Making History

Photo of Dr. Thomas J. Ward, Jr., article image

This summer, Dr. Thomas J. Ward, Jr., was appointed the new dean of Farmingdale State College’s (FSC) School of Arts & Sciences. Ward first joined FSC as assistant dean of the School of Arts & Sciences in 2019.

A nationally recognized historian and accomplished writer, Ward has received numerous awards for his work, including those from the Association of American Publishers, the Langum Charitable Trusts, the Gulf South Historical Association, the Mississippi Historical Society, and the Virginia Military Institute. Ward is currently working on a book project on healthcare and the civil rights movement.

“Tom’s experience, passion for education, and commitment to Farmingdale State College will ensure the success and advancement of the cutting-edge departments at FSC’s largest school,” said President Nader. “I am delighted that Dr. Ward will lead our School of Arts & Sciences.”

Before coming to FSC, Ward was chair of the history department at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. He also held previous teaching positions at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri; the Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile; and University College Cork in Ireland.

“FSC’s School of Arts & Sciences students, faculty, and staff will continue to benefit enormously from his academic guidance and esteemed expertise,” said Dr. Laura Joseph, senior vice president and provost for FSC. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Ward into this new position on our leadership team.”

Ward succeeds Dr. Charles Adair, who has served as dean of the School of Arts & Sciences since 2016. Adair first joined FSC’s faculty in 1975 as a biology professor and soon became a pillar of its academic community, also serving as associate dean and as acting chair of several departments.

“Tom has an excellent understanding of the mission of the school and the potential of each of its departments,” said Dr. Adair of his successor. “I have great respect for his judgment and perspective, and I know that he will guide the school skillfully.”

Among his published works, Ward has authored numerous articles on African American history and the history of health care in the American South. His first book, Black Physicians in the Jim Crow South, was published in 2003. His most recent work, Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and its War on Poverty, was released in December 2016 and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly and the 2018 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award. In 2018 he contributed a new foreword to the re-release of Robert Coles’ and Al Clayton’s Still Hungry in America. Ward was also the project historian for the award-winning 1998-1999 public radio series Mississippi Voices, A Trip Through the Twentieth Century.

Ward, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, received a BA from Hampden-Sydney College in 1991, an MA from Clemson University in 1993, and a PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1999.

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