The Dr. Ronald E. Thomas Endowed Scholarship fund was created in 2012 by Ronald Thomas (’65) and his wife, Ann, to provide an opportunity for deserving students to receive a Truman State University education. The couple’s deep appreciation for education inspired them to establish a scholarship to help Truman students accomplish their educational goals.
A Truman alumnus, Ronald enrolled at the University after graduating from high school in Roxana, Ill. He earned a bachelor of science in education with an emphasis in physical education from Truman in 1965, then completed a master of science at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and received a PhD from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Ronald devoted his career to educational endeavors. Since 1999, he has served as the president of Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn., and he plans to retire in July of this year. His career includes service as a junior high teacher and coach, director of international admissions at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and director of student services at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. Ronald served as dean of educational services at Centralia College in Centralia, Wash.; dean and interim president at Rochester Community and Technical College in Rochester, Minn.; and president of Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kan.
During his career, Ronald has earned a number of professional accolades. He was the recipient of the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for Presidential Leadership presented by Phi Theta Kappa in 1999, was named the College President Pacesetter of the Year by District V of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations in 2004 and 2011 and received the Distinguished Star Education Award presented by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education in 2007. In addition, he has served as the board chair of the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and has been a presenter and author of numerous community college issues across the country.