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Student Union renamed for trailblazing professor

The Student Union at The University of Toledo will be renamed in honor of a 55-year UT veteran who dedicated his career to helping students succeed.

The building will be renamed the Lancelot Thompson Student Union, pending approval by the UT Board of Trustees at its next meeting, UT President Sharon L. Gaber announced Monday evening at a memorial service for the late University leader.

Thompson by Jack Meade

The Lancelot Thompson Student Union honors the professor emeritus of chemistry who served 20 years as the University’s first vice president for student affairs.

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

“Generations of future students will know his name and the impact he has had on our University,” Gaber said. “I could not be more proud to continue his legacy in this way.”

The President also announced a new Dr. Lancelot Thompson Student Activities and Diversity Fund that will support programming to enhance the student experience and advance diversity and inclusion initiatives.

A true trailblazer, Thompson was the first African-American full-time faculty member at the University when he joined UT in 1958 and the first black faculty member to receive tenure. He went on to become the first African-American vice president.

A committed classroom teacher, he was one of the first four recipients of the University’s Outstanding Teacher Award. To inspire the next generation of college students, Thompson helped organize UT’s annual Aspiring Minorities Youth Conference, which continues to this day.

Throughout his career and after retirement in 1988, when he was named professor emeritus, Thompson mentored a large number of students and student-athletes.

In 2014, the Dr. Lancelot C.A. Thompson Meeting Room was dedicated in his honor in the Student Union that will now bear his name.

At the time, Thompson noted his passion for helping students. He said, “If anything is said about me, just let it be that I cared about people, especially students, so they had all the help available to them.”

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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