On Sept. 14, Paul Arthur Thomas passed away at the age of 65. Per his obituary, Thomas attended Southern Illinois University where he received a bachelor’s degree of science in botany and a master’s degree in plant and soil physiology. He earned his doctorate in plant physiology from Pennsylvania State University. In 1990, he joined the University of Georgia as a professor and state extension specialist in the floriculture field.
He worked at UGA for 29 years and retired on Sept. 1, 2019. Throughout his academic profession, he impacted many lives: staff, students and many industry professionals across the horticulture field. Per his obituary, he received numerous accolades through his distinguished career, including the Alex Laurie Award for Research and Education and D.W. Brooks Faculty Diversity Award.
A memorial tribute has been established with the American Floral Endowment (AFE) by the University of Georgia Department of Horticulture, according to a recent news release. The scholarship will fund students hoping to pursue a career in floriculture.