Amilda Thomas, Ph.D.

Inducted: 1992

Best Known For: Athletic Coordinator, Coach women's athletics


She parlayed a knack for cultural performance and athletics into a storied career as a local coordinator, coach, and trailblazer at Pan American University.

Dr. Amilda Thomas came to Donna in 1947 and enjoyed nearly 50 years of excellence in the Valley. She coached and served as director of girls’ health and physical education at Donna High School and transitioned onto the college level.

At Pan Am she was coordinator of women’s athletics and also coached several teams. Her signature achievements there include the creation of the Folklorico Dancers group as well as the foundation of the university’s cheerleading program. Upon retirement, she became professor emeritus at UTPA and the programs she built are still going strong to this day.

Thomas was a versatile innovator whose ground-breaking contributions in a number of diverse areas installed her as one of the most important educators in Valley history.