The Thompson Brothers
1978 Bell Ringer Award
Watson M. Thompson ’23
A. Russell Thompson ’25
A. Willis Thompson ’29
“The redoubtable Thompson brothers of hockey fame” were renowned from their native Jamaica High School to far-away Hamilton College. Their skill in hockey defied adequate description and whose undefeated seasons inspired the construction of Sage Rink- for many years the only small college indoor rink in the nation.
It is fitting that these outstanding athletes should be recognized today as we dedicate our new athletic facilities, because they epitomize the well-rounded student of which we are so justifiably proud. Watson, Russell, and Willis Thompson are remembered today not only for their prowess on the ice, but for their many other accomplishments as well.
Watson, for one, excelled in track and cross-country. In his junior year he was the McKinney Prize Speaker, and served on the Upperclassman and Interfraternity councils. His career as a Hamilton graduate was noteworthy: he served as Vice-President of the Society of Alumni, and was a member of the committee which organized the campaign to build the Alumni Gymnasium.
Russell, like his older brother, found time to develop other talents. As tenor soloist with the Glee Club and Choir, as Conductor of the Glee Club, and as Class and College Song Leader, he had no equal. And as Watson had done several tears earlier, Russell won the McKinney Prize. A letterman in track and cross-country, he was also elected president of his class, and has presided at the singing of the Alma Mater at countless alumni functions. He is now the national director of the Conductor’s Club and is conductor, emeritus, of the New York Bell Telephone Glee Club.
Although Willis spent only one year at Hamilton, he continued the Thompson tradition in hockey, and returned for many years to spur the alumni hockey team to victory. With his brothers, he founded the Jamaica Hawks, a championship amateur hockey team.
The Alumni Council is therefore pleased to bestow its highest award for service upon the Thompson brothers. As athletes and as citizens, they have served their alma mater with great distinction.
Citation presented by
Chairman, Alumni Council
September 30, 1978