Diane Thompson has a youthful spirit.
When she attended Lakehead University she was, what was considered, a mature student. “There weren’t many of us,” she shares. “I loved being in a classroom of younger students. The only time I remembered that I wasn’t as young as they were was when the professor told a joke and I was the only one in the room who laughed.”
Surrounding herself with young people has been part of Diane’s strategy to stay young at heart. Now retired from St. Ignatius High School’s student services office in Thunder Bay, Diane loved interacting with students. “When they came into the office we would talk about what they wanted to do. I always encouraged them to take a good look at the programs offered at Lakehead,” she says. “They had this wonderful opportunity in their own backyard.”
When she graduated in 1994 with her BA in Anthropology, Diane, in her mid-50’s, was the first person in her immediate family to earn a university degree. Her nieces and nephews are now following in her footsteps. “They tell me, if you can do it Auntie Diane, so can we.”
Never one to sit on the sidelines, Diane became involved with the Alumni Association of Lakehead University and was a volunteer on the board for 16 years. While on the board, she successfully pushed for the creation of the Alumni pin that Lakehead grads could wear to show their school pride. Since then, she’s been handing them out to students and alumni everywhere she goes.
A familiar face at convocation, Diane has volunteered in smaller ways since leaving the board. In honour of her dedicated years of service, Diane was awarded the well-deserved Alumni Volunteer Appreciation Award in 2013.
Not only has Diane given of her time, she’s also been a loyal donor to Lakehead University every year for the past 26 years. No easy feat for the single mom of three and now grandmother. “It’s important to me to support my alma mater,” she shares. “I want other students to have the same opportunity for a quality postsecondary education that I had.”
If you would like to make a gift to Lakehead University, visit our secure online giving page donate.lakeheadu.ca. You can also contact Meghan Hanbury, Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement Manager, for more information about supporting the Lakehead Annual Fund.
T: 807-343-8010 ext. 8910