William L. Thompson '70

    Major: English

    Fully retired after years in print journalism and other avenues of writing. I began as a novice reporter on the small staff of a weekly newspaper on the Eastern Shore and, between gigs as a bloodworm digger in Maine and a drawbridge tender in Maryland, spent more than a decade reporting for The Baltimore Sun and, finally, serving on the paper's editorial board. After writing thousands of newspaper stories, hundreds of editorials, dozens of freelance magazine pieces and two books (one a collection of non-fiction essays and the last an historical novel about Maryland's last known lynching), I am determined to let others put their thoughts into the public arena while I stay silent, enjoying traveling, biking, paddling and hiking, mostly with close friends and my wife.

    Favorite Professor

    For two years I wondered whether I would major in philosophy or psychology or history before concluding that English provided ample measures of all three. Professors James and Lamond and Tatum and others made sure I never looked back.

    Fondest WC Memory

    Too may to recount here, of course, but here's a memory that has never faded. One cold February evening in 1968 I found myself in a lecture hall listening as a visiting writer described researching his family genealogy in the US and then traveling to Africa to trace even further his ancestors. He was overjoyed to announce that he had finally found links between his forebearers on both continents. The lecturer's name was Alex Haley and eight years later his story was published in book form and soon after told to the world through the acclaimed TV series named "Roots."

    Let's Hear It for the Liberal Arts

    To this day I remain a stalwart supporter of the liberal arts education as practiced at Washington College (although there are times when I wish I had learned something about welding or plumbing).


    Everything is relevant.