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Friends, former students, and family of the late professor emeritus Jim Thompson joined together to establish the James C. Thompson Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Physics. This endowment not only honors Dr. Thompson’s teaching and research but also recognizes the invaluable friendships and mentorship connections he shared with students across his 40-year career at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Thompson was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, authored Electrons in Liquid Ammonia in 1967, published over 200 refereed articles and book chapters, supervised over 40 Ph.D. dissertations, and welcomed countless undergraduates into his lab, office, and home. This endowment will support, in perpetuity, the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin. The Department of Physics has set a goal of raising $200,000 in gifts and pledges for the Thompson Fellowship. All pledges in support of this goal can be paid over a five-year window.

Funds distributed annually from the James C. Thompson Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Physics will be used to support graduate students studying Physics at The University of Texas at Austin. This support will honor Dr. Thompson’s long history of helping to make education financially viable for his students and forever identify outstanding graduate students as Jim Thompson Fellows.

A group of Dr. Thompson’s former students, friends, and family made the initial pledges to establish this endowment as an Excellence Fund. In light of the extraordinary opportunity to establish a named fellowship in honor of Jim Thompson, the Department of Physics and College of Natural Sciences look to his former students, friends, and colleagues to support this initiative.

  • To make a gift online using a credit card, visit txsci.net/ThompsonFellowship.
  • To make a gift by mail, please download a pledge form.
  • If you are interested in making a gift of stock, IRA transfer, or have other questions, please contact the College of Natural Sciences Office of Development at 512-471-3299 or email cnsgiving@austin.utexas.edu.


Read more about Dr. Thompson here.




James C. Thompson

"Jim Thompson was a special mentor to me. I would start my day with a visit to his office. It was just the perfect way to start the day: a little coffee, a little physics, a little life’s experience. Over the last four decades, Jim has been my “boss”, my teacher in and outside the classroom, and my friend.  I want to honor Jim because I am lucky to have known him; his teachings about physics, life, and being a teacher live on with me.” 

– Dr. Mary Edgerton, BS’ 76

“I’m helping to lead this effort because my graduate student experience under his guidance had a lasting positive impact upon my life, both personally and professionally.”

Rick Sivan, BS 1971, Ph.D. 1977