959-1994, and supplies the name of a contact at the Marriott Library.

Convention Programs

The Emeritus/Retired Members Committee/Caucus/Section presented 61 convention programs during the years 1993-2009 inclusive. At least one program occurred earlier, probably at the 1992 convention (unless Paul Boase played a joke), because one of the 1993 programs was called "Options and Opportunities in Retirement , II."

Judging by their titles, the convention programs represent conscious efforts to fulfill the E/RMS mission statement: "The mission of the Emeritus/Retired Members Section, E/RMS, is three-fold. We promote research and other activities related to the common interests of emeritus/retired members and of the NCA. We serve as an advocate for the concerns of emeritus/retired members. Finally, we seek avenues of communication between our Section and other NCA units in order to gather and disseminate information bearing upon shared concerns and interests."

Of the 61 programs, 33, slightly more than half, address the first two elements in the mission statement, promoting the common interests of E/RMS and NCA and advocating for the concerns of emeritus/retired members. Often, these programs involve a nostalgic or advice-giving tone. The history committee has subcategorized those 33 programs into five types: (1) comparisons between an earlier period and a later period in NCA history and scholarship, programs taking a presbyopic view of the discipline (eight programs); (2) concerns of scholars and people generally with retirement (ten programs); (3) concerns of scholars and people generally, sometimes seriously and sometimes wryly, with age and aging (six programs); (4) mentoring and advising (four programs); and (5) paying tribute (five programs, two of which paid tribute to founder Paul Boase, one while he was living and one in his memory). Within the types, programs appear in chronological order.

Comparisons. Retrospections and Predictions on the Discipline and the Profession; You've Come a Long Way, Baby; Affirmative Action in Retrospect: A New Vision; Freedom and Expression in Higher Education: A Retrospective View; Comparing Public Address and Cultural Studies: A Round Table; Intergenerational Connections: "Ah Yes! I Remember It Well!"; Asilomar at Thirty: Reflections on the 1979 NCA/ICA Conference in Honor of Gregory Bateson; Three Graduate Programs of the 1960s: Relevance Then, Relevance Now.

Retirement. Options and Opportunities in Retirement, II; Finding New Careers Outside of Education; Grazing the Green Pastures: Possibilities in Retirement; Scholarship After Retirement: The Demand and the Possibilities; Moving Forward Into Retirement: Communication in Nonacademic Settings; An Oral History Project by the Emeritus/Retired Members Section: A Panel Discussion; What Have You Done for Me Lately? Retired Faculty Discuss Continuing Affiliations With Their Institutions to Their Mutual Benefit; Life After Retirement: Enhancing Lifelong Learning Through Theatre and Other Arts: Life After Retirement: Conquering Pain and Loss; Upon Retiring: Move or Stay Put?

Age and Aging. Old Presidents Don't Die: They Still Use Their Faculties; Old Wine Is Best; Senior Citizens Don't Abuse Alcohol, Do They? Investigating Alcoholism Hidden Among Older Adults; An Ode to Age -- and Humor; Current Research on Communication and Aging: Five Perspectives; UnCONVENTIONAL Crones.

Mentoring and Advising. The Retired Professor as Mentor; What Does/Should/Can the Emeritus/Retired Members Section Contribute to NCA?; Mentoring From Both Sides; Honoring Unknown Mentors.

Paying Tribute. A Tribute to Kenneth G. Hance; Honor Paul Boase: Colleagues Pay Tribute; A Tribute to Robert Kully "Where at Least Seven of His Friends Will Try to Say Something Nice About Him"; Papers in Honor of Paul Boase: (a) His Life as a Mentor and Colleague, (b) His Research in Public Address, (c) The Social Gospel and Other Work, (d) His Work in Freedom of Speech and Ethics; A Memorial Tribute to Austin J. Freeley.

The residual 28 convention programs were in the service of E/RMS's third mission, to foster interaction between E/RMS and other NCA units. No systematic bias toward particular units is obvious, though reader's theatre, war rhetoric, elections, and freedom of speech have attracted interest from program planners over the years.

Program Participants and NCA Policies

The section's 61 known programs have featured convention appearances by 179 individuals. Of the 179 individuals, 140 (78%) have appeared only in a single year. Some individuals have appeared multiple years, and most of those have been either officers who organized and also chaired or critiqued programs or scholars appearing on a series of programs devoted to the same theme over several years. Individuals who have appeared in four or more different years are: Gerald Sanders (9); Patti Gillespie and Robert Kully (7 each); Bernard Brock and Joan Leininger (6 each); Craig R. Smith, Judith Trent, and Kenneth Andersen (5 each); and Diana Carlin (4). The section has fulfilled well the part of its mission that adjures it to interact with other NCA units.

NCA programing policies affect the degree to which E/RMS can foster interaction through co-sponsored programs. For the 2010 convention in San Francisco, for example, vice chair Barbara Lieb says that E/RMS has been assigned four session slots, one of which must be used for the business meeting. The section will use the other three session slots for programs. But any co-sponsored program will be charged against the unit proposing the co-sponsorship, so for every co-sponsored program that E/RMS proposes the section must sacrifice one of its own exclusive programs. The policy plainly discourages co-sponsored programs. Ironically, the 2010 convention theme is "building bridges."

Chronic Problems

The section has experienced two chronic problems: (1) nomenclature; and (2) membership.

The Problem of Nomenclature. An unfortunate confusion arises because "emeritus" is both an NCA membership classification pre-existing and independent of the section and a term in the title of the section.

One can become an emeritus member of NCA (but not a member of the section) either by maintaining regular or sustaining membership continuously for twenty-five years or by maintaining regular or sustaining membership discontinuously for thirty years and by subsequently notifying the NCA executive director of a wish to become an emeritus member. This membership class exempts the member from all dues and from the convention registration fee. The emeritus member continues to receive one NCA journal. When the emeritus member registers for a convention, NCA sends a nametag ribbon labeled "emeritus."

Emeritus members might easily assume that the membership type implies also membership in the Emeritus/Retired Members Section of the organization. It does not. Similarly, emeritus and retired association members who belong to the section but not to the emeritus membership category might wonder why they get no convention ribbon identifying them as "emeritus." This confusion especially affects those who have paid for life membership in the association. These members have pre-paid their dues, journal subscriptions, and convention registration fees so have no motivation to apply for the emeritus membership category.

The section discussed this nomenclature issue at length during its 2006 business meeting but took no action.

The Problem of Membership Volume. The section has restlessly moved about within the NCA structure of sub-groups. Paul Boase, the founder, in 1991 originated the group as a "committee" of NCA. The group maintained that status until 1996, when it became a "caucus." Three years later, in 1999, it became a "section," the status it still maintains.

A "committee" of NCA exists at the pleasure of the Legislative Assembly or of the Executive Committee. Committees typically implement some NCA policy or deal in the short term with some NCA problem. That the emeritus/retired group was uncomfortable with that ad hoc status should be no surprise.

A "caucus" typically exists to specifically address some affirmative action program or problem of the association. A caucus must have the signatures of fifty NCA members initially, but thereafter has no specific membership requirement and incurs no expense for the member. Doubtless the easy membership standard appealed to the emeritus/retired group, but the affirmative action designation did not. Emeritus/retired members do not consider themselves to be a group that experiences special discrimination.

The most natural designation for the group might be "section." According to the NCA Constitution, sections are "units within the National Communication Association with common professional settings and interests." Teachers in community colleges, for example, constitute a section. Although emeritus and retired members might have a common professional unsetting rather than setting, no other category seems to fit the nature of the group better. Furthermore, a section merits more representation in the Legislative Assembly than does a committee or a caucus, and a section may be permitted to sponsor more convention programs.

But volume of membership can be problematic for a section and sometimes has been problematic for E/RMS. To maintain the status, a section must be chosen year after year by at least a hundred members. The NCA structure grants to each member three cost-free affiliations with divisions and/or sections and currently charges an additional five dollars for each additional affiliation. Older members might understandably be reluctant to sacrifice life-long membership in the Four-Year College section, for example, in order to sign up for free membership in the Emeritus/Retired section. The same older members might also be reluctant to incur an additional five-dollar membership fee in order to belong to both. Add to these difficulties the special loss to infirmity and mortality of an emeritus/retired group, and the problem of maintaining constant membership of a hundred might sometimes become difficult.

(The problem of infirmity and mortality, of course, entails conditions other than membership. Members in general dare not attempt longitudinal projects. A three-member committee is writing this history, for example, in 2009. But the history is to extend to the NCA centennial in 2014. The junior member of the committee is a hypertensive insulin-dependent diabetic of 74 in 2009, and nobody on the committee feels assured of competence and life for five more years. Who might complete this history?)

Once in the early twenty-first century, the section devised a constitutional amendment that would have made membership in the Emeritus/Retired Members Section free as a fourth affiliation and that would have instructed NCA to notify NCA members as they approached retirement age that the free section membership was available. The section had adequate membership that year and took no action to move the amendment forward in the legislative process.

The section probably can be optimistic about its organizational survival. Emeritus/retired members, the elders, enjoy high ethos among the younger members of the association, and only a myopic Legislative Assembly would vote against measures to insure that in the delegates' own later lives they would have an institutionally-approved place to gather.

In 2007 Dr. Patti Gillespie appointed a committee comprising Dwight Freshley (chair), Robert Kully, and John Bowers to research the section’s past and write a narrative history. The current draft we owe to the work of Dr. John Bowers. It seems most appropriate to have a history of our Section while some of its Founders and early leaders are still around to talk about their goals and experiences.

[pdf file of the Section's history]


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