Dr. Thomas H. Stafford Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs who has served North Carolina State University for more than 40 years, has announced his intention to retire, effective no later than July 1, 2012.
Stafford became vice chancellor in 1983 and has served in research and administrative positions at the university since 1971.
“Tom has been a great advocate for students,” Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “He established the ‘students first’ philosophy that guides student affairs and will be his legacy. That philosophy serves our students well and makes a strong contribution to the student experience at NC State. Tom has served the state and the university with integrity and enthusiasm, and we appreciate the strong contributions he has made throughout his career.”
“It has been an extraordinary honor to have served NC State University and our amazing students over these years,” Stafford said. “This has not been a job, but rather a labor of love. When I reach my retirement date, I will depart with a high level of professional and personal pride for the accomplishments achieved by our student affairs team, and especially for the positive impact our work has had on the education and development of our students.”
Stafford has also been active nationally and in the local community. From 1990 to 1993, he served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services that advised the U.S. Secretary of Defense on issues relating to women in the military, and was the only North Carolinian and one of three men on the 35-member committee. He is an active member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and has served as secretary-treasurer and president as well as on committees within the organization.
He is the 1999 recipient of the Women’s Equity Award from the NC State Council on the Status of Women. Stafford was honored in 2002 with the establishment of the Thomas H. Stafford Jr. Spirit Bell, which is awarded each year to the overall winner of the Alumni Association’s Homecoming Spirit Competition. The Spirit Bell is permanently on display at the Talley Student Center.
Stafford served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army and has been a strong advocate for the military services. He is also known for his professional and personal commitment to physical fitness and the important role that it plays in student health.
He served as chair of the board of directors for the Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross. He has been an active member in the North Carolina Fossil Club and conducts volunteer fossil program presentations within the Wake County School System.
Stafford is a native of Henderson, N.C. He received his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College, his master’s from NC State and his Ph.D. from Florida State University. He has made numerous presentations at regional and national conferences and has authored 22 research reports and several journal publications about college students.