Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Loyal alumnus leaves $700,000 to PSU

Norman Thompson never forgot his ties to his alma mater. Late in his life, Thompson, a retired administrative judge in California, would proudly list the three brothers, nine cousins and other relatives who all attended what is now Pittsburg State University.

Although Thompson died in 2003, his ties to Pittsburg State continue through an estate gift of more than $700,000. George Pickell, director of planned giving at PSU, said the university recently received the $700,000 disbursement from Thompson's estate, which will be used for general scholarships. Pickell said an additional smaller amount will come to the university when the estate is finally settled.

Thompson and his four brothers grew up on a wheat farm near Walton, Kan. In a 2002 interview in his home in Hemet, Calif., Thompson recalled that his father had expected the boys to stay on the family farm, but none did. Four of the five earned degrees from Pittsburg State, where Thomson earned a bachelor of science degree in 1933.

Thompson recalled that going to college during the Great Depression was not easy. With the help of his brother John, who went on to become a successful accountant, Norman made it through.

Norman Thompson earned a law degree from the Los Angeles Law School, but never practiced law. He first took a position as a referee in the California Civil Service system. Later, he became an administrative law judge for the state. He retired from that position at the age of 70.

Thompson’s wife, Cleta, preceded him in death, as did all of his brothers and the nine cousins who, like Thompson, counted PSU as their alma mater.

---Pitt State---