Message from Dr. Jim Milke

The network of FPE/UMD alumni has been strong ever since the first graduates from the department.  Certainly, the strength of that network from the beginning is a tribute to Dr. John Bryan, or “Prof”.  I’ve sought to preserve the Department’s connection with alumni since Prof’s retirement.  Certainly, our alumni network has been instrumental to the Department in many ways over the years, including:

  • Mentoring students in special projects
  • Guest lectures
  • Instructional materials for courses (software, lecture materials, and identifying resources)
  • Contributions for scholarships
  • Support for teaching assistants
  • Recruiting activities for new students

One of the notable accomplishments by alumni was the funding for the endowed John L. Bryan Chair Professorship, which succeeded due to the personal contributions from alumni or because alumni actively sought contributions from corporations.  Coincidentally, shortly after significant support for the endowment was received, we obtained a “green light” to propose our graduate program.

Since becoming chair, alumni have made significant contributions to the department as we upgraded our computer lab and renovated our new space in the JM Patterson Building.

Finally, when we think of our alumni network, numerous memories of alumni events come to mind, whether from NFPA and SFPE meetings, or regional gatherings of alumni.

Following a set of conversations with alumni during the spring and summer of 2011, the notion of an FPE Alumni Club arose during a meeting with Tom Gardner (86), Dan Arnold (80) and Doug Fisher (91).  The FPE Alumni Club seeks to preserve and strengthen the alumni network and its ongoing connection to the department. One key aspect of the club is that the strength of the alumni network will now be primarily in the hands of the alumni and will not require that a faculty member within the department take a lead role.

I’ll hope you’ll consider being part of the FPE Alumni Club.

Dr. James Milke, Professor and Department Chair