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Dr. Clarence Thomas concludes 30-year service to VCU with honorary designation to Professor Emeritus and Affiliate Faculty

Aug 24, 2021

Posted in: News

Dr. Clarence Thomas, who holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communications with a specialty in Media History from the University of Florida, an M.S. in Television/Radio from Syracuse University, and a B.A. (with honors) in Mass Media Arts from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) retired in spring of 2020 after an impressive 30-year career. The bulk of his time in academia was spent at the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture (formerly The School of Mass Communication when Dr. Thomas was hired.)

“Dr. Thomas has been such an integral part of the Robertson School and VCU." said Peyton Rowe, interim director of the Robertson School. “His commitment to teaching and advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives was trailblazing for us and the University. He has been an amazing colleague and scholar who so deserves this designation,” said Peyton Rowe, MFA, Interium Director.

During his tenure at VCU Dr. Thomas taught, and provided criticism and commentary, in the areas of media history, media ethics and media and society. His accomplishments and accolades are many, including:

  • Recipient of the VCU Presidential Award for Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) 2016 for exceptional work in the facilitation of diversity at VCU.
  • Recipient of the 2020 Trailblazer in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Award of the College of Humanities and Sciences at VCU
  • Service as Chair of the Robertson School Diversity Committee.
  • Founding member of the MASC Diversity Committee.
  • Design, development and teaching of MASC 474 Diversity in the Media, the first media diversity course offered by the School.
  • Planning and development of the minor in Media Studies at VCU.
  • Service as the Director of Graduate Studies for ten years (1992-2002).
  • Service as the Vice President of the VCU Black Education Association (BEA).

Prior to working at VCU, he served as the Coordinator (Administrator) of the Mass Communications academic program at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). There he developed and taught the initial mass communications courses, developed a minor in mass communications, and implemented a major in mass communications (now a major and department). In addition, he founded and served as General Manager for the WSSU radio station WSNC-FM.

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Dr. Thomas began his broadcast career at WTAR-TV (now WTKR-TV) and WHOV-FM.