Celebration of Life For Longtime UToledo Employee Set For Feb. 8

February 1, 2023 | News, UToday, Alumni, Student Affairs
By Kirk Baird

The University of Toledo will host a celebration of life to honor Cheryl Thomas, a 26-year employee of the University.

The celebration is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the Thompson Student Union Ingman Room, with remarks beginning at 11:30.

Cheryl Thomas was a proud Rocket whose cheers and enthusiasm at every home football game and at women’s basketball games were contagious.

Thomas, who died Jan. 27, joined UToledo Sept. 18, 1996, as an employee in the Office of First Year Experience, where she developed a passion for helping students. During her more than two decades of service at UToledo, Thomas worked for Study Abroad, the Center for International Studies and Programs, Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs.

Thomas worked closely for many years with Dr. Sammy Spann, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, as his executive assistant.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to describe a person’s impact on others,” Spann said. “Luckily, for Cheryl Thomas that isn’t a challenge. There has been an outpouring of love and support since Cheryl’s passing that makes it easy to see her impact on everyone she’s met. She epitomizes the best parts of UToledo and life. She was known as the person who lived, loved and laughed. Her love for family, her job and those around her was authentic.”

Thomas, who received a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from UToledo in 2017, was recognized in April 2022 with the Dr. Alice Skeens Outstanding Woman Award from the University Women’s Commission. She also was inducted as an honorary member of the Blue Key National Honor Society in 2018 and received The University of Toledo Shining Star Award and the Classified Staff Award in 2004, as well as recognition for her student-centeredness efforts, her participation in the semester conversion process in 1997 and her work in supporting the Faculty Senate in 1996.

Her colleagues remember her as a proud Rocket whose cheers and enthusiasm at every home football game and at women’s basketball games were contagious. She enjoyed meeting fellow Rockets at the annual Homecoming events and engaging with UToledo’s student leaders at the Kalahari Student Leadership Conferences.

Those who would like to attend Thomas’ celebration of life are asked to RSVP via an online form where they can also share photos and memories.

The Cheryl Thomas Exceptional Leadership Scholarship has been created in her honor. Donations to the memorial scholarship can be made via the Cheryl Thomas Exceptional Leadership Scholarship webpage.



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