A Fulton County native and 2008 recipient of the CCC/SRC Alumni Achievement Award returns this evening to accept the college’s highest award, the Distinguished Alumni Award.

William (Bill) Thomas graduated from SRC in 1974. While he was here, he was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and participated in, among other things, Reader’s Theatre. A history major (with minors in theatre and political science) at Eureka College, Thomas graduated summa cum laude in 1976 as a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society.

Thomas earned a Master of Arts degree a year later from The University of Chicago and did Post-Master’s Study in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin from 1980 to 1981, also serving as a Teaching Assistant responsible for the supervision and evaluation of history student teachers.

An educator himself, Thomas began his career in 1977 at Stockton (Ill.) Community Unit School District #16, teaching social studies, U.S. history, and drama at the high school and middle school levels. In 1982, he became the Associate Director of Admissions at his alma mater before returning to the public school system as Principal for Olympia Community Unit School District, overseeing the ECE-6 grade levels.

In 1993, Thomas left the classroom for good and became Senior Partner and Chief Operating Officer of The Laurasian Institution, a not-for-profit educational foundation focused on the design and administration of international and cross-cultural educational programs. In 2008, he became the CEO of Teleologic Learning Company, an LLC that designs, develops, and produces online learning products.

He currently serves as Executive Director of the Logan County Economic Development Partnership and is the Chairman of the Board of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, as well as the Director for the Illinois Route 66 National Scenic Byway Program Board. Also a member of the Illinois Route 66 Association, Thomas was appointed to the 12-member National U.S. Route 66 Centennial Commission by President Biden in 2022.

Thomas and Christine, his wife of 40 years, live in Atlanta, Ill. and are the parents of Rachel, Grace, and Noah, and the grandparents of Talin and Abel.

William Thomas, Distinguished Alumni Award recipient