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Thomas University president honored

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By Stephen Abel - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Community leaders say this was a no brainer, but Thomas University President Dr. Gary Bonvillian says he was quite surprised.

"This honor was a great surprise to me. I appreciate it deeply. There are many deserving people in Thomasville for this particular award and I'm just thrilled to have been considered."

Dr. Bonvillian is this year's Thomasville Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. Bonvillian says he can not take all the credit. "There's no question that this recognition of me is a reflection of the work of the university over the last five years. And the many people that had a hand in bringing the school to where it is today."

Chamber members say it was the citizens of Thomasville who made this decision. "Well the letters were very specific about Dr. Gary Bonvillian and what he's done in the community with Thomas University. They've had a tremendous year," said Thomasville Chamber of Commerce President Don Sims.

Bonvillian says the school has really changed in recent years. "We have taken the school quite a distance here in the last five years. Raising the enrollment considerably, revamping our physical plant, starting new programs, and reaching out into the market much further than we had ever been before."

Bonvillian says their biggest accomplishment is the graduation rate. "Thomas University's retention and graduation rate is truly extraordinary in the academy. I've looked at other schools all over the country and I'm now part of a coalition of schools that study this phenomenon and there's no question that we do this better than most."

Dr. Bonvillian is one of five Thomasville leaders receiving an award at Monday's Citizen Awards. Bonvillian says he is really excited to shake the hands of everyone who voted for him.

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