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Glyn N. Thomas* -- 2001 -- Outstanding Former Faculty
Glyn N. Thomas was born in Ystalyfera, Wales, in 1920, and at age eight, he came with his family to the United States and settled in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Northwestern University and in 1942 received a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois. After completing his military service as a first sergeant in the army during World War II, he earned both an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois.
Thomas enjoyed a distinguished academic career that extended 35 years. A professor in the Department of English, Thomas was a specialist in British literature and a master of New Critical Theory. His former students remember him as a dedicated educator who set high standards for all who entered his classroom. In addition to outstanding teaching, Thomas served as a student advisor. He also directed numerous independent study and M.A. thesis projects. Thomas received the Outstanding Teaching Award sponsored by Standard Oil for 1967-68.
During most of his career, Thomas was deeply involved in service to the English department, College of Arts and Sciences, UW, and Wyoming. For many years, he directed the UW Honors/Scholars Program. He served on the Department of English Undergraduate Committee, the A&S Honors Programs Committee, the University Scholars Program Committee, and a joint A&S College and College of Education Committee for English teacher preparation. He was the chair of the Wyoming Council of Humanities in 1979. Thomas helped organize the Wyoming Association of Teachers of English (WATE) and belonged to state and national chapters of the modern Language Association, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Colorado-Wyoming Academy of Letters. Thomas was named University of Wyoming Professor Emeritus of English in 1985.
“He was, first and forever, a teacher,” said former student Joanna Sinnwell. “When I graduated from Wyoming, I knew I had been given the chance to know and learn from a professor who cared more about me and what I carried out into the world than how he could add to his list of published and soon forgotten essays. I knew that if I became a teacher, I would want to be like him.”
*In loving memory.