Thompson Award



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Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
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Remember that our nation’s first great leaders were also our first great scholars. —John F. Kennedy

Glenn T. and Barbara S. Thompson Graduate Award Fund

A new fund at the UW Foundation allows the Department to offer an annual graduate assistantship to a first-year Ph.D. candidate interested in rural education administration. James T. Thompson, recently retired Executive Vice President of The Mosaic Company, created the fund in honor of his parents, Barbara S. Thompson and the late Glenn T. Thompson, both alumni of the Department.

Both Barbara and Glenn dedicated much of their teaching and administrative careers to the advancement and improvement of rural education. Jim Thompson noted that his parents both grew up in rural areas and always had an interest in the special issues facing rural education. With that in mind, he decided to establish the Barbara S. and Glenn T. Thompson Graduate Award Fund, designed to make an annual award to a first-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) with an interest in rural education.

After each earned their Ph.D. in educational administration from UW–Madison in 1969, Barbara and Glenn Thompson went on to provide leadership to educational organizations throughout the state. Barbara, now 83, also served as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1973-1981, the first woman elected to that office, during a time of major change and challenges. Elizabeth Burmaster, the former state superintendent, and Julie Underwood, dean of the UW–Madison School of Education, credited Barbara for opening doors for women in educational leadership and for advancing the Wisconsin Idea of service to all parts of the state.

The first graduate assistantship from the Thompson fund was awarded in the spring of 2008, for a student starting in the 2008-09 academic year.


Interested applications must have been admitted to the Graduate School and plan to be enrolled full-time in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis during the academic year.


12 month graduate assistantship rate

Application Procedure

Contact ELPA for further information

Application Deadline

To be announced

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