Nomination Guidelines

The Jack W. Thompson, M.D. Distinguished Visiting Professorship, generously supported by a gift from Dr. Thompson, began in 2004.  The professorship is to be awarded to a nationally acclaimed scholar or public intellectual in a field of broad interest.  Awardees will visit the University of Michigan-Flint for an agreed-upon period of time and engage in educational and community activities.

Story Musgrave 2017-18 Thompson Professor

Story MusgraveI am delighted to announce that Story Musgrave, a world renowned NASA astronaut who has earned seven graduate degrees in the areas of mathematics, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature, and psychology,  and the recipient of 20 honorary doctorates, has been appointed as the 2017-18 Jack W. Thompson, M.D. Distinguished Visiting Professor. 

Story Musgrave was born in 1935 on a dairy farm in Stockbridge, MA.  He was in the forests alone at 3 and by 5 floated his homebuilt rafts on the rivers.  He rode combines at 5, drove trucks and tractors at 10 and when alone in remote fields, repaired them by 13.

Story never finished school, ran off to Korea with the U.S. Marines where he was an aircraft electrician and an engine mechanic.  He started flying with the Marines and over the next 55 years accumulated 18,000 hours in over 160 aircraft.  He is a parachutist with over 800 freefalls.  He was a part-time trauma surgeon during his 30 year astronaut career.

Story was an NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights.  He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Today he operates a palm farm in Orlando, Florida, a production company in Sydney and a sculpture company in Burbank, California.  He is also a landscape architect, a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc. and a professor of design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.  Story also performs multimedia presentations on topics such as vision, leadership, motivation, safety, quality, innovation, creativity, design, simplicity, beauty and ecology. 

During Dr. Musgrave’s visit, he has over 40 varied topics for which could be adapted to university-wide, public, and/or classroom use.  That information will be sent under separate cover.  We very much look forward to his visits in October 2017 and April, 2018.