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Gerald Thomas Chair

A group of citizens from the state's agricultural, business and academic sectors embarked on the most ambitious fund-raising campaign ever and established an endowed chair at New Mexico State University that honors President Gerald W. Thomas. It is more than fitting that the chair be named for Thomas. It was Thomas who recently made the recommendation to the Governor's Commission on Higher Education that the state take a long look at the possibility of a state contingency fund for such a purpose. Thomas suggested that this fund would be available when and if the universities could obtain non-state matching funds, which it has. Thomas retired as president in June of 1984, which brought a close to fourteen years of service to the State of New Mexico. Thomas was not only a very capable college administrator but was an international authority on world food problems. He received international recognition in the fields of agriculture, ecology and resource management.

He was a participant in the World Food Conference in Rome in the early 1970's; he took leave in 1980 to travel to the Sahelian/Sudanian zones of Africa to study the problems of food production and resource conservation from an ecological perspective; and in 1981 he led an agricultural production and human nutrition delegation to China. Dr. Thomas was one of the seven college presidents named by President Gerald Ford to a board to aid developing nations in increasing agricultural production. This board, established under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act made the NMSU president a world traveler.

Click here to donate to the chair

Select "Find a Giving Area/Fund," search for "Thomas" and choose the endowed chai).

For any questions please call Terra V. Winter at (575) 646-5787.

Gerald Thomas
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Current Recipient

  • Don Blayney
    Don Blayney is the FY 2014 Gerald Thomas Chair in Food Production and Natural Resources in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business at New Mexico State University.

Previous Recipients

2009-2013: Milt Thomas
2005-2008: Tom Schmugge
2000-2005: Open
1993-1999: Dean Haines
1990-1993: Thad Box