When they finally started a University of Texas-Pan American Retirees Association this year, good things happened.

The general public, as well as the retirees at UT Pan American, will benefit too, indirectly.  

Unlike most universities in the United States, Pan Am did not, for dozens of years, bother to invite its retired faculty, staff and administrators to start a retirement association on the Edinburg campus.

They finally formed this membership after planning last year, and finishing it early this year.

Pan American had started as a junior college in the late 1920s. For many years it was a four-year college, then became a branch of the University of Texas System. It surely deserves this honor for the people who helped run Pan American for so many years.

For some unknown reason, during many years, no one ever proposed a retiree organization to encourage former employees to join. This has now been done for the faculty, staff and administrators.

They are all being welcomed with many events coming up. The latest event was held at the  Edinburg World Birding Center on April 19. This is just a sample of the many things that come up through the Retirees Association schedule. Other people, not in the association, will benefit by hearing or reading about these events.

Ironically, many of the Retiree Association events can be repeated for others to use. This April 19 event included a DVD presentation on “Birding on the Rio Grande” to cover most of the birding sites.

The Birding Center had never been seen by many of the Pan American people before, due to their heavy concentration when they were working at UT Pan American. For those who don’t understand about Valley birds, here’s a chance to catch up.

This Birding Center is located at 710 S. Raul Longoria Road in Edinburg, off Sprague, next to the Community Gardens and about a mile east of Expressway 281.

The many other events coming will alert former employees to join the Pan American Retirees Association (PARA).

Many other events include plays, music concerts, exclusive dinners and shows, distinguished speakers, sports events and many other attractions for the prospective members who have missed so many occasions when working at the university.

They are likely to attend many more now that they are no longer having to work extra hours, or any at all, at UT Pan American.