Virginia State University Alumnus and President of Central State University Dr. Jack Thomas served as the 2023 Founder’s Day Convocation speaker, held in Virginia Hall-Anderson Turner Auditorium held on the campus of Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA.

(LEAD PHOTO:  The Men of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. at VSU join fellow Fraternity Brother, Dr. Jack Thomas for a photo.)

On March 24, 2023, Virginia State University located in Petersburg,VA celebrated its founding with a series of event, culminating in the annual Founder’s Day Convocation.   Dr. Jack Thomas, President of Central State University and VSU alumnus was the guest speaker.  With 14th President of Virginia State University Dr. Makola Abdullah presiding, the observance featured several significant readings, a memorial tribute to the fallen and performance by the Virginia State University Concert Choir.  Since 2020 Thomas has served as president at Central State, bringing a long track record of success in several academic settings.  He brings visibility and insights from experience in every aspect of academia. Roles he has held have included president, interim president, provost and academic vice president, executive vice president, executive assistant to the president, dean, department chair, and English professor.



A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications and organizations, including The Washington Post, Early Music America, Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, Prince George’s Suite Magazine, CBS Washington and Most recently, he was named as a new contributor to Washington Classical Classical Review. He holds membership in the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., American Choral Directors’ Association, Association of Anglican Musicians, a former member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors, a member of the Shenandoah University Black Alumni Network and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Just recently he was named to the Dean’s Circle of the Shenandoah Conservatory Advisory Board.  He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and is Interim Director of Choral Activities and Instructor of Music at Virginia State University. Visit and follow him on twitter @PatrickDMcCoy, IG: PDM06. and subscribe to “Across the Arts” on YouTube.