Don Thompson Makes a Gift in His Will to Steward Tomorrow’s Stony Brook Leaders
When Don Thompson, BA ’78, JD Harvard ’81, first arrived on the Stony Brook campus in 1975, he took note of the hundreds of students on the walkways. As he walked through Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, the computer labs were full — and in the classes he took, not a single seat was left unoccupied. To succeed in this rigorous environment, he knew that he needed to sharpen his sense of responsibility and independence.
Thompson graduated with a double major in economics and political science in three years. He then earned a law degree from Harvard University and landed on Wall Street before finding his 25-year stride with JPMorgan Investment Bank. Despite all of his success, he still has one regret: his rush to graduate.
“Stony Brook is one of Long Island’s gems, and the quality education it provides is critically important. But I was broke and in a hurry to get to law school. Looking back, Stony Brook was such a positive period in my life,” Thompson said.
Before Stony Brook, Thompson said he wasn’t the straight A student he later strived to be. “Zero discipline,” he said more bluntly, describing his early study habits. “Stony Brook is where it started for me. If you’ve had the good fortune to go through this kind of educational system, it’s not just a right to give back — it’s an obligation.”
Recently, Thompson pledged a $500,000 bequest to advance Stony Brook’s mission of excellence. Thompson wants Stony Brook University to remain a cornerstone life experience for generations of students to come. He trusts University leadership to make it happen.
Dexter A. Bailey Jr., senior vice president for University Advancement, says, “Through his gift, Mr. Thompson is not only impacting how future generations experience and remember Stony Brook University, he’s setting a leadership example for others to follow.”
Sacha Kopp, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, explained that it’s always a pleasure to see alumni give back in such a powerful way. “Mr. Thompson showcases the kind of success our students achieve and the continued impact they can have on their alma mater after graduation,” he said.
Currently, more than 38,600 donors have given $522 million in support of the $600 million Campaign For Stony Brook. Please follow Don Thompson’s example and make your gift today in support of your interests at Stony Brook.
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