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Mass Comm's Thomas named 'Great Gentleman' by local hospital

April 15, 2011

Bob Thomas, Ph.D., director of the Center for Environmental Communication and chair of environmental communication at Loyola University New Orleans, has been named a "Great Gentleman" by the East Jefferson General Hospital Auxiliary for his "outstanding contributions to the community through volunteerism." The award was recently profiled in the Times-Picayune.

Thomas joins seven other recipients in receiving the award at a luncheon on May 17.

Since 1975, the Auxiliary has sponsored the Great Lady/Great Gentleman Awards to honor eight exceptional volunteers in the Greater New Orleans area. The luncheon is held annually at the Audubon Tea Room and includes an auction, raffles and an awards presentation. Proceeds from the event fund a nursing scholarship program, a continuing education and re-certification program for nurses, and special hospital projects at East Jefferson.

Thomas has a long-standing record of volunteerism and environmental activism. He has served the state and the region on several mayoral environmental advisory committees and has been on the transition teams for several governors.

He was the founding director of the Louisiana Nature Center and is past president of the Association of Nature Center Administrators. He received the top two honors accorded to nature center administrators: the Elsie Naumburg Award in 1983 and the Professional Leadership Award in 2001. He was also named Conservation Educator of the Year in 1986 by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and was awarded the Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation Education in 1994 by the Garden Club of America.

Since the 2010 BP oil spill, Thomas joined the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s Expert Bureau to help improve Louisiana’s image nationally and has appeared in hundreds of news stories dedicated to the spill. He also has led more than 200 post-Katrina recovery tours of the New Orleans area.

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