Thomas’ Devotion to Community and Education Continues

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SCC BOT Headshots/Oath

As he began tallying up his years of experience, Dr. Ted Thomas realized that he has dedicated over half of his life to formal education, including his time as a student, time serving as a mentor, and time spent on various boards. Early in life, Thomas recognized the importance of education and the impact it could have on the lives of young and old people alike. Now, as the Chair of the SCC Board of Trustees, Thomas continues to dedicate his time and energy toward guaranteeing students are afforded every opportunity possible.

“There’s vital importance to education. I understand that education can open doors that sometimes cannot be opened otherwise, so I try to encourage young people whenever I can,” Thomas remarked.

When he joined the Board of Trustees at Sampson Community College, Thomas says he saw it as an opportunity to continue the work he had always made a conscious, personal effort to do, but more formally. The son of two educators, he was raised to value education. Now, Thomas has grown to love and value the work that SCC does and learn about the vast opportunities available.

“This is a chance to promote education in a different way, and now I get to be a part of the growth and reach students at the college and in the Sampson County area,” Thomas shared. “The more I learn about the college as a board member, the more I get to share with people that I know and meet. The things here are worth taking a look at.”

Thomas says he’s happy to be apart of the “SCC family.” (Photo Credit, Cheyenne McNeill)

Before joining the board, Thomas ran a successful dental practice in Clinton for over 35 years, retiring just before he joined the Board of Trustees. Thomas has also served as pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church in Warsaw for 12 years. His commitment to community reaches far and wide — even extending to service with the state.

“Ted was recently nominated and elected to the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Community College Association, which now allows Sampson Community College to more directly influence state legislation affecting community colleges. Dr. Thomas is the voice that encourages Sampson CC to serve all of our county and all of our citizens,” President of Sampson Community College, Dr. Bill Starling, commented.

Thomas and his family moved to Sampson County in 1983, and he says that he immediately began getting involved in the community, recognizing the importance of community involvement early on.

“You need to be involved in your community, especially in a small town. It shows that you’re committed to the place that you live. It also allows you to meet people and develop friendships,” Thomas shared.

As Chair of the Board of Trustees, Thomas says his goal is to remain honest and truthful. Thomas spends time when making decisions, ensuring that they are always positively impactful and beneficial to all parties involved.

Lisa Turlington, Dean of Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation, says Thomas’ commitment to all at the college and in the county is evident.

“The College is fortunate to have such an engaged and committed person at the helm of the Board. As a longtime business, civic, and faith leader, Dr. Thomas brings unique insight as to how the College can best serve the public need. As a man of many talents and interests, he has firsthand knowledge of many of the programs offered to students,” Turlington shared.   

Thomas and other board members will be reappointed on Tuesday, July 13 at the Board of Trustees monthly board meeting. For more information about the Board of Trustees, visit

About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options, and early college education.