Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Thom Serafin honored with William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership
Dr. Sidney Micek, President, University of Illinois Foundation; Thom Serafin (’73 Communication, ’93 Public Affairs Reporting), Founder and CEO, Serafin & Associates; George Kottemann, Chairman, The Presidents Council, University of Illinois Foundation.
The University of Illinois Springfield has named alumnus Thom Serafin, founder and CEO of Serafin & Associates, as well as a noted political analyst, as the recipient of the 2010 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership at UIS.
The award is given to a volunteer who has shown extraordinary leadership in supporting the development of the goals of the University of Illinois. It is named for William Winter, a 1942 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, retired chairman of the 7-Up Company, member of the U of I Board of Directors and Ambassador for the University of Illinois.
As an expert in public affairs, public relations, reputation management, media advising and strategic planning, Serafin has advised the UIS Office of Development, UIS Office of Alumni Relations and campus leadership whenever asked. He has served since 2006 on the UIS Campus Alumni Advisory Board and now chairs this advisory board for 2010-2011.
Serafin came up with the idea for a UIS Alumni Leadership Roundtable, which has helped the university reconnect with distinguished alumni. The group, which meets bi-annually, brings leaders in business and public service from around the nation to campus to discuss the realities and challenges UIS and higher education face. The group also meets with students and speaks in classes.
Most recently Serafin created a popular “speed advising” evening where students rotate locations, meeting one on one with multiple Roundtable members. He’s also reached out to alumni to encourage them to provide student scholarships.
Serafin has shown leadership by example, establishing the Thom Serafin Public Affairs Reporting Endowed Scholarship fund. Along with building the endowment toward multiple scholarship awards, he has provided annual support so that students receive assistance now.