The appointment of Henry M. Thomas, III, as the new chairman of the Board of Trustees was celebrated officially Sept. 10 as President Robert Caret hosted a breakfast in his honor at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in his hometown of Springfield.
Among those who spoke at the event were Congressman Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Thomas was named to the post in June by Gov. Deval Patrick and assumed the chairmanship on July 1, succeeding James Karam. The appointment is for five years. Thomas, who is president of the Urban League of Springfield, has served on the 22-member board since 2007.
In his remarks, Thomas said he is committed to improving the quality of the 70,000-student UMass system and making it more accessible and affordable.
“UMass is a beacon of opportunity for thousands and thousands of people in this state. It provides promise, it provides hope, and it provides opportunity. I want to make sure that it remains a beacon that shines as brightly as it possibly can. Education is important to me because I have seen the difference that it makes in people’s lives,” Thomas said.
John Solem photo