Thomas University is a four-year coeducational private university located in Thomasville, Georgia, United States. Thomas University offers students associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees. Thomas University provides education to traditional and non-traditional students. There is an academic emphasis on professional career development, with undergraduate and graduate programs in business, criminal justice, education, and health and human services, as well as in the arts and sciences.
The main building and grounds were originally a portion of Birdwood Plantation, the winter house of W. Cameron Forbes, U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Governor General of the Philippines.
The Primitive Baptist Church purchased the property in 1949 and chartered Birdwood Junior College in 1950. Classes began in 1954 with nine students, and in 1956, three of these students became the first graduates. In 1976, the Primitive Baptists relinquished control, and the name was changed to Thomas County Community College.
In 1979, the college became non-sectarian, private, and independent. In 1986, the name was changed to Thomas College, and in 1988, the first four-year degree was offered.
In December 1998, Thomas College received approval from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to move from Level II to Level III status, allowing Thomas College to offer graduate degrees.
In January 2000, Thomas College changed its name to Thomas University. In the spring of 2012, construction began on Smith-Bonvilliaion Hall, an academic building on the Main Campus that will be completed in the summer of 2013. In the fall of 2012, Thomas University opened its West Campus, which is located at the corner of Pinetree Boulevard and Magnolia Street in Thomasville about one mile from the Main Campus. The West Campus includes TU's gymnasium and new Student Life Center, which is home to the fitness center and athletic training room.
Thomas University is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes at the NAIA Division I level in The Sun Conference, formerly known as the Florida Sun Conference (FSC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, golf, soccer and swimming; while women's sports include basketball, golf, soccer, softball and swimming.
Thomas University takes the Night Hawk as its mascot, and the school colors are Hunter Green and White. Athletic teams compete in NAIA Region XIV. In 2004, the softball team won the NAIA national championship. Thomas recently joined The Sun Conference in the 2012-13 season.