Thurmond was constructed in 1939 by Works Project Administration labor to house the offices, kitchens, laboratories, and classrooms of the School of Home Economics. In 1980, the school was renamed Consumer Science and Allied Professions. In 1986, it was phased out, its programs strengthened and coordinated within the arts and sciences and business administration areas. One of the largest Neo-Georgian-style buildings on campus, Thurmond is named for the late J. Strom Thurmond, longest-serving U.S. senator who passed away in 2003 at the age of 100. He served on Winthrop's Board of Trustees from 1936-38 and again from 1947-51 when he was governor of South Carolina.