Gerald and Cassandra Thomas, their family and their company have provided significant philanthropic leadership for the recent development of ETSU athletic facilities, including their recent recognition by the Tennessee Board of Regents with the naming of the of the ETSU Baseball facility as "Thomas Stadium." In addition, they have contributed significantly to ETSU over the years, which included site work for the Betty Basler Field and gifts to the Quillen College of Medicine, Gatton College of Pharmacy, Buccaneer Athletic Scholarship Association (BASA), and the Hoops Club.
Mr Thomas is president and owner of Thomas Construction Company, a Johnson City, Tennessee, infrastructure contractor that builds roadways and municipal utilities and also does site work for commercial, industrial and residential developers throughout Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. The company employs 100 people as well and operates 100 machines and heavy-duty trucks. He has been with the company since 1973, and purchased full ownership from his brother in 1999.
He grew up in Meadowview, a small town in Southwest Virginia, with six brothers and two sisters. He and wife, Cassandra have three adult children and six grandchildren.
Thomas is a veteran, having served four years in the U. S. Navy. He later served in the Central Intelligence Agency and lived and traveled extensively throughout Africa. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from ETSU graduating cum laude in 1971, and earned a Master of Arts degree also from ETSU in 1972. He completed his education with post-graduate work at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas strongly believe in giving back to the region. Gerald serves a s a member of the ETSU Foundation board of directors and they are Distinguished President's Trust members at the Platinum Society Level. He is also a member of the Mountain States Health Alliance Foundation and financial supporter of the Niswonger Children's Hospital and the College of Pharmacy at ETSU as well as other major charities throughout the region. Mr. Thomas was named the 2008 ETSU Outstanding Alumnus. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas feel strongly that ETSU is a major regional university excelling in the arts, sciences and technology with tremendous regional economic impact and a very bright future.
The Thomas family's work in giving unselfishly continues to strengthen and diversify ETSU's position as the leader for the broad enhancement of the quality of life for the people of our region and for our students. For all their support in so many ways for the university, all alumni and friends are grateful for the philanthropic leadership of Gerald and Cassandra Thomas.