Benjamin J. Thomas, of Front Royal, Va., a senior mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering, has been selected as Virginia Tech’s 2006 Man of the Year.

Thomas was chosen based on his excellence in academics, his outstanding leadership, and his commitment to service to others.

During his time at Virginia Tech, Thomas has served as a drum major of the Corps of Cadets Regimental Band, the Highty-Tighties, and has trained cadets through his service as a member of the Color Guard. In 2004, Thomas led the Highty-Tighties in the 55th Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C.

Because of his exemplary character, General Jerrold Allen, commandant of the Virginia Tech Corp of Cadets, chose Thomas to serve as the chairman of the Executive Committee for the Corps of Cadets. “Ben is a scholar and leader of tremendous energy and initiative,” said Gen. Allen. “His leadership has taken the Highty-Tighties to their greatest success in 15 years.

For three consecutive years, Thomas received a Department of Mechanical Engineering Weaver Scholarship, and the College of Engineering Charles C. Walts Endowed Scholarship.

After graduation, Thomas will be commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He will be stationed at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, with his wife Dawn. Thomas will serve as the base level civil engineering officer.

Thomas is the son of Ron and Li Thomas from Front Royal, Va., and was a graduate of Herndon High School in Fairfax County, Va., where he grew up.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 5,500 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 1,800 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.


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