James R. "Jim" Thompson ’68
From the Exhibit: Distinguished Alumni
Year Awarded: 2013
James R. “Jim” Thompson, Class of 1968, graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural construction. During his tenure at Texas A&M, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Ross Volunteers and was named a distinguished Military Graduate.
Following graduation, Thompson joined the United States Air Force and served as an instructor pilot until 1973. After gaining 10 years of construction experience, Thompson founded James R. Thompson, Inc., a commercial general contracting firm. The company, which now is headquartered in Dallas, has received dozens of awards for construction excellence. Thompson is a member of Texas A&M’s Construction Industry Advisory Council, the College of Architecture Advisory Council, the Chancellor’s Century Council, the Presidential Board of Visitors, the A&M Legacy Society, the Corps of Cadets Association; the 12th Man Foundation’s Advisory Board and served on the Board of The Association of Former Students from 2006 to 2010. As a multi-term Chair of the Building Enhancement Committee, Thompson played an integral role in the 2008 enhancement of the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center. Thompson helped lead the effort to fund and construct the Freedom from Terror memorial on the Texas A&M campus—a gift from the Classes of 1968 and 2003—that honors the many Aggies who have given their lives for their country. In 2000, he received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Architecture and he was inducted into the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor in 2011. Thompson has also funded a President’s Endowed Scholarship, a Corps 21 Endowed Scholarship, two Sul Ross Endowed Scholarships, and a Construction Science Endowed Scholarship.
In addition to serving Texas A&M, Thompson is involved in his community. He served 15 years on the Kaufman ISD School Board and helped found the Kaufman ISD Scholarship Foundation. He is a former trustee of the Texas Association of School Boards as well as the Kaufman County Appraisal District. Thompson is a member of the Kaufman County A&M Club and serves as a Class Agent for the Class of ’68. He currently serves as chairman of the Citizens Facility Advisory Council.
He and his wife, Donna Beth, live in Kaufman and have three sons, two of whom graduated from Texas A&M.
Texas A&M provided a strong foundation for me to continue to mature, develop, and prepare myself for the challenges of the Air Force and eventually my career in the construction industry.