By Dawn Kiefer
A group of well-wishers gathered at the UW-Richland Roadrunner Café last Saturday to say farewell to Dorothy Thompson, who is retiring at the end of this month after more than 25 years of employment at the campus.
After a long series of job descriptions and titles, her current title is director of marketing and communication, but many likely think of her as a public information specialist. Her duties include overseeing media relations, press communication, web content, social media, advertising, photography, publications, and working with marketing/enrollment management planning. In other words, she has been an integral fixture in a great many aspects of campus operations. Her previous duties included 10 years as student activities coordinator and several years as journalism instructor and advisor for the past student newspaper Express.
In years gone by, she graced the Coppertop Theatre stage in a number of roles and brought to the campus special programs, including two visits by blues music legend David Honeyboy Edwards.
During her retirement reception, emceed by associate dean/associate chemistry professor Brandon Fetterly, several friends and colleagues stood at the podium and provided recollections. These included: English professor Marnie Dresser, who read a poem she wrote for Thompson; Paul Murphey, who shared theatre anecdotes; UW-Richland dean emeritus Dion Kempthorne, who described her through metaphors and related some humorous experiences from his time on campus; friend and former colleague David Kopitzke, who spoke about her world travels and their tango dancing; and associate English professor Karen McLeer, international programs coordinator Kathy Neckar and former Continuing Education director Linda Gentes, who all expressed admiration for and gratitude to Thompson.
Thompson also shared some recollections and thanked everyone for attending. Among those in attendance were her husband, David, and Representative Ed Brooks, who read a proclamation of gratitude for her years of service and presented her with a plaque.