Grace E. and Eugene V. Thomsen Memorial Honors Scholarship
Grace and Gene Thomsen joined the faculty at Southwestern Junior College in 1963. Gene initially taught Old Testament History, English, Greek, and Spanish, and Grace contributed her skills to the library. As the college grew, Gene completed a second masters and then a PhD in applied linguistics in 1970 from the University of Texas.
At Southwestern, Dr. Thomsen served as Professor and Chairman of the Modern Languages Department and established the Center for English Language Learning for English as second language students. He served as the first faculty director of the Adult Degree Program, helped establish the Bachelor of Science degree program in nursing, and was instrumental in developing the Computer Information Systems Department. In 1979 he was elected by the Board of Trustees as Dean of Academic Affairs, and in 1981, was designated Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Grace served Southwestern briefly as a librarian, but her principal contribution was as a philanthropist and supporter for all things Southwestern. She would not tolerate criticism of the school that she loved dearly, whose ideals she believed in, and she worked tirelessly on Southwestern's behalf.
The Thomsen Memorial Honors Scholarship was established by friends and family of Grace and Gene. This annual award is given to a student who is a part of the honors program; has demonstrated academic excellence; has broad interests in the arts, humanities and sciences; and has a strong commitment to serving others with their talents.