Mark Tilbury believes that you get out of something what you put into it. Following this philosophy has made him an exceptional Lakehead supporter for 27 years.
From the moment he set foot on the Thunder Bay campus, Mark has epitomized the spirit of volunteerism.
“Lakehead was my first choice,” he says. “I never wanted to study anywhere else.” Mark, who grew up in Thunder Bay, was an ace scholar and a member of the winning 1989 St. Pat’s High School “Reach for the Top” team – a feat that earned him full first-year tuition to Lakehead!
Mark wasted no time immersing himself in campus life. He was soon working as a student placement officer and, later, as a student caller for the Alumni Annual Fund phone-a-thon. “This was my introduction to the Alumni Association and External Relations, it set in motion a special connection with Lakehead.”
He has vivid memories of walking down hallways and having professors and students recognize him by name. He also remembers being part of the student club that threw the first Oktoberfest Bash at the newly-opened Outpost pub.
When Mark graduated in 1994 with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree specializing in Personnel & Industrial Relations, he had already secured full-time employment. As well as working for Thunder Bay Distributors and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Mark was the chief administrative officer & deputy director of the Thunder Bay Museum from 2002 until 2013.
Within six months of finishing his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree, Mark joined the Alumni Association of Lakehead University (AALU) Board of Directors and served continuously from 1994 until 2013, including two terms as board president. He was also a member of Lakehead’s Board of Governors.
He counts being AALU president as one of his proudest achievements, along with raising three wonderful children with his wife Kirsten and completing a master’s degree in Philanthropy & Development from Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota. In 2013, he was hired as Lakehead’s director of alumni and community relations and he’s been busy engaging with grads across the world ever since. In 2017 his title change to annual fund and alumni engagement director, and he continues to serve as Executive Director of the Alumni Association.
An active member of the Thunder Bay community, he serves as Treasurer for Our Kids Count and Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario, and proudly counts himself as a United Way “Leader of the Way”. Mark attributes his success to focusing on the rewards of tomorrow rather than the troubles of today.