Charles Walker Thomas: June 11, 1921 - April 22, 1996

By Neverdon-Morton, Cynthia | Negro History Bulletin, January-March 1997 | Go to article overview

Charles Walker Thomas: June 11, 1921 - April 22, 1996


Neverdon-Morton, Cynthia, Negro History Bulletin


A native Washingtonian, Dr. Charles Walker Thomas, son of the late Spencer Thomas and the late Molly Thomas, received his early education in the District of Columbia Public School System: Deanwood (Now Carver) Elementary School and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, from which he graduated in 1929 with high honors.

In 1933 he earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Oberlin College, where he spent his freshman, junior, and senior years and where he was elected in 1933 to Phi Beta Kappa. During his sophomore year he was honored by being chosen to matriculate at Tufts University and in 1938, he earned from Harvard University the Master of Arts degree in English. In 1955, he was awarded from Harvard the Ph.D. degree in Eighteenth-Century English Literature with a dissertation on The Religious Thought of William Law.

Dr. Thomas' range of experience in teaching extends from beginning his career as Professor and head of the Department of English at Claflin College (1934-38), to serving as teacher and Head of the Department of English at Southern University (193840); instructor in English at West Virginia State College (11940-42); Assistant Professor of English and Dean of Men at West Virginia State College (1946-47); teacher of English and history at Garnet-Patterson Junior High School, Washington, D.C. (1947-48); teacher of English and Speech at Dunbar Senior High School, Washington, D.C. (1948-49); Assistant Professor of English at the Minor Teachers College (1949-55); Assistant Professor and Professor of English at the District of Columbia Teachers College (1955-75) and Lecturer in the Department of English at Howard University (1976-81), following his retirement from the District of Columbia Teachers College.

In addition to a distinguished career as a teacher, Dr. Thomas gained the reputation of a compassionate and most competent administrator at the District of Columbia Teachers College. He served as Director of Admissions and Registrar (1955-67), Dean of Students (at the District of Columbia Teachers College and the Federal City College, (1963-75); and Interim Executive Officer (1974-75).

Charles Walker Thomas demonstrated his extraordinary versatility by intermingling his academic and military careers. From 1942-1946, Dr. Charles Thomas served in World War II as an Army Chaplain in the South Pacific Theater, and from 1951-52 as Chaplain during the Korean Conflict. …

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Charles Walker Thomas: June 11, 1921 - April 22, 1996
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