Student Involvement

Virginia E. Thomas Endowed Leadership Award

Virgina E. Thomas

Virgina E. Thomas

"The more we explore, the more we educate ourselves, the more we equip ourselves to be in an ever-changing world. Let's arm ourselves with information and understanding." - Virginia Thomas

The Virginia E. Thomas Endowed Scholarship honors a legacy of excellence, integrity, character, discovery, and service.

The Virginia E. Thomas Endowed Scholarship honors a legacy of excellence, integrity, character, discovery, and service.

As director of the Leadership Center at Washington State University from 1995 to 2003, Virginia served the university and its students in a variety of roles, through which she displayed a breadth of leadership knowledge, skills, and qualities. As an advisor to the Associated Students' officers and other organizations, Virginia demanded excellence, modeled integrity, and encouraged discovery and innovation. Virginia was a true servant leader to students, bringing passion, courage, and perspective to her work of student development. It is this legacy that we honor with this award.

Established by Virginia's colleagues, friends and students, the scholarship will be awarded concurrently with the President's Award and announced at the Program held annually on the Pullman campus.

For 2009, the inaugural year of the award, the scholarship level is expected to be $1,000. 

Selection Criteria

Washington State University is guided by a commitment to excellence embodied in a set of core values. Nominees for the VET Endowed Scholarship must first be considered for the President's Award, which is based on their leadership experiences and qualities relative to:

  • Inquiry and Innovation
  • Excellence
  • Character and Integrity
  • Stewardship


The Virginia E. Thomas Award is bestowed upon a WSU-Pullman student who, in addition to the criteria for the President's Award, demonstrates:

  • A minimum of 45 credits at WSU-Pullman
  • Ability to inspire others
  • Knowledge of leadership concepts
  • Innovation
  • Leadership coaching/mentoring of others
  • Membership/participation in a registered student organization

Selection Process

In addition to submitting an application for the President's Award, applicants must submit an essay describing the following:

A situation or role in which you have mentored or coached other students to improve as leaders, specifically articulating you skills and/or qualities in integrity, servant leadership, encouraging discovery, and passion.

Once selected, the awardee will be expected to serve as a representative of the scholarship and the legacy that has remained from Virginia's work; including, but not limited to serving on future selection committees, assisting with ongoing leadership development initiatives, and promoting the President's Awards Program and the scholarship. (This necessitates the recipient be an enrolled student at WSU Pullman for the year following their selection, either as a graduate or undergraduate student.)