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Delta State to fly university flag at half-staff in honor of Provost Emeritus/Vice President Emeritus for Academic Affairs and Professor Emeritus of History, Dr. John Thornell

By January 26, 2024

Dr. John Thornell

Due to last week’s severe winter weather, Dr. Thornell’s memorial service was rescheduled to Saturday, January 27. The Delta State University flag will fly at half-staff from Friday, January 26, through sunset on Sunday, January 28, in honor of Delta State alumnus and Provost Emeritus/Vice President Emeritus for Academic Affairs and Professor Emeritus of History, Dr. John Grover Thornell, of Florence, Alabama. Dr. Thornell passed away on January 12, 2024. He was 76

A career educator, Dr. John Thornell began as a math teacher in the Mississippi Delta. He earned a B.S. in Education, a Master’s in Educational Administration, and a Master’s in History from Delta State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, College of Education in Curriculum/Instruction.

Dr. Thornell spent most of his career at Delta State University, where he began as a faculty member in 1975, and served in multiple positions including Dean of Graduate Students & Continuing Education, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Interim President in 2003. He was also inducted into Delta State University’s Hall of Fame in 2003.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Thornell was an avid scholar authoring books, chapters, articles, and numerous presentations, as well as grant awards. He served on several educational and leadership boards including as a Trustee at SACSCOC from 2010-2016. He was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Mu Delta, and Phi Delta Kappa.

Dr. Thornell served as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of North Alabama from 2009-2017, and as Interim President in 2014-2015.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Florence Alabama, on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. with the Reverend Callie Plunket-Brewton officiating. A reception in the Parish Hall will follow.

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