Biography of John M. Thomas
Franklin County, NY Biographies





John M. Thomas, D. D., LLD., son of Rev. Chandler N. Thomas, born at Fort Covington December 27, 1869, prepared for college at Franklin Academy; was graduated from Middlebury College in 1890; entered Union Theological Seminary the same year, graduating in 1893. He took a postgraduate course for two years. He was a student in the University of Marburg, Germany, in 1903. He was ordained in 1893, and served as pastor of the Arlington Avenue Presbyterian church at East Orange, N. J., from 1893 to 1908, when he was elected to the presidency of Middlebury College, which position he still fills. Doctor Thomas was a member in 1908-11 of the Vermont commission on the tercentenary of the discovery of Lake Champlain; member of the Vermont State board of education 1912-14; and chairman of the same for two years; chairman of the commission on conservation of the natural resources of Vermont 1910-12; and chaplain of the first infantry of the Vermont national guard 1913-16. He is a contributor to The Independent, The Nation, The Congregationalist, etc., and the author of "The Christian Faith and the Old Testament." The degree of D. P. was conferred upon him by Middlebury in 1907, by Amherst in 1908 and by Dartmouth in 1909, and that of LL.D. by the University of Vermont in 1911. The work of Doctor Thomas as president of Middlebury College has been strikingly successful, but only through persistent and arduous effort by a man in whom are united a remarkably winsome personality, supreme tactfulness, and, strangely, broad business capacity with profound scholarship. Since Doctor Thomas became the head of the institution the college property has been increased in value, by gifts persuaded by him, from $225,000 to $745,000, the endowment fund more than doubled in the same way, the annual income quadrupled, the faculty enlarged from ten professors to thirty, the number of students multiplied by three, and the tuition receipts lifted from $4,904 to $37,484, annually, with new departments added and the courses of study broadened. In June, 1918, Doctor Thomas completed the raising of a further fund of $300,000 for the college, upon the success of which effort an additional contribution of $100,000 by a single donor was conditioned. The hare recital testifies to Doctor Thomas's great efficiency, and stamps him as peculiarly fitted for his trust. In October, 1918, he was commissioned a chaplain in the United States army, with a view to an overseas assignment.

From:
Historical Sketches of Franklin County
and its several towns.
By: Frederick J. Seaver Malone, New York.
J. B. Lyon Company, Printers Albany, NY 1918.


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