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Former research VP creates fund for doctoral students

Aug. 23, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A longtime administrator at Western Michigan University has created an annual monetary award to support students in any of the University's doctoral programs.

Dr. Donald E. Thompson, a former WMU vice president for research and Graduate College dean, established the Patricia Lee Thompson Dissertation Award through a charitable gift to the WMU Foundation. The one-time, nonrenewable award is named for Thompson's late wife.

This merit-based honor will assist students in completing their dissertations by helping to fund tuition, fees and other expenses directly related to the dissertation. The University's vice provost for institutional effectiveness will select at least one recipient of the award each year.

The awards program kicks off this fall with the granting of up to $1,000 to two students who expect to complete a dissertation in the 2007-08 academic year. One-half of the money being granted will be dispersed in the fall semester while the remaining half will be dispersed in the spring semester.

The deadline to apply for one of these inaugural grants is midnight Monday, Oct. 1.

Students must be nominated for the award by their degree-granting programs. Each program may nominate no more than one person per year, and all application materials must be submitted via an iWebfolio portfolio created and maintained by the nominated student.

Thompson joined WMU's administrative staff in 1985 and has held a variety of high-level posts over the past 22 years. The University granted him leave starting in 2002 to work at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. He returned to WMU this month as a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology.

For more information about the Patricia Lee Thompson Dissertation Award, visit www.wmich.edu/grad/funding/thompson_dissertation or contact Dr. Julie Scrivener, director of awards and projects in the Graduate College, at julie.scrivener@wmich.edu or (269) 387-8208.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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