Thomas: Indiana University of Pennsylvania Distinguished Alumnus
May 21, 2013
MACOMB, IL -- President Jack Thomas was recently honored as a 2013 Distinguished Alumnus by Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Thomas received his doctorate from IUP in 1990.
The Distinguished Alumni Gala was held April 27. In addition to the gala to honor the 10 graduates, the distinguished alumni recipients visited classes to speak with students and were inducted into Phi Kappa Phi.
"The Distinguished Alumni Awards program is a true reflection of what IUP stands for. Our alumni leave IUP and make great strides in their respective industries or have a grand impact on society, and honoring them at an event not only reflects well on our university, it also gives us the chance to tell them how proud we are of them," said Mary Jo Lyttle, director of Alumni Relations.
Thomas was named the 11th president of Western Illinois University Jan. 18, 2011, and began his presidential tenure July 1, 2011. Prior to being named president at Western, Thomas had served as the University's provost and academic vice president since January 2008.
Prior to his appointment at WIU, Thomas served as senior vice provost for academic affairs and interim dean at Middle Tennessee State University. Thomas has also served in various capacities at other universities, including interim president, executive vice president, associate vice president for academic and student affairs, executive assistant to the president, department chair, coordinator of freshman English and assistant track coach. He has been an American Council on Education Fellow and a Kellogg-NAFEO Fellow, and is a graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program. He also served on the executive board for the American Council on Education Council of Fellows and is a member of the Board of Trustees at Stillman College and the Illinois Campus Compact Board.
Thomas is the author of numerous publications, is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, particularly in his area of research, Black males in literature, and is a noted lecturer. He has served as the editor and founder of "Image: The Scholars Release Journal, Men and Women of Color," which showcases writers, poets and artists. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Pi Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Tau Delta and several other organizations. In the Macomb community, Thomas is a member of the Macomb Noon Rotary.
Thomas earned his master's degree from Virginia State University and his bachelor's degree from Alabama A & M University.