Media Release

Alachua County Community Support Services Auditorium Dedicated in Honor of Commissioner Thomas Coward

Wednesday, June 8, 2016 3:45 PM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Commission will formally dedicate the Alachua County Community Support Services Auditorium in honor of Commissioner Thomas Coward on June 25, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The dedication will be at Community Support Services Auditorium (218 S.E. 24 St., Gainesville). Many of his friends, family, and colleagues have been invited to speak at the dedication. Light refreshments will be served.

Commissioner Coward served the citizens of Alachua County as a County Commissioner from 1974 to 1992. While serving on the County Commission, he established Alachua County’s first Equal Opportunity Office, supported numerous capital projects of county-wide significance, passed a sales tax to support the Alachua County Library District, championed recreational improvements in the Monteocha area, and formed economic partnerships for East Gainesville improvements.

Mr. Coward is a United States Navy Veteran. After his military service, he returned to Gainesville, where he served 31 years in the Alachua County School System, finishing his tenure as an administrator at the School Board Office.

He was active in many civic organizations including a member of the first appointed Biracial Committee, President of the State Regional Planning Council, and served two terms as Chairman of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. Mr. Coward was a founding member of the National Association of Black County Commissioners, a founding member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and a member of the Housing Division and Community Development Committee. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors for Alachua/Bradford Regional Workforce, the National and State Associations of County Commissioners, Board of Directors of the East Gainesville Task Force, State of Florida Comprehensive Planning Committee and Local, State and National Realtors Association.

For more information, contact Gina Peebles at 352-538-8265 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).