In 1985, Elwood Preiss, executive assistant to President Wendell Nedderman, called a group of people together to discuss the formation of an organization for UT Arlington retirees. The group included John Gardner, who was named chair of the Steering Committee; Joe Spradlin, who became vice chair/newsletter editor; and members Betty Hamilton, Fred Hunstable and Mary Smith.
Members of the Steering Committee formed several goals for the proposed Retirees Club:
Provide retirees with a means to sustain their relationship with the University, renew old friendships and make new ones.
Create fellowship opportunities for retirees to play games or gather for conversation.
Bring in University administrators to keep retirees informed about new developments and goals of the University.
Provide programs for enlightenment and entertainment.
The Steering Committee produced bylaws to govern the club. Officers included President, President-Elect, VP Membership, Secretary, Treasurer and Newsletter Editor. In 1988, the office of Games Coordinator was added. In 1989, the office of President-Elect became VP Programs.
In 1999, the Retirees Club formed a Retiree Roll of Honor to recognize the contributions of those club members who filled leadership positions in the club. Currently, 27 members have received this honor. They are listed here by year of induction.
To further recognize the contributions of UT Arlington Retirees to the university and community, in 2007 the club awarded it's inaugural Distinguished Retiree Service Award to Elwood Preiss, proclaiming the award to now be called the Elwood Preiss Retiree Service Award. Subsequent awards have been issued to Joe Spradlin and Thurman Jasper.