Leading by Example
After a 22-year career at Georgia Tech, Michael E. Thomas, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, has fulfilled the ambition of every student — and he didn't have to wait in line or walk across the stage.
Thomas is a newly minted Ramblin' Wreck.
Alumni Association President David M. McKenney announced at the Association's annual meeting during Homecoming that Thomas had been selected as honorary alumnus for the year 2000.
"I'm excited to be an honorary Georgia Tech alum," Thomas said. "I'm very honored to have been recognized in this way. I've gotten a lot more out of Georgia Tech than I've put into it. It's a great place. It's been a great time to be here because Georgia Tech is moving up so fast."
During his career, Thomas directed the Industrial and Systems Engineering School to its national No. 1 ranking, headed an initiative restructuring the Institute, served as interim president and became the university's first provost.
Thomas received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Texas and doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. He came to Tech in 1978 as director of ISyE. In 1989, he was named special assistant to the president for Academic Affairs and served as executive director for campus restructuring. Thomas served as acting president from June 30 through Sept. 1, 1994, and was named provost and vice president for Academic Affairs in 1995.
Thomas is stepping down from his current position to become executive director of Georgia Tech's newly created Center for Internet Research, Policy and Application. He will continue as provost until a successor has been found.
An award given in the spirit of a man who gave immeasurably to Georgia Tech and its students had a profound impact on its newest recipient, Eugene Cox Dunwody.
Dunwody, BS 55, Arch 56, was awarded the 2000 Georgia Tech Alumni Association Dean Griffin Community Service Award during a ceremony before the Association's board of trustees.
"Having known Dean Griffin, it is a super honor to receive an award named for him," Dunwody said. "Looking back on those who have received the award, I am traveling in some pretty fast company."
A Macon native, Dunwody is president of Dunwody, Beeland and Matthews, Architects Inc. He returned to his hometown after serving in the Navy's Civil Engineers Corps from 1955 to 1959.
Dunwody served on the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission from 1964 to 1974, including a year as chairman. During his service on the commission, he encouraged several business leaders to run for positions on the Macon City Council, but met some resistance.
He won a seat on the council and served the city for 12 years from 1975 to 1987, during which time the council wrote many of the guidelines still current.
In addition to his government service, Dunwody has devoted his talents and energy to organizations and groups including the United Way, Wesleyan College, the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Museum of Aviation Foundation, the Macon Nursery School and, most recently, the Macon Symphony Orchestra.