Tom Matthews of SUNY Geneseo proudly accepts NYSUT’s Higher Education Member of the Year award during a ceremony at the union's 2009 Representative Assembly.
Matthews received the honor before a packed audience during the initial plenary session at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center.
A video tribute chronicled Matthews' long career, including his vote in 1973 to merge the Senate Professional Association and the State University Federation of Teachers into a new union called United University Professions.
The SUNY Geneseo professional has been there for UUP ever since, serving twice as chief negotiator, and as statewide treasurer, and Vice President for Professionals.
NYSUT recognized Matthews’ years of service to UUP and public education by presenting him with its Higher Education Member of the Year award. Matthews won loud applause from more than 1,000 delegates as he accepted the award.
“I feel blessed to have been a small part of the continued development of UUP and NYSUT since the early seventies,” he said.