Why I'm thinking classrooms: John Thompson '60
With several major board chairman positions under his belt, John Thompson ’60 is one to discern good leadership when he sees it. And it’s his hope that a $1-million gift to science lab renovations will help inspire UCC students and, therefore, give them a leg up in an increasingly competitive world.
“UCC is unique in the way it cultivates strong leadership skills, academic excellence, a breadth of skills and interests, and good character,” says Thompson, board chairman of the Toronto Dominion Bank and the retired board vice-chairman of IBM Corp. “It’s my hope the new labs will allow UCC’s science programs to be state-of-the-art in this ever-changing world.”
Thompson credits the College with awakening his own passion for science — a career in which he reached the very pinnacle.
“Science was my favourite subject and later became the underpinning of my career in technology,” he says.
After graduating from university as an engineering scientist, Thompson went on to become the chief executive officer of IBM Canada. He later moved to New York to lead IBM’s worldwide hardware, software and research businesses.
Thompson has a very personal interest in future grads’ success. His two sons, John ’88 and Jay ’91, attended the College, as does his grandson John ’23.
“I owe much of my success in life to the education, broad interests and lessons learned at UCC,” he says. “So I’m now at a stage where I can give something back, and UCC is most deserving.”