Dr. Linda Thompson to be honored at commencement

Upcoming Linda Thompson

Dr. Linda Thompson, 21st president of Westfield State University, will receive an honorary doctorate of nursing at NMU’s December commencement. Thompson is the first African American woman to serve as president of a Massachusetts state university. NMU President Kerri Schuiling and Thompson worked together to obtain $1.9 million dollars to start the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at NMU and at Oakland University. “Linda was the dean of nursing at Oakland at that time, and we set up a collaborative agreement between our universities,” said Schuiling. The DNP is NMU’s first and only doctoral program.

Thompson has extensive academic teaching and administrative experience at ten universities. She most recently served as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Massachusetts Boston. She has led public health programs and initiatives worldwide and served in the Office of the Governor of Maryland as special secretary for Children, Youth and Families. Many of these programs have been duplicated world-wide. As a result of her work with children and families, Dr. Thompson was an invited participant in the White House Conference on Childcare and as the White House Delegate to Brazil.

A prolific author, her book Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder was recognized by the American Sociologic Association. She has a doctorate and master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University.

"I have known and worked with Linda for many years on a variety of projects. If you ask me, Linda exemplifies the definition of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Schuiling. “She is bold and assured in moving forward, particularly when she knows it is the right thing to do. I am thrilled that our university is recognizing her contributions to nursing by awarding her an honorary doctorate in nursing.”