The strong camaraderie of teams made at UTS has been a unifying theme throughout Tom MacMillan’s life and has cemented his commitment to the school as a UTS Board Director, Project Steering Committee member, Building the Future Campaign Cabinet member, and as a donor.
The MacMillan family’s time with UTS goes back to Tom’s father, Robert ’34. His uncle, Hugh ’37, his cousin Hugh ’66, along with his brothers Robert ’69, and David ’72, are also UTS alumni. Margaret and Ann, their sisters, have also been UTS supporters despite predating the school’s change to its status as a co-ed school. When the time came to recognize the generous contribution to our building project from Tom and his siblings, they chose to honour their father, who was “simply an amazing guy,” in the renewed building. Their generosity is being recognized in the Student Commons and Tom hopes students will enjoy the space to forge the lifelong bonds that were integral to his family’s experiences as students here.
Tom recalls that one of the lessons he took from UTS has been the need to work hard, in the company of smart and extraordinary peers and also to compete well on teams. Notably, Tom was the Deputy School Captain, the Nesbitt Gold Medal winner and he was a member of the hockey team where he was coached by former principal Al Fleming ’54. Through group initiatives, Tom has been instrumental in honouring both Al Fleming ’54 and Coach Don Fawcett ’50, who taught him many of the lessons that being on a team bestow. “We learned about being a team member and what it takes to win. That has helped me in my life… and I still play a lot of games! I win a lot of games, I lose a lot of games… the point is, I play the games. That’s been important in my life.”
Tom’s perception of teamwork extended to parts he could balance in school plays, with the time limitation of a busy hockey season. “I was the messenger in Hamlet, a Roman citizen in Julius Caesar, and the second murderer in Macbeth. And it was fabulous because I met a whole different group of people, it was a team, and it was awesome.”
Tom continues on Team UTS – through his involvement in many aspects of today’s school life and alumni activities. From joining alumni hockey and golf and attending events to his work on the Board and school committees, his engagement with the school has a great impact on UTS. As a volunteer and as a loyal donor, Tom has given generously of himself to propel the school into continued excellence for generations to come. “I’ve wanted to be counted as a supporter because it is a school of excellence and the world has benefitted from UTS graduates — and they will continue to benefit… I want to support that.”