Thomas Hall

Thomas Hall

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Location: NorthCampus


Current Residents:
Genetics
Microbiology
Plant Pathology
Botany
Entomology

Built 1952
Renovated 2009

Sq. Footage 98,240

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History

The building was originally named Southwest Gardner Hall. After extensive renovation in 2009, it was renamed Thomas Hall on November 19, 2009 in honor of Chancellor Joab Langston Thomas, NC State's 9th chancellor.

Thomas was born in 1933 at Russellville, Alabama. From Harvard University, he earned three degrees in biological science with a specialty in botany. He held several academic and administrative positions at the University of Alabama and earned the rank of full professor of biology in 1966. Thomas served as vice president for student affairs between 1969 and 1975.

In 1976 he became the second scientist to lead North Carolina State University. During his tenure, the School of Veterinary Medicine was established along with the Center for Economic and Business Studies. The Institute for Transportation Research and Education, which is an inter-institutional center of the University of North Carolina system, was chartered by the North Carolina General assembly in 1978. Thomas oversaw the establishment of the North Carolina Japan Center by Governor James B. Hunt in 1980. The center continues to strengthen the state's academic, economic, scientific, and cultural ties with Japan. In 1981, Marine Science and Engineering and Geosciences were integrated to form the present Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. The Board of Governors approved graduate degrees in Toxicology during Thomas’s tenure. Under his capable leadership, enrollment grew from 16,903 in fall 1976 to 21,169 in fall 1980. On the capital side, the Jane S. McKimmon Extension and Continuing Education Center, Bostian Hall, Caldwell Hall, and Kamphoefner Hall were built and former privately-owned buildings north of Hillsborough Street were incorporated into the campus as the Hillsborough Buildingand North Residence Hall.

Upon announcement of his resignation in 1981 to accept the presidency of the University of Alabama, the Student Senate unanimously passed “A Resolution of Commendation for Chancellor Joab L. Thomas" on April 15, 1981. Thomas served as University of Alabama president from 1981-1988 and served as president of Pennsylvania State University from 1990-1995. Upon his retirement in 1995, he moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he presently resides.

He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi and was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1983 . The Thomas Building on Penn State's University Park campus is named in his honor, and houses parts of the Eberly College of Science and the Department of Statistics. Thomas is co-author of four books Plant Biology Exercise ,Wildflowers of Alabama, Adjoining States, and The Rising South. He is either author or co-author of some thirty published papers. He is listed in Who's Who in America.


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