Georgia Southwestern to host 41st annual MLK Convocation, Rev. Jane E. Thomas, Presiding Elder of the Fort Valley-Savannah Episcopal District, to serve as keynote speaker

Published 12:21 pm Thursday, January 21, 2021

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS — Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) will host its 41st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation virtually on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. with Reverend Jane E. Thomas, Presiding Elder of the Fort Valley-Savannah Episcopal District, serving as keynote speaker. This year’s theme for the convocation is “The Dream that Changed the World.”

While GSW has been hosting the annual convocation for 41 years, this is the first time the campus event has been held virtually. Only participating members of the program will take the stage in the Convocation Hall of the Student Success Center, and viewers may watch live at via Microsoft Teams.

Rev. Thomas served the Macon-Barnesville District for eight years and the North Columbus-LaGrange District for one year before taking her current position in Fort Valley-Savannah District. She is the immediate past Sixth Episcopal District representative on the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Commission on the Concerns of Women in Ministry. She is also the first female president of the Presiding Elder Council of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Under her leadership as president of the Presiding Elders’ Council, the first Presiding Elders’ Council Scholarship was awarded at the 2014 Phillip’s School of Theology Founders’ Day Celebration.

In addition to her work in the church, Rev. Thomas has worked as a supervisor, manager, teacher, insurance agent and financial planner and travels to Haiti for annual mission trips. She is a commissioner on the Perry Housing Authority Board and a 2016 Gamma Pi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Global Impact reward recipient.

Rev. Thomas is a native of Savannah, Ga. and is mother to two adult children, Nicole Renee Jenkins of Savannah, Ga. and Andre’ DeCarlos of Sharon, Mass. She is also a grandmother of four and great-grandmother of three.

The MLK Convocation is sponsored by GSW’s African American Male Institute (AAMI), Black Student Union (BSU), Division of Business and Finance, National PanHellenic Council (NPHC), Office of the President, Serviceable, Adaptable, Beautiful, United (SABU), Strong United Assertive Virtuous Educated Women (SUAVE), Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), Division of Student Engagement and Success, and Student Government Association (SGA). For additional information, please call (229) 931-2037.

Georgia Southwestern State University, located in Americus, Ga., is a public, four-year unit of the University System of Georgia with approximately 3,000 students. Georgia Southwestern offers outstanding professional programs of study as well as degrees in the arts, humanities, sciences and graduate programs in business, computer science, education, English, and nursing. Founded in 1906, Georgia Southwestern is recognized as one of the best value colleges in the South.