Campus News

M. Kay Thomson, 1943-2014

January 23, 2014

Communications Staff

M. Kay Thomson

M. Kay Thomson, who served Oberlin’s development and alumni affairs division from 1995 until her retirement in 2003, died Thursday, January 16, 2014, at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Soon after joining Oberlin’s staff, Thomson was named director of major gifts. She was appointed vice president of the division in July 1998, and in that position, under the leadership of former president Nancy S. Dye, Thomson kicked off Oberlin’s last capital campaign, The New Oberlin Century.

“The greatest reward for me comes from believing in the institution, and sharing that belief and the goals of the college with others,” Thomson said at the time of her appointment. “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!”

Born July 18, 1943, in Derby, England, Thomson completed her undergraduate education in voice at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and earned additional certification in performance and teaching at London’s Royal Academy of Music. She went on to earn an MEd degree in organization and management at the New England Graduate School of Antioch University.

Survivors include her husband, Haskell Thomson, Oberlin Emeritus Professor of Organ; five children; and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Chatham, Massachusetts, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are welcome and should be mailed to VNA Hospice, 434 Route 134, Suite D-3, South Dennis, MA 02660 OR memorials to St. Christopher's Church, 625 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633. For online condolences, please visit

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