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07/22/2015

Scholarship Endowment Commemorates Late Alumna Lin Fearrington Thomas '81, '83

Quick Facts

 Recent endowment has made the Lin Fearrington Thomas Scholarship a permanent fund at Winthrop.
 Thomas earned B.A. and M.B.A. degrees as a post-traditional student in the 1980s.

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Lin Fearrington
Thomas
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Lin Fearrington Thomas ’81, ’83 never met a challenge she couldn’t transform into an opportunity. So she embraced her identity as a post-traditional Winthrop University student, enrolling during her late 20s and earning B.A. and M.B.A. degrees. And Lin’s legacy of fierce determination continues to impact Winthrop students through the recently endowed Lin Fearrington Thomas Scholarship.

The fund, established in 2011, supports post-traditional female students who want to begin or continue their education at the undergraduate level. Endowment ensures that the scholarship – as well as the woman who inspired it – will remain a permanent presence at Winthrop.

Atlanta, Georgia, resident Mike Thomas, Lin’s husband, said that his late wife cherished her years at Winthrop and used both degrees – a B.A. in sociology and a M.B.A. – to create her own company called Capital Transportation Solutions, a successful transportation consulting firm. He added that the scholarship offers a way to help future students realize their goal of a Winthrop education.

“Lin was a very driven, positive person, and that was reinforced because she went to Winthrop – a driven, positive university,” said Mike Thomas. “Winthrop did a great job of helping Lin further her career and life, so we wanted to pay that back and support other post-traditional students.”

He also serves as a trustee for the Lin Fearrington Thomas Foundation, which he established to support causes important to Lin such as Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, where Lin received treatment. Lin’s daughter, Maggie Thomas, and Aria Williams, Lin’s niece, also serve as trustees for the foundation.

Maggie Thomas explained that her mother’s experience at Winthrop and non-traditional career path have proven to be a strong source of inspiration.

“My mom highly valued her Winthrop education, and her achievements academically and professionally have been inspiring examples for me and other women in my family,” she said.

Williams also counts herself among the women Lin inspired with her ambition, positive attitude and confidence. She described Lin as a “mentor” whose self-confidence and ambition have had a lasting impression.

“Lin was family, but more than that she was my mentor and the woman who taught me – and other women like me – the importance of perseverance and the importance of believing in yourself and your ambition to succeed,” said Williams.

For more information about the Lin Fearrington Thomas Scholarship, contact Meredith Carter, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or email her at carterm@winthrop.edu.

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