Skip to main content

2010 Zenith Medal for Service: Michael Thompson

Michael Thompson was selected as the recipient of the College’s 2010 Zenith Medal for Service. Established in 2005, this award recognizes alumni or friends of PAMS for distinguished contributions or advocacy that significantly advance our ability to make powerful impacts on science, the economy, the environment and the quality of human life.

A vocal and influential champion of PAMS and The Science House for more than a decade, Thompson earned a BA in mathematics from James Madison University and then began his career in 1975 with what was then Virginia Electric and Power Company. He has spent the last 25 years at what is now Dominion North Carolina Power, working almost exclusively in government affairs. In his current role as manager of state affairs, Thompson’s job is to build partnerships between Dominion and the General Assembly and executive branch of the North Carolina state government.

Thompson’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and his expertise in state government and the North Carolina political scene led to an invitation in 1998 to serve on the PAMS Foundation Board. He has consistently offered his time and his guidance to the College ever since.

Thompson is serving his third term on the PAMS Foundation Board of Directors. He has been a Director since 1998. His expertise has been especially helpful in advancing the College’s mission and programs with government officials. Most recently, he helped organize an event for state legislators and local government officials at The Science House satellite office in Edenton. This event allowed us to showcase the impact this office is having in northeastern North Carolina.

In addition to helping the College secure support from the state, Thompson has encouraged his own employer to support the work of PAMS. Over the last ten years, he has secured more than $100,000 from Dominion North Carolina Power in support of The Science House and the PAMS Fund for Excellence.

In addition to lending his generosity and expertise to PAMS, Thompson is also a supporter of 4-H and serves as chairman of the board for the Independent College Fund of North Carolina, an advocate for the state?s independent, non-profit colleges and universities.

“Michael and Debbie Thompson both have been wonderful supporters of PAMS, and education in general, for many years,” said PAMS Dean Dan Solomon. “We certainly thank them both for their continued support.”