Thomas University is located in Thomasville, Georgia, a relatively small town of over 18,000 people in rural southwest Georgia. The town is 35 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida, 55 miles south of Albany, Georgia, and 45 miles west of Valdosta, Georgia. Thomas County, has a population of 42,000 and encompasses 540 square miles. The town is connected throughout the southeast in all directions by state and federal highway systems. The area in and around Thomasville is characterized by many working plantations and hunting reserves that serve to remind one of days gone by.
Thomas University is a four-year coeducational university that serves the post-secondary educational needs of South Georgia and North Florida. The main building and grounds were originally a portion of Birdwood Plantation, the winter home of the Honorable W. Cameron Forbes, U.S. Ambassador to Japan and Governor General of the Philippines. The Primitive Baptist Church purchased the property in 1949, and chartered Birdwood Junior College in 1950. Classes began in 1954 with nine students, and in 1956, three of these students became the first graduates. In 1976, the Primitive Baptists relinquished control and the name was changed to Thomas County Community College. In 1979, the college became non-sectarian, private and independent. Finally, in 1986, the name was changed to Thomas College, and in 1988, the first four-year degree was offered. In December 1998, Thomas College received approval from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to move from Level II to Level III status allowing Thomas College to offer graduate degrees. Furthermore, in January 2000, Thomas College changed its name to Thomas University.