Washington Post Deputy Managing Editor and UW-Milwaukee Alumni Milton Coleman accepted UWM’s inaugural Alumni Fellow Honor Tuesday on the UWM campus.
Coleman was selected by the UWM Foundation for the honor, which recognizes outstanding alumni who demonstrate leadership and accomplishment in their personal and professional lives.
Coleman began his journalism career as a reporter for the Milwaukee Courier, but received a bachelor of fine arts in music history and literature from UWM. He is the current president of the Inter American Press Association and previously held the presidency of the American Society of News Editors.
“I would not be here before you and I would not be at the Washington Post were it not for the experience that I got here (at UWM), and over the past couple of years I’ve learned to really appreciate some of the blessings I have,” said Coleman. “We were looking for an individual who could really connect back with the students and with the faculty, someone who brought appeal across the campus and greater community,” said UWM Foundation Member Chris Fiasca.
During his two day visit to campus, Coleman met with UWM journalism students and held a panel discussion at the Milwaukee Press Club on the value of education and overcoming obstacles.
UWM Chancellor Michael Lovell presented Coleman with the honor.
“He’s someone the university is very proud of,” said Lovell. “I’m very proud of what our university is able to create and the people who are changing the lives of others not only in Milwaukee and the state, (but) in our country and across the world.”
Lovell credited Coleman with paying it forward by making a difference in students’ futures and helping UWM produce the next generation of leaders.
“Mr. Coleman has never forgotten those people who helped contribute to his future,” said Lovell.
Coleman, a benefactor of UWM’S Minority Academic Achievement Scholarship Fund, received a one-year tuition scholarship after graduating from Lincoln High School.
“UWM was an opportunity, because absent that little 128 dollar scholarship I would not have gone to college, I have no idea what I was going to do,” said Coleman in his acceptance speech.
Coleman credited his teachers and the university for teaching him how to think and how to believe in himself.