Information obtained via TSU Communication Department, photos via TSU official Facebook page

Eleanor Thomas, a Houston native, has become a symbol of enduring strength and an inspiration to all, proving that age is merely a number when it comes to achieving one’s dreams. This Texas Southern University (TSU) graduate’s story is not just about academic accomplishment; but the power of persistence and lifelong learning.

Eleanor’s academic journey began in her youth at Jack Yates High School, culminating in her graduation in 1971 as an accomplished clarinet player. Despite having the opportunity to attend a university in Dallas on a band scholarship, Eleanor chose to stay close to her roots in Houston, driven by family ties and a longing to be part of the legacy of TSU, a historically black college deeply embedded in her community.

Her first stint at TSU in 1971, starting as a psychology major, was the first step on a path filled with life’s complexities. Marriage, family, and caregiving responsibilities led her to step away from her studies multiple times, yet her resolve to return and complete her education remained steadfast.

Eleanor’s professional life mirrored her academic resilience. She climbed the career ladder from a seasonal gift wrapper to a management role in major department stores and later embraced a state job overseeing various programs. These roles, along with the support and motivation from her five children, two great-grandchildren, and five grandchildren, were the bedrock of her perseverance.

Her final return to TSU in 2021, during the challenging times of the pandemic, marked a significant milestone. Eleanor embraced the transdisciplinary studies program and achieved her Bachelor of Science in Business Operations and Services, graduating a semester early despite the hurdles of technology and health challenges.

Eleanor’s experience at TSU isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about bridging generations, as she worked alongside much younger classmates, learning from them as much as they learned from her.

As she looks to the future, she aspires to contribute her skills and knowledge in meaningful ways, considering roles in hospital business departments or managing gift shops. Her journey serves as a beacon of hope to many, showing that it’s never too late to chase your dreams and make a significant impact.

Her life is a reminder that with determination, support, and a never-give-up attitude, any dream is attainable, regardless of the stage of life.