Former University of Alabama President Dr. Joab Thomas passes aw - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Former University of Alabama President Dr. Joab Thomas passes away

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Dr. Joab Thomas. Source: University of Alabama Dr. Joab Thomas. Source: University of Alabama
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Former University of Alabama President Dr. Joab Thomas has passed away at the age of 81.

Thomas served as President from 1981 until 1988 and faced the task of replacing legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

Thomas was born in Holt in 1933 and first came to the Capstone in 1961 as an assistant professor. He later became the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in the mid-1960s.

The University of Alabama also benefitted from Thomas' efforts to increase research funding, raising admission and curriculum standards and establishing an honors program.

"And he was certainly a very good administrator. Could see the future as well as anyone. Had a concern for excellence and it permeated anything we did at the university," another former University of Alabama President, Dr. Roger Sayers, said.

The university says a memorial service will be held for Thomas at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 6 at Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa followed by a reception. To read more about Thomas, please visit http://uanews.ua.edu/2014/03/former-ua-penn-state-president-joab-thomas-dies/.

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