In this edition....
  • News and Updates
    • A Letter from Our New President Carrie McGhee
    • Board Members for Rotary Year July 2022 through June 2023
    • MURC Members Attend "Books for Africa Gala"
    • MURC Mentoring Afghan Family
    • District Governor Recaps 2021-2022 Highlights
  • Announcements
    • Rotary Diversity Equity and Inclusion Summit on July 16th
    • Summer Rooftop Celebration on July 27th
  • Community Service
    • Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children on July 11th
    • Volunteer at Simpson Food Shelf on July 15th
  • Club Information

A Letter from Our New President,

Carrie McGhee

Hello Fellow Rotarians and Club Members,
I wanted to write a brief note to you as I begin my year as your club president. I never imagined a year ago, as I was finishing my own presidency with my former rotary club in Winona, Minnesota, I would be a club president again, let alone within a year. When I was asked to be president-elect three weeks after joining MURC, I could not say no. I take to heart “Service above Self.” As a Rotarian, I believe I am here to serve in any capacity as I am able. My answer was yes and here I am today writing to you.
I grew up in a small town, Dayton, Minnesota.  Today, it is a bedroom community of Minneapolis but back sixty years ago it was a small town bordered on three sides by the Mississippi river and on top of the hill stands St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Our town was quite ethnically diverse. Families of German and French descent made up the majority of our community. My family was in the minority as one of three Irish families in town. We made not have shared the same “culture” but we did share the same faith, Catholic. It was through the many volunteer activities sponsored by the church, which I learned that there was nothing wrong with being of a different culture/ethnicity. Yes, I was a minority and yes in the 1960’s you were taught the “rules of engagement” but when it was time to help someone out, I learned that “Strength lies in our differences, not in our similarities.”- Steven Covey.
By growing up in this small town ”feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.” – Virgina Satir. My small town was family. Even though I did not speak German, Mr. Dalheimer knew where every kid was from his rocking chair on the porch. Ms. Martin, the town librarian, each week had a new book for me to read even though she did not like my dog, Fluffy, who on a daily bases watered her summer flocks. Her thick French accent and weekly fresh baked baguettes always had a life lesson attached. When I left Dayton for college and the world beyond, I missed the feeling of family/community. I found it again when I joined Rotary. We are a family, diverse but yet, we share the same belief that through service, we can make a difference in people’s lives.
I look forward to my year as club president. I want to empower each member to feel that they are an important family member of our club community as we serve. As John Lynch wrote “We will not agree on every issue. But let us respect those differences and respect one another. Let us recognize that we do not serve an ideology or a political party; we serve the people. “
Service above Self,


MURC Board Members for Rotary Year

July 2022 through June 2023

The following Board Members were elected during the Dec. 15th, 2021, all-member Club Assembly meeting to serve during the Rotary year beginning on July 1, 2022:
   Carrie McGhee
Immediate Past President
   Erin Bagniewski
Club Treasurer
   Mike Nation
   Carol Cline-Hedblom
Rotary Foundation Chair
   Jean Westberg
Membership Chair
   Erik van Kuijk
Community Service Co-Chair
   Carol Skulstad
Community Service Co-Chair
   John Bantle
Public Image / Public Relations Chair/ Webmaster 
Club Service Chair
   Lori Simpson
Club Foundation Co-Treasurer
   Jean Westberg
Club Foundation Co-Treasurer
   Rich Berkley
Program Chair
   Cristina Czaia
World Service Chair / Foundation Chair  
   Mahmood Zaidi
   Carol Cline-Hedblom
Member-at-Large (Foundation)




MURC Members Attend

"Books for Africa" Luncheon

Books Broaden Horizons
Posted by Lori Simpson


MURC members and friends attended the Books for Africa event in St. Paul on June 10th.  It was an uplifting fundraiser and celebration of this successful non-profit organization that changes lives through books. Since 1988, Books for Africa has shipped more than 54 million books to all 55 countries on the African continent.
At the event, attendees were welcomed by Minnesota Governor Walz.  Sharon Sayles Belton, former Minneapolis Mayor and current Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Relations at Thomson Reuters, introduced Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Hajia Alima Mahama, who gave the keynote address.   

Here are some key results of the event:

  • 290 guests attended in person
  • 1,500 supporters watched online
  • Over $235,000 raised in cash, pledges and sponsorships
  • Almost half a million books sponsored
  • Shipments already planned to Ghana, Malawi and Kenya

Thank you to former MURC President Erin Bagniewski, "Books for Africa" Board Member, for providing the opportunity to attend this exciting event.










Top: from left, MURC Member Mark Ritchie, Friend of MURC Carole Peterson, MURC Members Carol Skulstad and Lori Simpson, and MURC President-elect Carrie McGhee.  Lower Left: Governor Walz.  Lower Right: Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Hajia Alima Mahama.



MURC Members Mentoring Afghan Family

Posted by Lori Simpson

Under the leadership of MURC Community Service Co-Chair John Bantle, the Minneapolis University Rotary Club worked with the International Institute of Minnesota to establish a mentoring relationship with a refugee family from Afghanistan.

MURC raised funds to support our mentoring activities, members have donated two televisions and many other household items to the family, and a number of MURC members, including John, Carol Skulstad, Jean Westberg, and Lori Simpson have undergone a background check and training and are now mentoring the family.  Carrie McGhee plans to join the mentors soon.

Below is a picture taken by John during a recent outing with the Noor family to Como Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul.  Mrs. Noori is absent; John's grandson is also pictured.


We look forward to getting to know the family and finding ways to help them adjust to life in Minnesota.

District Governor Recaps 2021-22 Highlights

Posted by District Governor Marianna Khauv (Monticello) in District 5950 Newsletter
It has been a great year!  
My 66 club visits were the highlights of my year, meeting everyone and learning how each club adapted to engage members and impact communities.
During the 2021-22 Rotary year we conducted a district-wide survey. After sharing the results with
all of you, the District Board of Directors conducted strategic planning – an activity that will create a D5950 action plan for the next three-to-five years.
Work began in 2019 for our first ever Tri-District Conference, inviting Rotarians from Districts 5950, 5960 and 5580 to celebrate and learn together.  It was a very hard decision for the three district governors to cancel the conference; however, another Covid spike required that we focus on the safety and wellness of our Rotarians. 
In a new initiative supported by the District Governor Line of PDG Tom Gump (Edina/Morningside), DGE Lloyd Campbell (Glenwood), DGN Jewelie Grape (City of Lakes) and DGND Sharon Bloodworth (Mpls. #9), our district was able to offer a Membership Engagement Grant to all of our clubs. All 44 clubs who applied received the grant. We sincerely hope that it made an impact on members working together and planning 2022-23 projects.
I am so honored for this opportunity to serve all of you this year.  So grateful to work with a wonderful DG Line as well as District Executive Director Alexa Rundquist (Minnetonka) and Monticello Rotarian Amber Gamblin. So appreciative of all committee chairs and volunteers who implement district plans and keep 5950 highly respected for its accomplishments. Finally, thank you to Cheri Ashfeld (Rogers) as she completes seven years as newsletter editor.
I will look back on this year and the goal of inspiring other women to rise and create lasting change to our communities, both locally and globally. I used to say to myself, Why me? Then I told myself, Why not me? Drawing on wisdom from RI President Shekhar begins with me, and together "Each one, bring one so we can grow and do more."
Thank you for your dedicated Service Above Self to District 5950 and its communities!
District Governor Marianna

You are invited to the Area 1 Summer Rooftop Celebration


Register Online by July 20th


Join Us to Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children

What:    Measuring, bagging, and boxing dry foodstuffs

Where:  Feed My Starving facility at 990 Lone Oak Road, Eagan

When:   Monday, July 11th, 2022, 11.30 a.m. to 1.15 p.m.


Join Us to Volunteer at the Simpson Food Pantry


What:    Stocking food on shelves in the food pantry

Where:  Simpson Food Pantry at 2740 1st Ave S, Minneapolis 

When:   Friday, July 15th, 2022, 9 a.m. to Noon

We are a small and mighty group of local professionals and we are part of a global network of 1.2 million Rotarians.
         We meet some Wednesdays, noon-1:00 p.m. via Zoom.  Everyone is invited to our meetings!  Please see our web page at Home Page | Minneapolis University Rotary Club ( for our schedule of meetings and speakers.
To get the Zoom link for our meetings, email us at
Newsletter Editor
Lori Simpson
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