Top of the Morning, June 15, 2019


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Just because he won a big, fancy award doesn't mean HOWARD MILTON will be treated any differently when he returns to the office.

The idea of showing up with a 'Mr. Fundraiser of the Year' nametag is definitely out of the question.

"They'll call me the usual 'Mr. Forgetful,'" he said, "or 'The Guy Who Works For Josh.'"

That works, too, for the always-in-a-good-mood Milton — "How could you not be happy living in our awesome community?" — who has an uncanny ability to raise money. That's a good thing for the UI, which is building or adding to many of its athletic venues.

The centerpiece is the HENRY DALE and BETTY SMITH Center, a football performance gem that is taking shape just east of Memorial Stadium. It's of particular pride to the UI's senior associate athletic director for development because "I had a great relationship with the late Henry Dale," Milton said.

On Wednesday, Milton was joined by a proud UI contingent that included athletic director JOSH WHITMAN to pick up his "Fundraiser of the Year" award — as determined by National Association of Athletic Development Directors — in Orlando, Fla.

He had to deliver a speech — "terrifying," he said — but avoided Walt Disney World as his three kids stayed in Champaign.

"The pool and a few cocktails was far better than strollers and long lines," he said.