Rance Thomas was a faculty member in Sociology/Criminal Justice and served as lead faculty/coordinator of Sociology at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey for 30 years. He became the first person in the College's history to be granted the Professor Emeritus Award when he retired in 2002 as a professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Dr. Thomas has devoted his life to social change on campus and in the community. He has served on multiple committees of the Illinois Board of Education and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
He is the founder and president of the National Minority Caucus on Higher Education. He co-founded and is president of the North County Churches Uniting for Racial Harmony and Justice Organization. Dr. Thomas has received numerous awards for community leadership and service. He has served on the boards of the Madison County, Illinois Urban League, the Elijah P. Lovejoy Memorial, the advisory board of the SSM Depaul Health Center, and is a past president of the SIUE Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is a lifetime member of the SIUE Alumni Association and a member of the 2009 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.