SUNY Cortland honor students are getting a special visit from one of the college’s most distinguished alums:
William Thomas, M.D., a 1982 SUNY Cortland graduate who has since become a tireless advocate for innovative, person-centered approaches to age, aging and longevity around the world, will address the College’s most outstanding students on Friday, March 25.
Thomas grew up in Nichols, N.Y., where, by his own admission, he was an indifferent and bored high school student. Admitted after his high school principal asked the College’s admissions director to take a chance on the young man, he was the first person in his family to attend college. Thomas served as Cortland College Student Association president, contributed frequent articles to the student newspaper, and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biology.
A very politically active student, Thomas ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Cortland. Perhaps his most lasting legacy as a student was to spearhead an effort to end the widespread practice in New York in which boards of elections would illegally bar students from registering to vote in local races by treating them as non-residents.