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Attorney Cleophus Thomas Jr. to Speak at ASU

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Author: Franklin Gayle, Student Intern

Release Date: Feb 07, 2018

ASU’s Black History Month Convocation will feature renowned Attorney Cleophus Thomas Jr, as its keynote speaker.

Cleophus Thomas Jr., the first black SGA president of the University of Alabama and past president of the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, will be the guest speaker at Alabama State University’s Black History Month Convocation. The convocation will be held on Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. at the Ralph D. Abernathy Auditorium.  Admission is free and open to the public.

Thomas, a resident of Anniston, Alabama, began his career in law while attending the University of Alabama. Thomas became UA’s first black SGA president during the 1976-77 academic school year. Thomas received the Sullivan Award for being the outstanding senior man before graduating from UA with honors in 1977. Following his graduation, Thomas received the George C. Marshall Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford where he received an advanced degree in philosophy, politics and economics in 1980. After his graduation from Oxford he attended the Harvard School of Law and graduated in 1982.

Thomas served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge J. Foy Guin from 1982 to 1983. Thomas also served as A.G. Gaston’s chief legal counsel from 1992 until 2002.

Thomas also has served on many different civil boards and organizations such as: AmSouth Bancorporation and AmSouth Bank Board; Protective Industrial Investment Company; the Birmingham Museum of Art; Alabama Humanities Foundation; A.G. Gaston; and Alabama School of Fine Arts. Thomas also was the director and treasurer of the Southern Regional Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lillian E. Smith Foundation in Clayton, Georgia.

Some of Thomas’s recent awards include: the Guy L. Grant award and the Elder Watson Diggs award from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; the Summersell Award from the University of Alabama; the Betty Carr Service to Youth award from the Anniston YMCA; and the Distinguished Service Award from Tuskegee University, where he delivered the commencement address in 2002. He is Trustee Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System on which he served for 19 years.

For more information on ASU’s Black History Month Convocation, call 334-229-4431.

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