Writer: Lorena Sanchez, 575-646-2913, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gerald and Jean Thomas are the recipients of this year's Branding Iron award, the highest honor presented by the New Mexico State University Foundation.
The former NMSU president and first lady accepted the award recently at the spring meeting of the foundation's board of directors. The award honors outstanding loyalty, service and support for NMSU.
The Thomases were recognized for their many contributions to the growth of the university during Dr. Thomas's 14-year term as president from 1970 to 1984. During his presidency NMSU gained a worldwide reputation for research and work in global economic development, increased enrollment, expanded the community college program and reorganized the NMSU Foundation to promote more extensive development efforts.
Previously Jean Thomas was honored by the NMSU Board of Regents with a special medal at the 1983 Commencement. The regents cited her for her work as "ambassador, advisor, counselor and worker of all things."
At Dr. Thomas's retirement in 1984 the College of Agriculture and Home Economics endowed in his honor a $1 million chair in food production and natural resources. Four years later the college's main building was renamed Gerald Thomas Hall.
The Branding Iron award recognizes the couple's continued active involvement with the university since their retirement. With the NMSU Alumni Association Dr. Thomas organized a 50th anniversary World War II symposium. He is planning a similar Korean War symposium this June. The Thomases often participate in academic and cultural programs across campus. In March they were recognized as members of the Regents Associates for their continued financial support of NMSU.
Photo is available at http://kiernan.nmsu.edu/newsphoto.
For a print, call (505) 646-3221.
CUTLINE: NMSU President Emeritus Gerald Thomas and his wife Jean Thomas accept the NMSU Foundation's Branding Iron award for their long-time service to the university. (NMSU photo by Michael Kiernan)
April 25, 2000
© 2013 New Mexico State University Board of Regents
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