Tree Planting Ceremony Held at Kaskaskia College to Honor Herschel Thomas

A tree planting ceremony was held at Kaskaskia College on August 5 to honor Herschel Thomas, a long-time friend of the College.  The event was attended by Betty Thomas, her daughter Liz Wade, and members of the Kaskaskia College staff.


Mr. Thomas served in WW II, fighting in the Argonne Forest and the Battle of the Bulge before being wounded by a mortar round.  Mr. Thomas has been a member of the VFW for more than 60 years and served as Post Commander for a period of time.  He was also a Grand Commander and Grand Master of the Masonic Order for the State of Illinois, and was instrumental in developing Little League Baseball in the Centralia area as well as coaching basketball for St. Mary’s School for a number of years.


Herschel Thomas attended Centralia Junior College, later known as KC, on the GI bill after the war, and his wife, Betty Thomas, is a former employee of the College.  Herschel and Betty have established four scholarships through the Kaskaskia College Foundation, and Mr. Thomas has been credited with helping to establish KC’s Patriot Award.  Mr. Thomas has also made generous donations to the Veterans Tribute project on campus.


A Magnolia tree, donated by KC President Dr. Jim Underwood and the Board of Trustees, was dedicated to the memory of Herschel Thomas.​

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