Kay Thomson Appointed New Vice President
At the June meeting of the Board of Trustees, President Dye announced the appointment of Kay Thomson as vice president for development and alumni affairs at Oberlin College."Oberlin is Obelrin. It can't be compared with anyplace else."
Thomson joined the development staff in October of 1995 and, the following summer, was appointed director of major gifts. She has been serving as acting vice president for development and alumni relations since September of 1997.
"Kay brings to her position experience as a fundraiser, particularly in the area of foundation and corporate support for education," Dye says. "I have worked closely with Kay over the past three years and know her to be an excellent development officer. I am delighted she has accepted this challenge as we enter the largest fund-raising campaign in the history of Oberlin.
"Thomson has first-hand experience in all facets of development, including organizing special projects, building campaigns, and creating grant applications for foundation and corporate support. She is an experienced administrator in the field of higher education and has worked successfully with large center and project grants."
At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Thomson served as administrative coordinator and assistant to the dean for the General Clinical Research Center, where she oversaw successful major grant applications to the National Institutes of Health, and smaller project grants to the American Heart Association, the National Science Foundation, and the Southern Research Institute. At Vanderbilt University, she was involved in projects funded by the Ford Foundation, the Japan Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In addition to her work in the academic sphere, Thomson's extensive volunteer activities have included fund-raising administration in the fields of medicine and the arts.
"Development is somewhat like a jigsaw puzzle," Thomson says. "All the pieces are out there. You see the pieces, but you don't know exactly what the finished shape will be. The greatest reward for me comes from believing in the institution, and sharing that belief and the goals of the College with others. Where else do you find a museum of our caliber, or a conservatory of music that's world-class, combined with a long-standing tradition of excellence in science education, all wrapped around a first-class liberal arts education? Oberlin is a pretty amazing place!"
Those who came up to congratulate her during Commencement/ Reunion Weekend had no idea she was valiantly concealing a torn tendon and broken bone in her foot--an example of the British fortitude that will serve her well in the demanding work ahead.
Thomson holds the MEd degree in organization and management from the New England Graduate School of Antioch University. She completed her undergraduate education in voice at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, holds additional certification in performance and teaching from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and, for a number of years, sang professionally. She is married to Haskell Thomson, director of the Division of Keyboard Studies and chair of the Organ Department at the Oberlin Conservatory, and has two grown children, Grant and Nicole.