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CANCELED – Character and Spirit Worship Series – Sue Thomas
February 24, 2019 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
Every Sunday through March 3, 2019 Campus Ministry will be hosting its Character and Spirit Worship Series. Each of these events will highlight a character with spirit. It will begin at 7 p.m. with a short presentation, followed by discussion and prayer, and closing with a pizza party in the Chapel of St. Matthew’s first floor student lounge. All students and employees are invited, and urged to bring a friend with them. Below is information on this week’s character(s).
FEBRUARY 24 – Sue Thomas
Sue Thomas was born on May 24, 1950 in Boardman, Ohio. She is an American woman who became the first deaf person to be employed as an active investigator with the FBI.
At the age of 18 months, she became profoundly deaf. The explanation of this phenomenon is not definitely known. At the age of seven, Thomas became the youngest Ohio State Champion free-style skater in skating history. Speech therapists helped her develop her voice, and she also became an expert lip reader.
As the only deaf child in her public school district, Thomas was misunderstood by her teachers. Although she sat in the front row so that she could see the lips of her teachers, much of what happened in the classroom was lost to her. In spite of her accomplishments as an athlete, she was often bullied in the hallways and on the playground of her school. In spite of her difficulties in, she graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs.
After months of job searching, Thomas learned that the FBI was looking for deaf people. Starting out as a fingerprint examiner, she became a lip-reader for an undercover surveillance team after Jack Hogan, an FBI agent, discovered her ability. Thomas spent four years working for the FBI, from 1979 to 1983.
In 1990, Thomas wrote her autobiography entitled Silent Night which became the basis for the TV series to follow. This book begins when she lost her hearing at 18 months and chronicles her life all the way through to her resignation from the FBI. The continuing story of her life is called Staying in the Race where Thomas shares stories about living with multiple sclerosis.