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Frostburg State University to Present W. Dennis Thomas with Honorary Doctorate

Frostburg State University to Present W. Dennis Thomas with Honorary Doctorate

Frostburg State University will present W. Dennis Thomas of Westminster, Md., a member of Frostburg State College’s Class of 1965, with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at its 144th commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 22. Thomas achieved two distinguished careers, one in public service, culminating in service in the White House, and the second in private industry.

“Dennis Thomas is a brilliant and humble man who has, without hesitation, shared his time, talent and treasure with everyone at Frostburg State University. He cares deeply about FSU, and he has been a mentor to me personally and supported our students and faculty in so many ways,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “It is my honor to be able to confer this degree on him.”

Gibralter will confer the award during the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremony in the afternoon.

Thomas served on the Board of Education of Carroll County and as an administrative assistant for two U.S. senators before President Reagan appointed him assistant secretary for Legislative Affairs, Department of the Treasury. He then joined Reagan’s White House staff, ultimately serving as chief assistant to Chief of Staff Donald Regan, advising and assisting on a full range of policy and administrative matters and coordinating the drafting of State of the Union messages. Later, Thomas joined the firm International Paper, rising to senior vice president of Public Affairs and Communications.

Thomas graduated from FSU with a degree in education and earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland in 1967. As a Frostburg student, he was class president and a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon. His service to Frostburg has continued throughout his life. In addition to being a founding member of FSU’s Sloop Institute for Excellence in Leadership, Thomas fostered the growth of the J. Glenn Beall Public Affairs Institute and established the Dennis and Dawn Thomas Presidential Leadership Scholarship. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1985.

Tickets are required to attend commencement. For information, visit

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589