Passing of Alexander M. Thompson III

Dear all,

I am writing with very sad news. We have received word of the sudden death, in a bicycling accident, of Professor Emeritus of Economics Alexander M. Thompson III, known to one and all as “Sandy” during his 34 years at Vassar, which included 12 years as Dean of Studies.

Professor Thompson joined the Vassar faculty in 1977 after earning his bachelor’s degree at Yale, working at Honeywell as a systems analyst, and achieving his master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He subsequently earned his doctorate in Economics at Stanford. To read more about Professor Thompson's life, please see the attached obituary.

At Vassar, “Sandy” was frequently ahead of his time. More than 30 years ago, he was extolling the virtues of the hand-held computer as a pedagogical tool in the classroom. In the 1990s, he conducted a survey of women who volunteered as EMTs in nearby Ulster County to ascertain the value they placed on their unpaid work. Nearly 15 years ago, as Dean of Studies, he authored a report on diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives at Vassar that now reads as prescient in both its language and ideas.

Professor Thompson is remembered as a dedicated and thoughtful leader, and as a generous mentor and colleague who did everything in his power to help our students thrive. We offer our heartfelt sympathy and support to his daughter, Emily Thompson, a graduate of the Class of 2009.


Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604