Carl H. & Christine F. Thomas Family Scholarship

Anna Dugas, Singleton, Angela S., Bengtson, Richard L.  |  6/1/2006 8:58:03 PM

Carl H. Thomas 1925 - 1990

In 1990, a memorial scholarship in the name of Carl H. Thomas was established to commemorate Carl's contribution to: the Agricultural Engineering profession, the Louisiana State University, the state of Louisiana, the United States, and the Louisiana Engineering Society. Carl devoted his life to serving mankind both professionally and personally. He joined the LSU Agricultural Engineering Department faculty in 1951 after completing his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering at Clemson University. He received his M.S. from LSU in 1957 and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1969. He served with distinction for many years as professor and researcher at LSU and became Department Head in 1969. As an administrator, his contact with people, which he thoroughly enjoyed, was enhanced even more. He capped off his career with a tour of duty as an administrator with the Cooperative States Research Service in Washington, D.C. Carl retired from LSU in 1984.

Carl's research accomplishments are widely recognized. Some of his outstanding contributions were with machinery. He contributed significantly to more-efficient farming operations by developing or modifying machinery to control weeds in row crops. He was actively involved in this research area as cotton farmers, through knowledge gained from research, moved from mechanical hoes to flame machines and finally to herbicide spraying to control weeds in cotton. Carl contributed significantly to the development of horticulture machinery, the most prominent of which was a pepper picker for use in picking hot peppers, like those used in making Tabasco sauce. His research work made positive impacts on the efficiency of agricultural production in Louisiana and the United States.

Carl's teaching career touched the lives of numerous students. His specialty was machinery, thus, the main courses he taught were those concerned with machinery, such as Farm Power and Machinery, Machinery Management, and Agricultural Chemical Applications. Consequently, there are many persons in Louisiana and in other states that now have considerable knowledge about machinery, having taken one or more machinery courses developed and taught by Carl Thomas. He was recognized by the Engineering Council as the outstanding faculty member of the Agricultural Engineering Department during the 1967-1968 academic year.

Carl Thomas was actively involved in many professionally and honorary organizations including the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the American Society of Engineering Education, the Louisiana Engineering Society, Gamma Sigma Delta, Alpha Zeta, and Omicron Delta Kappa. He held leadership positions in many of these organizations including President of the Louisiana Engineering Society and Chairman of the Louisiana Section of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Carl was recognized for his leadership in the Louisiana Engineering Society with a gift and certificate at the end of his presidency in 1979. He also received an award in 1979 from LSU for outstanding public service. He was selected for inclusion in the sixth edition of Who's Who in Engineering. In 1986, he was recognized for his involvement and outstanding support of the engineering profession in Louisiana by being named Honorary Director of the Louisiana Engineering Foundation.

Carl was an active member of the University United Methodist church. One activity he thoroughly enjoyed was outdoor cooking. Carl was called upon many times to cook meals for various group meetings at the church. He enjoyed doing this so much that he started a catering service and cooked steaks, chicken, crawfish, and shrimp for thousands of people after he retired from LSU. Carl was also a devoted leader of the Boy Scout program sponsored by the University United Methodist church. In this role, he had a positive impact on the lives of many youngsters. He held many other active roles in his church - from bus driver to chairman of the Administrative Board. His family was all important to him with wife, Chris, four children and eleven grandchildren.

The exemplary life and career of Carl Thomas is proclaimed through the Carl H. & Christine F. Thomas Family Scholarship Fund.

The Carl H. Thomas Family Scholarship is given annually (February) to an outstanding sophomore, junior or senior with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and the receipent must be enrolled full-time.  Contact your undergraduate advisor for application.

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