Dr. Shirley Forbes Thomas Receives Alpha Chi Award

Siloam Springs, Ark (April 24, 2001) — Alpha Chi, the national college honor scholarship society, recently honored Dr. Shirley Forbes Thomas, dean of core curriculum and director of the Honors Scholars Program at John Brown University. She received Alpha Chi’s Distinguished Service Award at the group’s 2001 national convention in Savannah, GA.

Alpha Chi inducts juniors and seniors from all academic fields who are in the top 10 percent of their classes. The society was founded in 1922 and is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.

The new award, established to honor faculty sponsors of local chapters, has been awarded to only sixteen individuals from among the more than 300 active chapters on college and university campuses in 45 states and Puerto Rico.

Dr. Thomas has been the official sponsor of the Arkansas Lambda chapter of Alpha Chi since 1993 and has led the chapter to five straight Star Chapter Awards for exemplary performance. Star Chapter awards go to the top 10% of chapters nationwide. This year JBU's chapter was a nominee for the President’s Cup, given to the outstanding chapter in the country.

JBU Provost Mel Fratzke says, “I can think of no one who could lead an Honors Society better than Dr. Thomas. She has established the benchmark. Her vision, dedication and contributions through the years have JBU's Alpha Chi chapter international recognition and respect. She’s had a profound influence on the lives of hundreds of academically gifted students during her tenure.”

Dr. Thomas earned her M.A. and PhD at the University of Arkansas. She began teaching at JBU in 1969. In her over 30 years on the JBU faculty, Thomas has served in numerous roles, including Dean of Core Curriculum, Director of Off-Campus Programs, Director of Honors Scholars Program, Professor of English and Director of Grants. In addition to receiving the Alpha Chi Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Thomas is the first holder of the JBU Distinguished Professor Award (1998-2001).

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,500 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges.