Pittsburg family named PSU’s 2021 Honorary Family


PITTSBURG, Kans. — One southeast Kansas family is being celebrated for their involvement with the Gorilla Nation.

The Thompson family has had it’s fair share of PSU graduates. They’ve recently been named the school’s 2021 Honorary Family.

The Thompsons have had multiple generations graduate the university, but it doesn’t stop there — the family has had several who have served as professors and staff as well.

John Thompson originally moved to Pittsburg to get a degree in automotive technology back in 1987.

He never thought he would settle down in the community — that was until he met his future wife, Debbie at the mall.

Debbie had grown up on campus, watching her dad teach in the same department john eventually went into.

The two fell in love and now 31 years later they’re both working at the university and are fellow gorillas with all four of their children.

“I grew up here. I remember being little going to my dad’s classrooms when I was small, and then I came to school here and then I brought my children to preschool here,” said Debbie Thompson, PSU Office of Admissions.

“We’ve got a lot of folks that have come to Pittsburg State, we all bleed red, we’re all gorillas, cause it’s a family, it’s a community, it’s not just an institution, it’s not just a university,” said Dr. John Thompson, PSU Automotive Technology Professor.

The Thompson’s will receive free sky box tickets to Pitt State’s football game this weekend — where they will be recognized during halftime.

One of the couple’s sons Caleb was the one who nominated the family for the honor.

He filled everything out and then when he got the news, he gathered his family for their weekly Sunday dinner. He dropped the news and they were blown away.

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