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Fleming named AU's outstanding male senior
4/06/10

Thomas Fleming of Penn Yan, NY, will receive one of Alfred University’s highest honors, the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award, to be presented at Alfred University’s annual Honors Convocation April 23.

Each recipient – one man and one woman -- will receive a $5,000 check and a handcrafted tile to commemorate the award. They will also speak at Alfred University’s commencement May 15.

Fleming was chosen for the honor by a campus-wide committee on the basis of his scholarship, extra-curricular leadership and personal character. Faculty, staff and students may nominate candidates for the award.

“We once again had an exceptional field of candidates for the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Awards,” said Kathy Woughter, vice president for Student Affairs. “I continue to be impressed with our students, and recognize how fortunate we are to have such incredible students – they’re bright, engaged, and totally committed to making the most of their Alfred University experience.”

“Alfred is a special place to me,” said Fleming. “I’ve grown as an academic, as a community leader, and especially as a person. I believe that I am calmer, more confident, and better prepared for the rest of the world because of my experiences at Alfred, both in and out of the classroom. I’ve held many positions, taken many different opportunities, and I am leaving this school with what I feel is about a decade or more of experience wrapped into a relatively short four-year period. I am proud of the work I have done.”

“Tom’s dedicated leadership … has been exceptional,” wrote Librarian Mark Smith in nominating Fleming for the award. “His service has been held in high regard by both peers and faculty. Here is young man who has made the most of an Alfred education.”

Dr. Robyn Goodman, Communications professor and adviser to the Fiat Lux, the campus newspaper, called Fleming “an excellent scholar and an especially innovative, effective AU leader” with an “incredibly strong moral code.”

Fleming, she wrote, “[is] all AU, from head to toe. He is especially appreciative of all the wonderful opportunities AU has given him, and just about every conversation I have with him begins with an AU project he is working on to help make our institution the best it can be.”

Fleming, who is majoring in Communications and German, is president of AU Pride organization and just concluded a two-year stint as editor-in-chief of the Fiat Lux, leading it through a technology upgrade. He has also been general manager of WALF Radio.

He’s served the University community in other ways as well, as a member of Student Senate, as an alternate student representative on the Strategic Planning Council, as the student representative on the technology committee, and as a student resource person for the Board of Trustees’ University Relations Committee.

Fleming is being inducted into the Alfred University chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, and a member of Phi Sigma Iota, the foreign language honor society, and Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society that recognizes academic excellent during a student’s first year.

He received a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Certificate of Merit, a national journalism award, for his article, “Dan of the Dead,” a story about how a student with a NERF gun precipitated a “lockdown” on the AU campus.

Fleming earned an honorable mention in the Richard V. Bergren Student Innovation Awards competition for his work to upgrade the Fiat Lux Web site. He received the Modern Languages Culture Award and an Alfie Award for his contributions to the Fiat Lux. His work on the newspaper made him a two-time winner of the Sharon Hoover Fund award.

A graduate of Penn Yan Academy, Fleming is the son of David and Loretta Fleming of Penn Yan, NY.

Along with a hand-crafted tile made by Wayne Higby, an internationally acclaimed artist and professor of ceramic art in the School of Art & Design at AU, Fleming will receive $5,000 in cash, thanks to an endowment created by Robert L. McNeil Jr. of Wyndmoor, PA, a friend and business colleague of Marlin Miller, who is a 1954 alumnus of Alfred University as well as a member and former chairman of the Board of Trustees.

While Alfred University has for many years presented outstanding senior awards to the man and woman in each class selected by a campus-wide committee, in 2004 the awards were named in honor of Miller.