One of the “giants” of this community, Judge Albert W. Thompson was a groundbreaker in desegregation and a role model, mentor and inspiration for many in civic life and public service.
Born in 1922, he received his undergraduate degree from Savannah State College and his law degree from Howard University School of Law. In 1951 he became the first black person admitted to the bar in Columbus, GA. In 1965 he became the first black person elected to public office in Muscogee County and one of the first to desegregate the Georgia House of Representatives. He served for seven terms, and his appointment as chair of the Special Judiciary Committee of the General Assembly made him the House’s first black committee chairman. In 1980 he was appointed a Superior Court Judge, marking another racial first. He retired in 1991 as Administrative Law Judge with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Apart from these professional activities, he distinguished himself in community service through leadership in the local Civil Rights Movement and volunteered his time to numerous service organizations. His death in 2004 did not diminish the influence that his life continues to have on untold numbers of people today.
The Judge Albert W. Thompson, Sr., Scholarship Fund, a component fund of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley, Inc. was established in late 2005 by friends and colleagues of Judge Thompson to honor his many contributions to our community.
The Judge Albert W. Thompson, Sr., Scholarship Fund awards up to two scholarships to college students with a connection to Georgia who are entering or currently enrolled in law school and are committed to practicing nonprofit law or another type of public service law.
- Is intended to help students with high character, above-average intellect as demonstrated by academic achievement, a commitment to community service, and financial need achieve a law school education.
- Will be paid to the accredited law school of the student's choice (no award will be paid to individuals).
- Can be used to cover the cost of tuition, fees, housing and/or books up to the Cost of Attendance.
- Will pay an amount determined annually by the Community Foundation based on its spending policy. For 2023, that amount is approximately $3,500 per scholarship.
- Note: For most students, a scholarship grant used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and essential equipment is usually not taxable. Scholarship funds used for room and board, stipends and other purposes may be taxable. Scholarship recipients should consult a tax professional with questions about the tax implications of their scholarship grant.
- May be renewed for up to three consecutive years; however, recipients must re-apply annually.
Eligibility & Application Process
- Be enrolled in either college or law school during the 2022-2023 academic year.
- Plan to be enrolled in law school during the 2023-2024 academic year.
- Have a connection to the state of Georgia (Note: preference will be given to applicants with a connection to the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit - Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot and Taylor counties).
- Be U.S. citizens at the time of their application.
- Not be immediate family members of the Scholarship Committee or any employee or board member of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley, Inc., or direct descendants of Judge Thompson.
- Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA), available from financial aid offices or at www.fafsa.ed.gov, and submit to the Community Foundation a copy of page one of the resulting Student Aid Report (SAR). Financial information will be held in the strictest confidence.
- Complete a personal interview with the Thompson Scholarship Committee if selected as a finalist.
- Applications Due: Friday, April 14, 2023, 5 pm EST
- Notifications of Finalist: May 2023
- Scholarship Announcement: late Mary - early June 2023