We at Aquinas College are saddened to learn of the passing of Darrell "Ted" Thompson, a close friend of the College and dedicated supporter of the sciences. I extend my sympathies to Ted's wife, Rita; his children; his grandchildren; and his great granddaughter. Ted was 93 years old.

Ted attended Aquinas College when the Robinson Campus consisted only of the Cook Carriage House and Holmdene Hall. He graduated from Aquinas in 1952 with a degree in biology, and was called to duty in the Navy. After his service, he became an engineer at a company that held a large contract with NASA, and was instrumental in the creation of a new solid state physics department. That department developed electro luminescent cockpit displays for NASA's Apollo SpaceCraft and Lunar Lander. He and six other coworkers then founded X-Rite, which introduced x-ray marking tape and produced color measurement and management products. He later became CEO, and when he retired, the business was earning millions of dollars each year serving 97 countries.

Throughout his incredible career, Ted was a loyal donor to Aquinas College, giving to the Contributing to More campaign, our annual fund, and student scholarships. Ted was particularly fond of the sciences, donating a fossilized Oreodont, a prehistoric mammal that is now displayed in Albertus Magnus Hall. He also developed The Darrel T. Thompson Fellowship, a fund for AQ students advancing their knowledge in the sciences during the summer. In 2011, Ted was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Aquinas College and four years later in 2015 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

As we mourn Ted's  passing, we also celebrate his long and fruitful life. We are grateful that Ted remained so connected to and supportive of his alma mater. Our community will miss him dearly. 

When you next enter the Albertus Magnus Hall of Science and walk past that incredible fossilized Oreodont skeleton, say a thank you to Darrell "Ted" Thompson for his unwavering support for Aquinas College. 

Ted Thompson wearing a suit, standing in front of a construction projectTed Thompson and his wife, Rita in front of the Oreodont skeleton on dispaly in Albertus Magnus Hall