The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

New in town: Meet President Thompson 

Dr. Linda Thompson, 21st president of Westfield State University, July 2021. Image source- Office of the President.


In July of this year, Dr. Linda Thompson became the 21st president of Westfield State University. 

Dr. Thompson comes from Detroit, Michigan  and started her career in Baltimore, Maryland. Born to a young single mother on welfare in the city, life was tough for the president growing up. She was placed in foster care after her mother got sick. 

“I was in foster care for the early part of my life”, says Thompson.

 “I felt like a target,” the President said, describing how she was teased for her name when it was different from her mother’s.

But, she was lucky. President Thomspon took the adversity and difficulties that came her way and strived to make a change. And she did, by spending most of her career dedicating her time to what she loves most: improving the quality and conditions of at-risk youth. 

Dr. Linda Thompson, 21st president of Westfield State University, July 2021

Examples of President Thompson’s achievements include (but are not limited to) the Director of Occupational Medicine and Safety under Mayor Schmoke for the city of Baltimore, Special Secretary of Children, Youth and Families for Maryland (which you can find more about it here) and being one of the first nurses 15 years ago to study the characteristics of incarcerated youth, risk factors for delinquent behavior, and the importance of collaborative partnerships to promote healthy outcomes. 

Besides being drawn to this career from her own personal story, Thompson experienced the second-hand effects of at-risk youth through her two sisters. 

“My two sisters who were older than me did not thrive as well as I did. I was younger and I had a very loving foster family who tried to manage my anxiety”. 

“They (two sisters) got into trouble with the justice system, so I saw the impact of that on their life”, says President Thompson. 

Dr. Thompson goes on to say that their experiences drove her to be interested in matters such as teen pregnancy and then developed a program for that since her two sisters fell under that category. 

“ I started to see the link between educational- when you don’t have a good education and the outcomes and the pathway to a criminal life or the justice system. I started to be concerned about what are the factors (characteristics, issues) that lead a person to go into that pathway”.

All of President Thompson’s hard work and successes have now led her to be our 21st president. She says she has felt “very welcome” on campus with meeting people and going to sports games as well as a welcome reception the town of Westfield would be throwing. 

She also shows her dedication to WSU with eating in the dining commons- her favorite being the greek dishes that the cafeteria workers make. 

As for educational and student life, she is very proud that Westfield has an inclusive campus, no matter your learning style with things like the Banacos Center and tutoring. 

Thompson also loves how involved the students are on campus, whether it’s advocating for subjects like justice, environment, gender and sexual identity equality or improvements that could be made on campus. 

“They are talking about how to make the campus more fun and engaging- they keep your spirit alive because you can sense their energy and excitement” beams Dr. Thomspon. 

President Linda Thompson is therefore without a doubt, happy to serve our campus and our students! 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Westfield Voice

Your donation will support the student journalists of Westfield State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Westfield Voice

Comments (0)

All The Westfield Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *