A. Stanley Thompson '35
Deceased October 1, 2005
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Stan has left us, but he leaves behind a remarkable life story. His was an example of the difficult times the College faced in the Depression. He applied from a dairy farm in New Jersey, but when he visited Amherst, it became clear he did not have enough money to enter. But the people at the College were very taken with him and made generous concessions so that he could enroll. His father, a dairy farmer, cooperated and sent $25 with a promise of $400 when the milk money came in. But Stan lived on the ragged edge. He squeezed through with the help of the Charles Cadigans, who found him jobs and fed him dinners to keep him alive.
He ultimately graduated from the College in 1936 and went on to a career in engineering after receiving a BS in the subject from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked as an engineer on steam turbines, jet engines, and nuclear power plants for many years, and then as a professor of engineering at Robert College in Istanbul and Howard University in Washington.
His pioneering studies of instabilities in nuclear reactors convinced him that atomic energy could not be safely generated, and in later years he was a vigorous anti-nuclear and peace activist.
He leaves his wife Milena, sons Bruce ’63, Michael, and Steven, and seven grandchildren.
John D. Leinbach ’35