News: Press Releases

January 20, 2016

UMass Building Authority (UMBA) announces appointment of Trustee Henry M. Thomas as Vice Chair of UMBA Board

  • The UMass System

January 20, 2016: The University of Massachusetts Building Authority (UMBA), an organization established by the Massachusetts Legislature to build academic buildings, laboratories, athletic facilities, infrastructure, and other capital improvements on University of Massachusetts campuses, as well as provide funding for the repair and renovation of existing campus facilities, announces the election of Trustee Henry M. Thomas III as Vice Chair of the UMBA Board.

Thomas was voted into this position at the UMBA Board meeting on December 15, 2015.

“Henry Thomas’ commitment to the ensured success of the University of Massachusetts is unparalleled,” said UMBA Board Chairman and UMass alum Philip Johnston.  “We are fortunate and grateful to continue to benefit from his leadership, passion and knowledge of the higher education landscape in his new role. He joins current Vice Chairman and my fellow UMass alum Paul Carney in our efforts to meet the needs of the University and its campuses with the highest levels of integrity, innovation and fervor.”

“We are proud to work with such a knowledgeable and experienced professional as Mr. Thomas,” said Patricia Filippone, Executive Director of the UMass Building Authority.  “He brings extensive expertise and executive management background, as well as a keen interest in education and a dedication to the University of Massachusetts, to the UMBA Board’s management team.”

“I’m honored to serve as Vice Chair of the UMBA Board.  As a Massachusetts native, I’m a wholehearted supporter of the University of Massachusetts education system, and look forward to working with my fellow Board members to continue the progress UMBA has made to enhance the educational experience for UMass students,” said Mr. Thomas.  “I am committed to contributing to the long-term planning and construction of state-of-the-art campus facilities that are so important in the competitive education marketplace today.”

Thomas was appointed by Governor Patrick as a University of Massachusetts Trustee on September 14th, 2007. 

Currently President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Springfield, Inc., and CEO of the Historic Camp Atwater. Thomas has worked in the Urban League movement for forty-three years, serving thirty-nine years as President and CEO.

Thomas, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, also produces and hosts “Urban League Community Focus,” a weekly radio program aired on WTCC 90.7FM.  Now in its 20th year, the program reaches a listening audience of approximately 60,000 people in the western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut regions.


Thomas earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Masters of Arts degree in Human Resource Development from American International College; and a Jurisprudence Doctorate degree from Western New England University School of Law. He has also received honorary Doctoral Degrees from BayPath University and Westfield State University; Senior Executive Leadership Program, Harvard University - Kennedy School Government and Public Policy.


About the UMASS Building Authority

The UMass Building Authority is currently managing a $3.8 billion capital plan with more than 50 current construction projects that will significantly improve teaching, learning and student life on all five campuses. Working together with UMass President Martin Meehan, the Board of Trustees, and the campuses, UMBA strives to deliver the most cost-effective, highest quality construction of world-class buildings to support the mission of the University.



Paula Gates

Regan Communications