Our Story

Thomas J. Edwards

Biography of Dr. Thomas J. Edwards

Thomas J. Edwards was the original director of the university Learning Center when it ceded from the EOP department in 1971.  Born in Detroit on June 16, 1923, Dr. Edwards was a World War II veteran, serving in the United States Coast Guard from 1943-1946.

Dr. Edwards earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.  He then went on to complete his masters and Ph.D. programs at Temple University, also in Pennsylvania.  Dr. Edwards was fluent in several languages and held various consulting and educator positions across the country.  He joined the University at Buffalo in 1970 as a professor in the Department of Elementary and Remedial Education.  His focus was on reading education.  In 1971, he became director of the University’s Learning Center.  Dr. Edwards was a prolific writer and presenter during his time at UB, and even served on the President’s Review Board from Promotion and Tenure.

Dr. Edwards passed away on March 24, 1976 after a long battle with cancer.  The Learning Center was dedicated to his memory in April 1986 and is now known as the Thomas J. Edwards Undergraduate Learning Center.

Plaque dedicating ULC to Thomas J. Edwards

Timeline of ULC Events

  • 1969:  The Learning Center is created as part of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).
  • 1970:  Thomas J. Edwards becomes a professor at UB.
  • 1971:  The Learning Center is established and separated from EOP.  It focuses on the development of students’ reading, writing, mathematics, and oral communication skills.  Thomas J. Edwards is named director.  The Center opens in Area B-6, Building 4230, on the Ridge Lea Campus.
  • 1974:  The Learning Center becomes part of the undergraduate division of Faculty Educational Studies.
  • 1976:  Thomas J. Edwards passes away on March 24.
  • 1980:  The Learning Center moves to Baldy Hall on UB’s North Campus.
  • 1986:  The Learning Center is dedicated to its first director and renamed the Thomas J. Edwards Undergraduate Learning Center (ULC).
  • 1992:  The ULC is moved to Talbert Hall on the North Campus.  Three tutoring centers are offered to assist all UB undergrad students – the Math Place, the Writing Place, and the Study Skills Place.
  • 2000:  The ULC is moved back to Baldy Hall, to its current location in room 217.  It becomes part of the Graduate School of Education.  The ULC continues to focus on developmental mathematics and writing, and also adds library skills to its curriculum.
  • 2013:  The Writing Place is retired and the Center for Excellence in Writing opens.
  • 2016:  The ULC is redesigned to focus solely on developmental mathematics instruction and support.  It becomes part of the Mathematics Department.