2013-2014 Distinguished Emeritus

Thomas McCready

Thomas McCready

Tom graduated from Sonora Union High School in Sonora, California, and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley in the Fall of 1958.  There he happened to met both Phil Gash and Jim Regas.  Tom earned his bachelor’s degree in math in 1962, and later completed his Ph.D. in mathematics from Stanford University in 1968.

Tom joined the Mathematics Department of then-Chico State College in 1968.  He served twice as Department Chair.  First from 1970-73 and then a marathon 8 years in a row from 1985-93 – which is when I first met Tom as the Mechanical Engineering Department Chair. 

Most of Tom’s teaching prior to 1993 was in either probability/statistics or the four-semester sequence of courses in mathematics for elementary school teachers.  Teaching was always a source of great joy for him.   Tom was a big believer in the importance of general education.  In the early 1990s, Tom worked with the math Department, as well as the -then Department of Geosciences, to develop five courses for inclusion in various Upper-Division Themes.  He taught four of these courses on a regular basis until his retirement in 2001. During his FERP years from 2001 to 2006, Tom served as the Theme Coordinator for the American Identities and Cultures Theme.  Tom continued teaching these courses well past his FERP years and only recently fully retired in 2011.

Since fully retiring, Tom’s main focus has been his family-- wife, Kathy,  two children, and five grandchildren. Tom has also remained connected with the Department and College, mentoring department chairs and attending lectures, colloquia, and special events.  Tom has also done some volunteer math tutoring with junior-high and high-school students.  Besides mathematics, Tom’s current academic interests include classical literature, and he’s recently taken to studying organic chemistry.  These recent studies have instilled in Tom a new respect for those Chem folks and he finds that work both challenging and rewarding!