July 2017

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July 2017

The Fellows Update

My Post-Retirement Life

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell

Jan. 1, 2007 I retired from the University of GA—just one year into my USITT presidency. Consequently I remained VERY busy with USITT obligations. The effect of retirement was two-fold: 1. Often I didn’t have to dress or leave my house to go to work as telephone and internet made accomplishing USITT work from home quite effective with one caveat—I did find that it was preferable not to Skype in my pj’s and face cream, and 2. USITT did not pay nearly as well as my “day job.”

USITT, combined with several semesters spent in Hong Kong with my husband, Clifton Pannell, who had appointments at the University of Hong Kong, made for a busy, exciting, and fulfilling entrée into retirement.

Also in 2007 we purchased a small condominium in Highlands, NC Highlands is but a two-hour drive from our home in Athens, GA. With an elevation of 4000 ft., it is usually some 15 degrees cooler thus offering relief from very HOT Georgia summers. I must say that I find such communal living both interesting and, because I was unaccustomed to the associated “rules” and close living accommodations, somewhat challenging. I’m happy that it is cooler but never unhappy to return to our life in Athens each fall where we are very much enjoying all of the offerings of life in a university community.

We also have two rental properties on beautiful Jekyll Island, GA that require our attention from time to time. Jekyll is a very interesting barrier island that, in the late 19th and early 20th century, was a hunt club belonging to the “Captains of Industry” including J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, William K. Vanderbilt, Joseph Pulitzer, and more. Much of the “millionaires village” remains and makes for an especially interesting beach vacation as the historic district is preserved as a museum. For those among us who are retired I suggest visiting in the fall or spring when the island has fewer visitors and the weather is typically spectacular!

As those of you who are retired know, and the rest of you will learn, there are so many interesting and important volunteer opportunities available. Of course USITT remains of vital interest to me but I also enjoy involvement as a Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art board member, as a member of the board of our homeowners association in Highlands, as an opera interest group member through a “learning-in-retirement” program in Athens, and continue to have several UGA involvements.

Last, and by far the most important-- I am very fortunate to be a part of an exciting family including Clif, four wonderful stepsons and daughters-in-law, and 10 very exciting grandchildren who are geographically scattered but with whom we visit frequently!