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E. Otis Thompson: Education Star

August 30, 2017

The University of Montana Western in partnership with Stockman Bank hosted the Night of Stars ceremony where alumni are recognized for their contributions in the field of education.


E. Otis Thompson was inducted into the Montana Western Education Hall of Fame this year. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1966 when the university was known as Western Montana College. He later received his master’s and doctorate degrees from Montana State University.

As an undergraduate student, Thompson received numerous academic awards including the Rush Jordan Scholarship Cup for highest ranking male academic student at graduation.

Thompson began his career at Flathead Valley Community College teaching mathematics. In 1979, he applied for and received a professorship in mathematics at Montana Western where he spent the next 25 years.

During this time, Thompson served as secretary and president of the Montana Council of Teachers of Math and president of the Montana Council for Computers and Technology in Education.

According to Thompson, the “capstone” to his career was his involvement with Montana Western’s Fulbright grant to train math and science teachers in South Africa. He served as lead U.S. math trainer and as the principal investigator for the project.

Retiring in 2004, Thompson remembers his instructors as an excellent and caring faculty. He said his years both as a student and faculty member will always be cherished.

Thompson and his wife Jo now reside in Ennis, Mont. They have two grown children, David and Shelley.

Educators like E. Otis Thompson will continue to be honored at the Night of Stars each year thanks to the partnership between the University of Montana Western and Stockman Bank.

Do you know an outstanding educator from the University of Montana Western?  If so, we want to hear from you! We are currently soliciting nominations for the 2019 Education Hall of Fame Awards. Contact Vanessa Graham at 406-683-7303 to get more information.