Thigpen named LBW Outstanding Alumnus

Published 11:29 am Thursday, May 5, 2016

Greenville native and former Georgiana School principal Ward Thigpen (right) has been named LBW Community College's 2016 Outstanding Alumnus. (File photo)

Greenville native and former Georgiana School principal Ward Thigpen (right) has been named LBW Community College’s 2016 Outstanding Alumnus. (File photo)

LBW Community College named Greenville’s Ward Thigpen as the 2016 Outstanding Alumnus and will recognize him at the annual commencement ceremony.

“We are pleased to recognize this graduate for his accomplishments, both during his time at LBW and all he has achieved after graduation,” said President Dr. Herb Riedel.

“I am indebted and blessed for the opportunities LBW gave me which continue to positively affect my life,” said Thigpen, who achieved an Associate in Arts degree at LBW in 1988. “The teachers, student body, and overall atmosphere at LBW made my two years such a special experience and I am overwhelmingly grateful for the acknowledgement. I am truly honored and humbled.”

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Thigpen played a key role as pitcher for the Saints’ state championship winning team in 1988.

He transferred on a baseball scholarship to Troy University, where his pitching helped lead the Trojans to 50 wins in 1990, the most in a single season in the program’s history.

In 1991, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and business at Troy, then returned years later to achieve master’s in elementary education in 1999.

He is a member of Troy University’s Baseball Hall of Fame, and was inducted last year into Troy’s Sports Hall of Fame. All his athletic successes at LBWCC and Troy University are due to team effort, he said.

“It takes a team. I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time,” said Thigpen.

His career spans more than a decade in the education field. Beginning in 2000, he served three years at Greenville High School as head baseball coach and driver education and career technology teacher. He then taught fourth grade at Greenville Elementary School until going back to Greenville High School in 2008 as assistant principal. In 2011, he became principal for three years at Georgiana High School.

He is now employed with the Alabama Department of Education in the driver and traffic safety division.

Thigpen said the educational foundation he gained at LBW allowed him to achieve academic success.

“I owe everything to LBW for the foundation it gave me academically and athletically,” he said. “There is nothing that could have prepared me more for the four-year college than LBW. I will always steer students in the community college path because it provides opportunities they may not otherwise have.”

LBW’s commencement ceremony is set for 7 p.m. on May 13 at the Kiwanis Community Center in Andalusia.