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Student Spotlight

Thomas Thomson

Thomas Thomson

"I want to be a historian. I’m pursuing my B.A. in American Studies through that collaborative program that UWFox has with UW-Stevens Point."

Age: 70

Hometown:Detroit, MI

Current residence: Kimberly, WI

When attended UWFox: Fall of 2010 thru present

Background before UWFox:

My dad was a Methodist minister so my family moved around a bit before settling in Chicago, and I attended nine different schools during that time. I graduated from Lincoln HS in Warren, MI, in 1961 while staying with my grandmother and uncle. As a teen-ager in Chicago I worked for the “Andy Frain” ushering service at professional baseball and football games, pro wrestling events, the 1959 World Series between the hometown White Sox and L.A. Dodgers, and one of the famous Kennedy-Nixon presidential debates in 1960.

In 1962, after I graduated from high school, I enrolled in and briefly attended Pillsbury College (Owatonna, MN) to be a Baptist Minister. However I decided that I didn’t want to pursue that career, I earned my commercial radio license and went to work for AT&T Long Lines where I had a 26-year career as a microwave technician in Chicago and Iron Mountain, MI. After I retired in 1989, I worked as a truck driver, bus driver, and electronic/digital security consultant to many large prisons and correctional institutions in the eastern half of the country including several in Wisconsin. I also completed some large projects at Mitchell Field in Milwaukee and Dane County Airport in Madison.

In 2008 & 2009, I studied Culinary Arts at Fox Valley Tech.

Why did you choose UWFox?

I chose UWFox because it’s close to home, less expensive than some other campuses, and it’s fully accredited. I have tentative plans to finish up at Michigan Tech in Houghton because I have vacation property near there.

Have you chosen a major?

I want to be a historian. I’m pursuing my B.A. in American Studies through that collaborative program that UWFox has with UW-Stevens Point. My main occupation right now is as a full-time student with the goal of earning my Ph.D. within the next 10 years.

What are you learning that you find interesting and rewarding at UWFox?

It’s a good relaxed atmosphere for me and the professors are very knowledgeable. I have a peer relationship with 22 year-olds as well as with some of my professors. I really like the interaction with the younger people and students at the campus. They’re intellectually stimulating and optimistic about the future.

What are your career plans after UWFox?

I presently have no career goals, as I’ve “been there/done that.” Although my dad nearly earned his Ph.D., he didn’t complete it. I want to do what no one in my family ever did: attain my Ph.D. (My kids all have graduate degrees.)

Other interesting things about yourself that you’d like to share?

I have three major projects in the works: I’m building an airplane, assembling a motorcycle from parts, and building a teardrop camper from scratch. I’ve traveled to Scotland twice. I have three grown children: a soon to be married 43-year old daughter, who is a missionary in El Salvador; a 46-year old daughter who’s a teacher in Bergen, KY; and a 45 year-old son who’s a social worker in Jackson, MI.  I have nine grandchildren, including three who are presently in college.

 

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