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Student Union to be dedicated in honor of longtime university leader

The hub of Main Campus will be dedicated today in honor of Dr. Lancelot C.A. Thompson, a trailblazing University of Toledo professor and administrator who devoted his career to student success.

A dedication ceremony for the newly renamed Lancelot Thompson Student Union will be held at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, inside the main entrance of the building near the Office of Multicultural Student Success. The event follows the November meeting of the UT Board of Trustees where they are slated to vote to officially rename the building in his honor.



“As we look forward to continue to strengthen The University of Toledo, it’s important that we take these opportunities to honor our past,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Dr. Lance Thompson dedicated his life to this great university, and we benefit from the strong foundation he built.”

The president announced during a memorial service in September the University’s intent to rename the building in his honor, as well as the creation of the Dr. Lancelot Thompson Student Activities and Diversity Fund to support programming to benefit the student experience and advance the University’s diversity initiatives.

The dedication ceremony will include remarks from Gaber; Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs; Dr. John Kirchhoff, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion. A portrait and plaque inside the main entrance honoring Thompson will be unveiled, and new signage on the outside of the Student Union will be on display, sharing the new building name with campus.

Thompson, who died Sept. 10 at the age of 91, was professor emeritus of chemistry who served 20 years as the University’s first vice president for student affairs.

He was a trailblazer at UT as the first African-American full-time faculty member at the University in 1958 and the first black faculty member to receive tenure. He went on to become the first African-American vice president.

Thompson was dedicated to students as a classroom teacher receiving one of the University’s first Outstanding Teacher Awards and as an administrator helping to organize UT’s annual Aspiring Minorities Youth Conference, which continues to this day.

To support student activities and diversity efforts through the Dr. Lancelot Thompson Student Activities and Diversity Fund, visit

Click here to download photographs of Thompson.

is UT's Director of University Communications. Contact her at 419.530.2410 or
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