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Tony Thompson Honors Brother/Best Friend

Tyrone and Tony Thompson
Tony Thompson gives his brother Tyrone (wearing cap) a big hug on the golf course.

​“My brother was my best friend,” says Tony Thompson, SI'99. “We were extremely close.”

The two worked together at Kwame Building Group, a leading
construction management firm Mr. Thompson founded in St. Louis,
and where he is president and chief executive officer. Sharing the
belief that education could end racism, together they mentored
minority and first-generation students. When Mr. Thompson’s brother, Tyrone, a police officer for 20 years, was shot and killed two years ago, Mr. Thompson knew he wanted to keep his brother’s spirit alive. He is doing so with a $100,000 commitment to Washington University to establish and endow the Tyrone Thompson Memorial Scholarship in the School of Engineering & Applied Science.

“Anywhere I can, I want to continue to honor him,” says Mr. Thompson, who established the Tyrone Thompson Institute for Nonviolence, a peer mentoring program for suspended students, through the Kwame Foundation. “I wanted to set up this scholarship because education was important to him.”

Mr. Thompson, like his brother, has always had a thirst for learning.
After working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Monsanto Chemical Company and Anheuser-Busch Companies, he founded Kwame while earning a master’s degree in construction management at Washington University. Benefiting from the assistance he received for his education, Mr. Thompson supports scholarships as a way to lead by example.

“The only way we can make a difference in this world and in society is through education,” he says. “The best deterrent to racism is education, and education is the one thing that can rid a lot of ills in our society.”

First preference for the Tyrone Thompson Memorial Scholarship will be given to an undergraduate student enrolled in the dual-degree program in the School of Engineering who has demonstrated a commitment to serving underprivileged populations and bringing diverse people together; has experience confronting challenging social economic, educational, cultural or other life  circumstances; is the first generation of family to attend a college or university; or is from an inner-city area.

​The Spirit of Washington University, 2012

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