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TU Traditions


Southwest Georgia including Thomasville and Thomas County is rich in hunting plantations. There are thousands of acres of pristine plantations in this region that are sanctuaries for wildlife, virgin forests and hunting preserves.  Thomas University (TU) is a part of that tradition as it resides on the former Birdwood Plantation.

TU’s idyllic setting began its life as Birdwood Plantation, a winter resort for William Cameron Forbes, investment banker, diplomat and son of William Hathaway Forbes, President of the Bell Telephone Company.

Intimate classroom setting

Birdwood College, our inaugural name in 1950 honoring the Birdwood Plantation, was first created to serve 100 students in the liberal arts tradition within a strong Christian context.  In the subsequent 20 years, the college graduated 14 students annually. 

The institution transitioned from its religious affiliations to a nonsectarian community college in 1979, yet small class size remains a hallmark of a TU education.  We average 10 students per class.

Honor council

Birdwood College founder, J. Harley Chapman, envisioned an education that included an environment to foster moral character and integrity. Today, the TU Honor Code embodies the same tenor.   The TU Honor Code is a pledge to which all students are bound upon admittance to the university that addresses issues of academic integrity.

The Honor Council is comprised of TU students, has 11 members and a president who review and decide all cases brought before them in regards to honesty and ethics in academic matters.    

 Thomas University Academic Honor Code:

"As a member of the Thomas University student body, I will not lie, cheat, or steal in any endeavor related to my academic pursuits, nor will I tolerate that behavior in others."

The TU Mission & Values


Thomas University is the school of choice for students in undergraduate and graduate programs to prepare for successful careers and responsible leadership in a rapidly changing and complex world.  The faculty and staff value students’ individual strengths, capabilities, and will to succeed, providing the means by which they will achieve personal and professional transformation.


Thomas University values...

…dynamic learning environments that engage students in their intellectual and personal development;

…rigorous intellectual studies that require creativity, discipline and personal responsibility;

…diversity and its use as a learning tool to teach that the world is a better place when respect for the individual is central to our relationship with others;

…community involvement, including cultural and artistic experiences, that enriches the lives of our students, as well as their fellow citizens;

…individual attention to all students;

…a lifetime connection with our students.

Dr. Gary Bonvillian, President

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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