Skip to main content

John Thompson (AC 1957) Papers

Identifier: MA.00373

Scope and Contents

The John Thompson Papers consists of one record box of materials documenting Thompson’s personal and academic life while he was a student at Amherst College (1953-1957). The bulk of the papers are letters and postcards that Thompson sent to his parents that describe his day to day concerns as an Amherst student. There are also three folders of Thompson’s course materials from English 1-2, primarily Thompson’s assignments and drafts with professor’s comments. The papers also include a personal memoir that was written and self-published by Thompson at an unknown later date.

Thompson’s letters to his parents mostly concern money difficulties, his swim team competitions, his fraternity, his grades, and his struggles with coursework. He also often writes about his social engagements with his friends Jim Hastings and Jim Savage, and Mount Holyoke students Ann Thompson (sister) and Ana Sanchez (who he would later marry). In addition, Thompson also writes to his parents about his role in connecting Japanese Canadian student David Suzuki (who would later go on to become a prominent Canadian environmental activist) to Amherst College.


  • Majority of material found within 1953-1957


Conditions Governing Access

In general, there is no restriction on access to the John Thompson Papers collection for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the John Thompson Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

John Thompson was born on June 30, 1935 in London, Ontario. He enrolled at Amherst College in the fall of 1953, when he began writing letters to his parents. While at Amherst College, he was a member of the Phi Alpha Psi fraternity, a member of the swim team (co-captain his senior year), and a member of the college band for his first and second years at Amherst. Thompson also worked as a chapel monitor and at Valentine Dining Hall.

A year after Thompson enrolled at Amherst College, his sister Ann enrolled at Mount Holyoke. Also while he was at Amherst, Thompson met Ana Sanchez, a Mount Holyoke student (also class of 1957) from Havana, Cuba, and the two began dating their sophomore year. Ana and John were married in August of 1957, and together they had three children.

After graduating from Amherst College in 1957, Thompson went on to study internal medicine at the University of Western Ontario. He graduated with a doctorate in medicine in 1961 and began to practice medicine and teach in London, Ontario afterwards. In 2011, Thompson graduated from Huron University College with a Master’s of Theological Studies and was ordained a vocational deacon (Anglican Church of Canada) in 2016.


0.5 Linear feet (1 archives box)

Language of Materials



The John Thompson Papers cover Thompson's personal and academic life during the years he was a student at Amherst College (1953-1957). The 0.5 linear feet of papers include letters and postcards sent from Thompson to his parents, Thompson’s course materials for English 1-2, and a personal memoir.


The papers are arranged in a total of three series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence
  2. Series 2: Course Materials for English 1-2
  3. Series 3: Personal Memoir
Elliott Hadwin (AC 2019), student assistant
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299