Milt Thomas   2009 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. What a great pleasure it is for me to be back on the Fredericton campus of UNB today for this very special Distinguished Service announcement.  It is an honor to read the citation for Milt Thomas, Communications Coordinator for the UNB Associated Alumni.

Milt’s name has been associated with the all communication from the UNB Associated Alumni since 1992. And how things have changed in Milt’s 17 years! The first thing Milt did upon his return from Ottawa in 1992 was commit himself to improving the Alumni News magazine. The publication remains the number one source of university and association information for close to 63,000 readers. Milt is the editor, writer, designer and layout expert for the Alumni News.

His passion for producing the three times per year publication is unmatched. Long, long hours are put in as Milt prepares the next issue of the News – like right now as another deadline looms for the April 2009 issue. The magazine keeps readers informed about news and information – books written by UNB faculty and alumni; fund raising campaigns; new Association benefit programs; university and association new and events; and of course Hither &Yon - the most read section of the magazine, and when compared to other alumni publications the most comprehensive alumni populated update section in the country.

Today the challenge is to keep the Alumni News interesting to the large growing young alumni constituency. With greater than 50% of alumni today having graduated since 1990 the presentation, style and content of the Alumni News must be adapted. Milt has worked tirelessly to ensure that each issue has something for the wide age range of UNB’s alumni.

Milt’s role as the Communications Coordinator for the UNB Associated Alumni goes much further than just the Alumni News. While transitioning the Alumni News to a younger readership, Milt has also had to manage change through the internet and e-mail systems.  Originally thought of as an information vehicle, the internet and e-mail systems are now used for ongoing communication, event notices and even linking UNB groups. Milt has remained the point person on this transition, making sure the association and the university have the most current technology in place. 

Over the past 17 years Milt has become a key resource for the production of many other UNB publications. He played a key role in the Making a Significant Difference effort in 2002; was supportive and provided important advice during the Forging our Futures fund raising campaign; and has helped with the annual President’s Report for the past 6 years. In mid-2001 he served as the Acting Executive Director of the UNB Associated Alumni during the transition between Bob Skillen and myself. This is even more impressive when you ask Milt what technology changes were happening at the same time – the original alumni on-line directory was launched; the E-mail for Life (EFL) technology was introduced, and an e-newsletter was started.  Milt preformed such stellar service during this critical period that not one project fell behind or off the table.

Milt Thomas has become a recognizable face and trusted colleague over the past 17 years. As the world of communications has changed Milt has ensured that the Associated Alumni has taken full advantage of the changing technology and has made sure that all members of today’s alumni constituency are communicated with in the best possible way. Much of the success of the UNB Associated Alumni over the past 17 years can be directly linked to communications and therefore to Milt Thomas. He continues to be a strong believer and supporter of UNB – Milt is completing his MA (History); he graduated with a BA (History) in 1973; and his wife Patty and all three daughters Rebecca, Kate, and Maggie are UNB grads.

For many reasons Milt is deserving of a UNB Distinguished Service Award. Congratulations Milt.

Mark Hazlett

Executive Director

CCAE (www.ccaecanada.org)

Former Director of UNB Associated Alumni