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TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR DR. HOWARD THOMAS, PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AT ERSKINE COLLEGE, UPON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT AFTER FORTY-FIVE YEARS OF DEDICATED, SCHOLARLY TEACHING, AND TO WISH HIM CONTINUED SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
Whereas, the South Carolina General Assembly has learned that Dr. Howard Thomas will begin a well-deserved retirement after forty-five years as a premier professor, the last thirty-seven of which have been as a distinguished and highly regarded chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at Erskine College; and
Whereas, a native of Wales, in the United Kingdom, Howard Thomas earned undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Bristol in preparation for his life work. He came to the United States as a post-doctoral fellow, and after teaching briefly at Georgia Tech and Furman University, he joined the Erskine faculty in 1976; and
Whereas, while he teaches a variety of courses in chemistry, his own research specialty is gas-solid chromatography. Since 1981, he has collaborated with advanced chemistry students at Erskine, conducting summer research at Furman University, and he worked tirelessly to see the completion of the Daniel-Moultrie Science Center on the Erskine campus; and
Whereas, among his numerous honors, he was appointed the Dr. and Mrs. James Rogers Young Professor of Chemistry in 2006. He was recognized by his peers in 2015 with the Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, an honor that awards a three-thousand-dollar grant for professional development. In 2019, he was named an honorary alumnus of Erskine College; and
Whereas, Howard Thomas is a dedicated, gifted, and passionate educator, whether teaching Chemistry 101 or inorganic chemistry and quantitative and instrumental analysis. His knowledge of the field and his contagious enthusiasm have challenged his students with complex concepts in engaging ways; and
Whereas, with a deep love of family, he and his beloved wife of fifty years, the late Penelope Hitchcock "Penny" Thomas, reared two fine daughters, Emma Thomas Dean of Columbia and the late Megan Harriet Thomas. He has been blessed with the affection of four adoring grandchildren: Miles Thomas, William Howard, Jonathan James, and Megan Harriet; and
Whereas, Dr. Thomas advised students on classes to take, called graduate programs on their behalf, and went the extra mile to help them, and he and Mrs. Thomas hosted study breaks at their home. Students were fond of his British accent and enjoyed his updates on Welsh rugby; and
Whereas, grateful for his many years of distinguished service to Erskine College and to his students, the South Carolina General Assembly takes great pleasure in extending best wishes to Dr. Howard Thomas as he transitions to a richly deserved retirement and the unhurried pace of the days ahead, and the members wish him many years of enjoyment in his well-earned retirement. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, recognize and honor Dr. Howard Thomas, professor of chemistry at Erskine College, upon the occasion of his retirement after forty-five years of dedicated, scholarly teaching, and wish him continued success and happiness in all his future endeavors.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be presented to Dr. Howard Thomas.
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