Millie Thomas - 1981
Millie Thomas, originally from Arapaho, Oklahoma came to Southwestern as a freshman in 1921, received her Life Teaching Certificate, and from there worked as a teacher and assistant county superintendent.
In 1928, Mrs. Thomas returned to Southwestern and in 1930 after graduation, took a job in the registrar’s office. She became registrar in 1940, where she remained until her retirement in 1966.
Mrs. Thomas has remained active since her retirement, working for such organizations as the Western Plains Library Board, Senior Citizen’s Club, Former Students Association, United Fund Drive, American Association of University Women, Kappa Kappa Iota, and the Federated Church. She has also served as Oklahoma State Director of the National Retired Teacher’s Association and the off-campus sponsor of the Southwestern State International Student Association, which she helped create in 1963. A large number of SWOSU alumni have said, “I would never have finished my education if it hadn’t been for the help and guidance of Millie Thomas.”
During her tenure at Southwestern, Mrs. Thomas worked for seven presidents and between 1928, when she began as a student worker, and 1940 when she became registrar, she worked for three registrars.
Mrs. Thomas was quoted as saying in 1974, “I guess I’m happier when I’m busy, maybe one of these days I’ll really retire.” Apparently, Mrs. Thomas has not followed her own advice in that she is still very active.