Alumnus receives award at return to alma mater

Homecoming is defined as a return home, or an event usually associated with college or university .

For Tola Thompson, that annual event will take on a special meaning.

Thompson, a 1984 public relations graduate, will receive the Thelma Thurston Gorham Award this Friday at the Radisson Hotel.

The honor, which is reserved for distinguished journalism alumni who have gone on to be successful in their professions, came as a surprise to Thompson.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” said Thompson when he got the news that he was receiving the honor.

“I was both awed and humbled. There was nothing I felt I couldn’t do when I graduated.

“I’ve always known how to take a little and do much with it.”

Thompson, former editor in chief of The Famuan, is currently the Vice President for Communications for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

Over the years, Thompson has been instrumental as a source of both internships and employment for many of FAMU’s alumni.

“He’s always finding ways to add value to the instruction our students are getting,” said Director of the Division of Journalism, James Hawkins.

The Thelma Thurston Gorham award is named for the former FAMU journalism professor who died in 1990.

The award has been given annually since 1994. Last year’s recipient of the award was Carmen Cummings.