October 17, 2021

Reflections on the Mary Washington Experience

Phyllis Newby Thompson ’69 and John Thompson.

Phyllis Newby Thompson ’69 and John Thompson.

Watch the first episode of the new ‘Leading Lives’ video series focusing on the stories behind philanthropy.

In the late 1960s, John Thompson regularly traveled from Blacksburg to Fredericksburg to visit his future bride, Phyllis Newby. After graduating from Mary Washington in 1969, Phyllis joined John at Virginia Tech, began a fulfilling teaching career, and received an award for outstanding educator in Virginia. John received a BS and MBA from Virginia Tech and launched a successful business career.

Phyllis Newby Thompson ’69 and John Thompson.

Phyllis Newby Thompson ’69 and John Thompson.

Now married 51 years, the Thompsons live on the West Coast, and they enjoy coming back to campus with their golden retriever, Max, to visit their favorite places and to reflect on how Mary Washington changed their lives.

“Our education was the whole jumping off place for everything wonderful that’s happened to us,” says Phyllis Newby Thompson ’69.

“I always believe that success is where preparation meets opportunity,” says John Thompson. “Education gives one an incredible leverage in life, and we think Mary Washington gave us a great foundation.”

Click here to see and hear the Thompson’s story in their own words.

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