"Why did she love Flint so much? Her family heritage was like a religion to her. She was a fiercely loyal and proper woman, and it wouldn't have been right to abandon her hometown. Family tradition was a defining mantle for her. Whatever the reason, she was thankful for all that Flint had given to her family and her, and she wanted to give back. She's a tough act to follow!"
Granddaughter of Frances Willson Thompson
Frances Willson Thompson is certainly a hard act to follow.
Interested in books and ideas, Mrs. Thompson believed that a community could be enriched through dialogue. It was that inspiration that led Mrs. Thompson to create a vibrant lecture series that would bring to the Flint community leading experts to debate and discuss the critical issues of our times.
For over 20 years, the University of Michigan-Flint has had the distinct honor of hosting this annual gathering that brings together campus and community. The Critical Issues Forum is designed to inform, enlighten, and challenge us to think differently and broadly about the things that have an impact on our lives.
We are forever grateful to Mrs. Thompson and the Thompson family for this community legacy that we share in each spring.