Liz Thomas ’94
Liz Thomas earned her degree from Eastern the hard way. She was a single mother of two teenagers, working at Eastern and going to school at the same time. She eventually received her degree in Public Policy and Government about the time she turned 47 years old.
Now living in Williamsburg, VA, her daughter and son grown, Thomas recently made a gift to the new scholarship she established that is her largest to date and significant enough to endow it. The Elizabeth A. Thomas Endowed Scholarship can now be awarded on a permanent basis to students who are single mothers, as she was when a student.
Thomas says she could not have completed her own education without the scholarship aid she received. “As a non-traditional student, I looked forward to finally having a rewarding career, to becoming financially stable, and to financing a college education for my children,” she said. “The financial assistance made it happen.”
It still wasn’t easy, though. “I always had to worry about finances even with the financial assistance,” she said. “In receiving financial assistance I was able to let go of one of the part-time jobs I had, giving me more time to study. My hope is that this scholarship will help other single mothers who face these same time and financial problems.”
Thomas didn’t quit with her Eastern degree. She had developed an interest in sociology while at Eastern, and later studied at the University of York in England, known for its social policy research program. Meanwhile her daughter Kimberly took the traditional route, graduating at 21 from Eastern, just a few years behind her mother. She is now a language teacher at a D.C. area high school.
“In receiving financial assistance I was able to let go of one of the part-time jobs I had, giving me more time to study. My hope is that this scholarship will help other single mothers who face these same time and financial problems.”