In 1992, the Employee Recognition Committee (ERC) determined that although Minnesota State University faculty become emeriti at retirement, other non-instructional professional employees and classified civil service workers were not receiving any recognition or honors at the time of their retirement. The criteria for the then-existing Faculty Emeriti Association was viewed as too limiting, so the ERC recommended that a broader emeriti association should be formally sanctioned by the university with an expanded potential membership base.
In 1994, after many meetings with retired faculty and "meet and confer" sessions between university administrators and representatives from campus employee collective bargaining units, a policy creating the Society was written which included guidelines on membership eligibility for staff, teaching, and administrative/service faculty emeriti. As part of the process, a list of benefits was also developed.
Minnesota State University believes a Society committed to the interests of retirees properly reflects the university’s desire to maintain a positive and meaningful relationship with its past employees. In recognition of meritorious service, Minnesota State University bestows well-earned honors and privileges on retiring staff, teaching, and administrative/service faculty. The university recognizes that the benefits of society membership cannot begin to equal the commitment made by society members during the years they worked for the university.
Honored retirees are encouraged to be goodwill ambassadors for the university. By maintaining contact with the university through the Society, these retired employees have the opportunity to act as liaisons between the university and the community-at-large and can provide active assistance to a variety of campus activities.