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October 24, 2011

Thorn named 2011 recipient of Alumni Association Service Award

Bryan Thorn, physical plant director at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, is the kind of employee who doesn’t say much about his work ethic. He doesn’t need to – his handiwork is all around campus, and it says it all. 

Thorn is this year’s recipient of the 2011 Alumni Association’s Service Award, which will be given at annual Alumni Association Awards Brunch at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 29.

Thorn was originally hired in 1991 to do carpentry work on a temporary basis.

He had traveled extensively throughout the southern U.S., working at a variety of construction jobs following graduation from then-Northeast Louisiana University in 1982 with a degree in Building Construction.

His wife of almost 30 years, Toni, was pregnant at the time. She wanted to return to northeast Louisiana to be near family, many who eventually retired from ULM.

The Thorn’s son, Josh, a freshman, now majors in music at ULM.

 “I went to work for ULM while I was looking for other work, and I ended up staying,” Thorn quipped.

One of Thorn’s earliest jobs was remodeling the former presidential home that once occupied the grounds where the ULM library now stands.

Within a few years, Thorn was already receiving his first promotion to facilities manager at the ULM Activity Center. Thorn worked for Camille Currier, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.

“One of Bryan’s strongest traits is his desire to do things right the first time and do it first-class,” Currier said.

And Thorn’s greatest weakness? “He doesn’t know how to say, ‘no,’ Currier said, with a chuckle.

Because of Thorn’s many “yeses,” the grounds and infrastructure at ULM are as immaculate as ever.

The campus was well-prepped for the recent Investiture Week of Celebration in honor of ULM President Nick J. Bruno. And now, with just days to go until Homecoming 2011, Thorn and his crew (about 100 employees fall under his area of responsibility) will be tweaking and maintaining the campus so it is at its pristine best.

Thorn has also volunteered numerous weekends assisting with charitable events such as the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, in addition to state tournaments and other special events.

He also serves on the ULM Staff Senate and has served on other committees throughout his 21 years of employment.

“Bryan is one of the most dedicated and loyal colleagues I’ve had the pleasure of working with at ULM,” Currier said. “He leads by example. He is level-headed and dependable. His morals, attitude and honesty are beyond reproach.”

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