Botanist, educator; college president. Born– Feb. 14, 1933 in Holt, Ala. Parents– Ralph Cage and Chamintney Elizabeth (Stovall) Thomas. Married– Marly A. Dukes, Dec. 22, 1954. Children– Four. Education– Harvard University, A.B. (1955), A.M.(1957), Ph.D. (1959). Cytotaxonomist at Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 1959-1961; taught at University of Alabama and directed its Herbarium, 1961-1976; director of its Arboretum, 1964-1976, and assistant dean of College of Arts and Sciences, 1964-1965 and in 1969; dean for student development, 1969-1974; vice president for student affairs, 1974-1976; chancellor North Carolina State University, 1976-1981. President of the University of Alabama, 1981-88; president of Pennsylvania State University, 1990-95. Named outstanding professor at University of Alabama, 1964-1965; Member Alabama Academy of Honor, 1983. Thomas Hall on the Penn State Campus is named in his honor.
American Men and Women of Science, 1982; Who’s Who in America, 1984.
A Monographic Study of the Cyrillaceae. Cambridge, Mass.; Gray Herbarium of Harvard University, 1960.
Wild Flowers of Alabama and Adjoining States. Tuscaloosa, Ala.; University of Alabama Press, 1973.
The Rising South. University, Ala.; University of Alabama Press, 1973.