Jean and Gary Thomas

Thomas Family Fund

Jean and Gary Thomas met in 1952 at Phoenix College. In 2017 they established the Thomas Family Fund, specifically for the Native American and African American female students at South Mountain Community College. For 15 years, Jean and Gary volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to build homes on tribal lands, and through their scholarship, they want to ensure this community feels supported. Their focus on women stems from the passing of Jean’s great-great-grandfather. There was a law that stated women couldn’t own land, so when he died, it had to be left in his son’s name, and his wife had to ask permission to live there until she passed away. Jean and Gary believe that women who are educated, educate the whole family.