In Memoriam: Joseph Thompson, Professor of Psychology Emeritus Thompson taught at W&L for more than 30 years.
Joseph “Joe” Thompson, professor of psychology emeritus, died on Jan. 20, 2023 in Lexington. He was 85.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Thompson held a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Earlham College, and a master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from the University of Wisconsin.
Thompson joined the Washington and Lee faculty as an assistant professor of psychology in 1966. He was promoted to associate professor in 1974, and to full professor in 1975. Prior to W&L, he was a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin and a National Institute of Health (NIH) fellow. He retired from W&L in 2000.
Thompson’s research focused on the functional contributions of the central nervous system to behavior (physiological psychology). At W&L, he taught courses in physiological psychology, psychological statistics and experimental psychology emphasizing perceptive facilities, along with introductory courses.
In addition to his professorship, Thompson was a screening board adviser for the local Big Brother Program and a participant in the Southern Seminary Spring Musical. He also served on the board of directors for several mental health associations in Rockbridge County. Outside of psychology, his interests included music and tropical fish.
Thompson is survived by his wife, Beth, and son, Ross. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Staff Appreciation Fund at Kendal at Lexington or Rockbridge Area Hospice. There will be no memorial service.
Thompson’s full obituary was published in The News-Gazette.