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A student participates in the Etiquette Dinner.

A student learns the rules from soup to nuts at the annual Etiquette Dinner (see story below).

Florida Minne-College

From M, winter 2008

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the UMAA will host a spectacular day of learning on January 26, when renowned faculty from five colleges on the Twin Cities campus come together in Naples for the 2008 Florida Minne-College. The program begins with a keynote address by internationally acclaimed neuroscientist Karen Ashe of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who has made breakthrough discoveries on Alzheimer's disease. Following her address, participants can choose between concurrent lectures featuring climatologist Mark Seeley of the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences; Jane Davidson from the Institute of Technology; Deborah Swackhamer from the School of Public Health; and Kathleen Thomas from the College of Education and Human Development. A reception featuring remarks by President Robert Bruininks will conclude the day's events. The Florida Minne-College will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Naples Hilton Hotel, 5111 Tamiami Trail North in Naples. For information about registration and admission fees, call Chad Kono at 1-800-UM-ALUMS or 612-625-9183, or visit

2008 Legislative briefing--save the date!

Mark your calendar now for the UMAA's annual legislative briefing and reception, the evening of January 23. Join other University supporters and President Robert Bruininks in this energizing annual event. You will get an insider's preview of the University of Minnesota's 2008 capital bonding request and learn how to share "your story" in a way that will help the leadership and citizens of Minnesota realize how the University touches each and every one of them. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a light dinner. Program begins at 6 p.m. and concludes at 8 p.m. There is no charge, but an RSVP is required at

Be a part of the UMAA In August, membership in the UMAA reached an all-time high of 64,000, including more than 13,000 life members. That's good news for the UMAA, but it's even better news for the University. That's because the UMAA is dedicated to supporting the University's goal of becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world. Alumni, parents, friends, and U of M students are all welcome to join the UMAA. Members become part of a growing network of supporters who care deeply about the U and its future. Alumni initiatives in support of the U include the Mentor Connection, legislative advocacy efforts, Distinguished Teaching Awards, student leadership awards, scholarship efforts, and more. Members also enjoy great benefits, including Minnesota magazine and exclusive access to University Library databases. To learn more about how you can join the UMAA, visit Or, drop by the UMAA office, located in suite 200 of the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street Southeast in Minneapolis.

New benefit for members UMAA members are entitled to a discounted registration fee on the Strategic Leadership Insights Speaker Series, an engaging new forum for upper-management professionals sponsored by the College of Continuing Education. Each session features a nationally recognized business expert who will address key workforce trends, followed by a moderated discussion on how to address these important issues. For more information, call 612-624-4000 or visit

A short course on social graces Any doubts about whether or not students are genuinely hungry for knowledge were dispelled in October when nearly 400 gathered at the McNamara Alumni Center for the annual Etiquette Dinner, an evening of instruction in social graces. Held since 2000, the Etiquette Dinner, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, the Campus Career Services Offices, and the Career Development Network, aims to help students navigate networking dinners and job interviews over meals by coaching them in the nuances of etiquette. Darcy Matz, an etiquette expert and vice president of Profile Resource Organization, guided students through a four-course meal. Among the lessons: how to make small talk, shake hands, and eat a cherry tomato; and whether or not to tell a fellow diner about the spinach wedged in his or her teeth (the answer is yes).