May 11, 2021

Medical Alumni Association’s Meredith Burns wins 2021 Kenneth Burke Award for Outstanding Achievement in Advancement for UAB

Written by

Burns editMeredith Burns, executive director of the University of Alabama Medical Alumni Association (MAA), was selected for the 2021 Dr. Kenneth E. Burke Outstanding Achievement in Advancement Award for UAB.

“Meredith is a deserving winner of the Dr. Kenneth E. Burke Outstanding Achievement in Advancement Award,” says UAB Vice President for Advancement Tom Brannon. “She embodies many of the traits that Ken valued in Advancement employees, including creativity, integrity, tenacity and commitment to her constituents, to UAB and to fellow members of the Advancement team. She is widely respected and has done an excellent job leading the MAA for the last nine years.”

The award recognizes the accomplishments of an experienced member of the UAB Advancement team—with a minimum of five years of successful experience, three years of which must be in Advancement at UAB—who has earned the respect of their colleagues by exemplifying the attributes that Dr. Kenneth Burke most prized in his colleagues.

Kenneth E. Burke, Ph.D., came to Birmingham in 2000 when he was named associate vice president for development at UAB, where he was responsible for major gift development and corporate and foundation relations. He was directly involved in the university's comprehensive fundraising campaign, which ended in 2003 and raised $388.7 million, the largest such campaign in the history of Alabama at that time. Burke passed away in July 2008 after a brief illness, after which UAB established the award in his honor.

“I was honored and humbled to receive this award,” Burns says. “Having worked with Ken Burke, he was always a wonderful resource and advocate to his colleagues.  I only hope to impact others in the same way he did.”

In nominating Burns, School of Medicine Chief Development Officer Megann Bates Cain, MPPM, writes, “Meredith’s ability to work in collaboration with colleagues across campus allow her team and constituents the ability to provide resources to our students in innovative ways. Under her guidance, the MAA has created the Commencement Path of Honor, giving Legacy families the opportunity to participate in Commencement with their graduates. Also under her leadership, the MAA created and implemented Dine with the Docs, which pairs alumni hosts with groups of current medical students for dinners across three of the four SOM campuses, and the White Coat Weekend Welcome event to welcome every incoming student and their family to Birmingham. Meredith’s leadership of these events have been instrumental in building a culture that is deeply engaged with SOM students.”

Burns says the MAA is dedicated to serving the School of Medicine’s alumni and medical student community.

“It provides an opportunity to create relationships with students while they are in medical school through programs like Dine with the Docs and events like the White Coat Weekend Welcome Event. We also actively engage with our alumni through Medical Alumni Weekend, CME activities, virtual opportunities and more. We play an important role in adding to the experience our students and alumni have with the School. The more memorable their time here is, the more they will want to give back to this incredible institution and remain engaged. I have a great team of student and alumni volunteers and a phenomenal staff that serve with me to make it all happen.”