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Tireless Promoter of Trent University to be Honoured with 2019 Eminent Service Award

April 17, 2019

Miles Ecclestone, who always went above and beyond his regular duties over four decades, to be recognized during Convocation ceremonies in June

Miles Ecclestone standing in front of a glacier.

Miles Ecclestone ’72 – a retired demonstrator/technician for the Trent School of the Environment who always went above and beyond his regular duties to assist and promote the University while offering students once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the Arctic over his 39-year career – is this year’s recipient of the prestigious Eminent Service Award.

The honour, which is handed out annually at Trent’s Convocation, recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to life at Trent during their time at the University.

“Recognizing and honouring our tireless faculty and staff is something we take great pride in at Trent University,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor. “Together with the entire Trent community, I wholeheartedly would like to congratulate Miles on being our 2019 recipient of the Eminent Service Award. It is a fitting honour for a long and distinguished career supporting Geography students and faculty in a way that has benefited the entire university.”

Speaking of the honour, Mr. Ecclestone, who is also a Trent alumnus, said: “I am grateful and honoured to receive this award particularly considering all of the distinguished people who work at Trent University. Trent has been a wonderful place to work and it’s largely because of the people. This was particularly true in the Geography Department where there was little distinction between Trent staff and faculty as we were focused on one thing and one thing only: Making it as good a learning experience as we can for students.”

Mr. Ecclestone, who retired in June 2018, graduated from Trent in 1976 with a B.Sc. in Geography. He had been a staff member since 1979 when he started as the Geography Department senior technician, although he soon took on more of a teaching role.

Over the years, he enhanced Trent’s reputation in Canada and overseas by joining annual trips to Nunavut through the Axel Heiberg glacier monitoring program, which had been initiated by the late Dr. Peter Adams. Mr. Ecclestone assisted in and eventually led the crucial monitoring of the White Glacier mass balance. During these trips, Mr. Ecclestone regularly brought undergraduate students to participate, providing a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity and invaluable mentorship. Many of these students have gone on to prominent careers in science.

Mr. Ecclestone is also credited for having the vision to move one of the University’s internationally recognized facilities to a more prominent position on campus. The Trent Environmental Wind Tunnel was first established in the basement of the Science Complex but the location was not ideal due to spring floods, cold temperatures, poor lighting and isolation. Mr. Ecclestone was instrumental in having the wind tunnel included in the new Environmental Sciences Building Animal Care Facility when it was constructed in 1996.

“This vision had untold implications for researchers and students over the following decades and beyond,” said one of Mr. Ecclestone’s nominators for the award.

Through his service to the Eastern Snow Conference (ESC), Mr. Ecclestone was also of great service to the University. He initially attended meetings and presented research results at this conference but, in typical fashion, took on increasingly more responsibility by joining the ESC executive committee and serving as secretary/treasurer for more than 20 years and eventually becoming its president.

“Throughout his involvement with the ESC, Miles has been a tireless promoter of Trent University as one of the leading institutions in North America associated with snow and ice research and has continually encouraged students to become involved with the ESC,” another nominator said. “As a result, a large number of Trent undergraduate and graduate students have made their first conference presentations at ESC.”

The Trent Undergraduate Geographical Society (TUGS) also benefitted from his service. Associated with TUGS since first coming to Trent, Mr. Ecclestone helped organize the Reach for the Peak trivia event, which has been running annually since 1980. He quickly became the person who archived quiz questions, created new ones and designed the program of questions, while also serving as quiz master.

During his final year at Trent, Mr. Ecclestone co-organized the Geography Department’s 50th anniversary reunion held during the 2018 Head of the Trent alumni weekend. He spent months coordinating the event and reaching out to alumni and it would not have happened, nor been such a resounding success, without his initiative and efforts.

Mr. Ecclestone will be presented with the Eminent Service Award at Trent’s convocation on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.                                                          

About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

For more information, or to receive a high-resolution image of Mr. Ecclestone, contact:
Elizabeth Bower-Gordon, communications & media relations officer, Marketing & Communications, Trent University, 705-748-1011 x6240 or elizabethbowergordon@trentu.ca