University of Maryland

Why We Give

By Craig A. Thompson '92 and Deborah Thompson

Craig A. Thompson Portrait

Craig A. Thompson ’92 and Deborah Thompson

We have always valued education, and are fully aware of the countless benefits of a solid educational environment. We agree with Nelson Mandela that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

For both of us, college provided the essential training ground for developing intellectually, socially and professionally. As the son of a single mother from the city of Baltimore and as an immigrant who left home with a few dollars in her pocket to pursue greater dreams, we have worked hard to maximize the value of exposure to the great professors and lessons that we were blessed to have received. We are now in a position to demonstrate the generational impact of a great education, and excited to not only expose our three children to the best education possible, but to help others reach their personal best through education.

We are committed to expanding the worldview of those young people who some might call disadvantaged, and recognize that a little help can go a long way. That is why we have made a major gift to be used by the university's Incentive Awards Program (IAP) to assist students from Baltimore City who are chasing their academic dreams. We have been strong supporters of the IAP since its inception, and continue to marvel at the success of the program and its exceptional students.

We are also dedicated to paving a way for the next generation of principled leaders and giving them the tools and training they need to make our great state and country even greater. So we have made another major gift to the Parren J. Mitchell Initiative Fund in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. We trust that the students who grow and develop through the initiative will embody the best of the former congressman.

We have such tremendous respect for and admiration of the marvelous administration, faculty and staff at UMD, and feel honored and blessed that we can contribute to the long-lasting legacy of the University of Maryland.

Craig Thompson ’92 is a partner at Venable LLP and a public speaker who serves on the board of trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and co-chairs Fearless Ideas: The Campaign for Maryland. He and Deborah graduated from the University of Maryland Francis Key Carey School of Law. She is a partner at Miles and Stockbridge P.C. The couple are proud parents to Delaney, Dana and Carter—all Terp supporters since birth.