On Saturday, April 6, 2019 in the US Freedom Pavilion of the National World War II Museum, the Honorable Thomas C. Wicker, Jr. (RET) was awarded the Scott Cowen Service Award for exceptional contributions to Tulane University and the community. The setting was a fitting location as Judge Wicker is a charter member of the National World War II Museum. He is a member of the Tulane NROTC Class of 1944 and is a long-time Board Member of the Tulane NROTC Alumni Association.
Thomas Wicker graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration in 1944. He was ordered to the USS Lackawanna (AO40) in the Western Pacific during World War II. He was aboard one of the first ships into Tokyo Bay at war’s end. He has given an oral history that can be accessed here.
After his time in service, Judge Wicker completed Tulane Law School at the top of his class. He has been an Assistant U. S. Attorney, in private practice, elected as District Judge for the 24th Louisiana Judicial District, and then served as Judge on the Court of Appeal, 5th Circuit, State of Louisiana. Even after his retirement, Judge Wicker has been called upon to act as an Ad Hoc Judge fort the 5th Circuit Court and the Louisiana Supreme Court.
While busy with a full-time law career, he managed to serve as President of the Tulane Alumni and as President of the Tulane Emeritus Club. He has also been President of the Sugar Bowl and President of the Rotary Club. He is a founder of the Tulane Green Wave Club and is a founder of the New Orleans Saints Touchdown Club. His greatest joy, however, is his family including his wife, Jane, and his four children.
Editor’s Note: Notice that Wicker was commissioned in February 1944. According to the oral histories provided by our alumni, the Naval ROTC classes of 1944 and 1945 were informed during January 1944 that they would be commissioned in February and sent to the fleet. Class of 44 was commissioned one week before the class of 45 to provide some seniority.
Judge Wicker was an early supporter of Tulane athletics. Through a group called, “Friends of Tulane“, Wicker and fellow alumni purchased large ads in newspapers all over Louisiana. The ads asked, “Are you tired of losing to LSU 62-0?”
USS Lackawanna AO-40