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08/10/2011

New Scholarship Supports Non-Traditional Students at Winthrop

Quick Facts

 Non-traditional students in Winthrop’s New Start program will soon be the beneficiaries of scholarship support with the creation of a new fund established by the Lin Fearrington Thomas Foundation.
 Trustees of the Lin Fearrington Thomas Foundation, including Lin’s husband, Mike Thomas; her daughter, Maggie Thomas; and her niece, Aria Williams, are establishing the scholarship for female business majors in memory of Lin.

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Lin Fearrington Thomas
ROCK HILL, S.C. - When Lin Fearrington Thomas started at Winthrop, she was a non-traditional student hoping to get a college degree after a decade out of the classroom. She left Winthrop with two degrees, a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1981 and a master’s degree in business in 1983.

Non-traditional students in Winthrop’s New Start program will soon be the beneficiaries of scholarship support with the creation of a new fund established by the Lin Fearrington Thomas Foundation.

Trustees of the Lin Fearrington Thomas Foundation, including Lin’s husband, Mike Thomas; her daughter, Maggie Thomas; and her niece, Aria Williams, are establishing the scholarship for female business majors in memory of Lin.

“Lin would have loved this sort of thing. She liked to help people. She would find people who needed help, and she would just help them,” said Mike Thomas, who created the foundation after his wife’s death to support the initiatives that were most important to her.

The $25,000 scholarship endowment will build over the next five years, but the foundation will make an annual contribution, so the scholarship may begin awarding immediately.

Having graduated from high school in 1969, Lin decided to return to school later in life because she knew she needed an education to accomplish her career goals.

Her husband added that Lin, whose full name is Linda, shortened her name on her resume after graduation, so people would not know whether she was male or female. Within a short time, she had several job offers.

After working at Macy’s and GE in Atlanta, Lin and two friends established Capital Transportation Solutions, a successful transportation consulting firm in the Atlanta area.

Thomas said his family is establishing the scholarship at Winthrop to keep Lin’s memory alive forever. Lin passed away in 2008 after a nearly two-year battle with cancer.

For more information on making a gift to Winthrop, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150 or development@winthrop.edu

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