Walter P. Thompson (1949-1959)

Walter P. Thompson (University Archives photograph A-3259)

Walter Palmer Thompson was born near DeCewsville, Ontario, 3 April 1889. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a BA (1910), and from Harvard with a AM (1912) and PhD (1914). Thompson came to the University of Saskatchewan as Professor and Head of the Biology Department in 1913. He served in a variety of administrative positions: Dean of Junior Colleges (1934); Dean of Arts and Science (1938); Acting President (1942); Director of Summer School (1948); and President of the University (1949). Dr. Thompson retired in 1959. During his academic career, Thompson gained international recognition for his work as a geneticist; particularly for the development of rust resistant wheat hybrids. Upon his retirement as President, Thompson was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Medical Care. The recommendations of this committee were an important foundation for the provincial Medicare system. Thompson was awarded the Order of Canada and received honourary degrees from several universities. He moved to Toronto in 1969, where he died in 1970.

Installation address, 8 October 1949: "Science and Higher Education"

Memorial tribute by J.G. Rempel, 1970