First-Generation Student, Intergenerational Success
I am a proud first-generation college president. Neither of my parents was able to attend college. Amidst the tumultuous battles of the Civil Rights Movement, they worked the fields in the same rural Alabama town where they raised me. At an early age, I can recall my mother telling me, “I want you to finish high school and go to college. Somebody has to do something a little different from what your father and I have done.” With my parents' support and encouragement, I obtained my bachelor’s in English from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. From there, I went on to obtain my master’s and doctorate from Virginia State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Now, as the ninth President of Central State University and the father of two sons of my own, I strive to promote intergenerational success for first-generation students and their families.
Originally published: August 11, 2022
Author: Jack Thomas
Institution: Central State University
Published by: Diverse Issues in Higher Education