“My most memorable college memory was the first night I came to EKU,” Thompson said. “I came from a small town, and I walked all around campus with a friend from my hometown and we were looking at every inch of campus. I said to myself, I cannot believe I am here at such a big, gorgeous place.”

Aaron Thompson graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 1978 and received a Bachelor’s in Political Science. He received both his master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Kentucky. Thompson holds a doctorate in sociology in areas of organizational behavior and race and gender relations.

Thompson’s advice to every college student is to visit your professors every semester.

“Get to know them as well as the richness they bring to the table,” Thompson said. “When it comes to recommendations or mentoring advice, visit them even when you don’t need them for the class.”

Thompson said he believes that students should set personal goals and reach them.

“Reaching excellence and integrity in doing it with strength and resilience,” Thompson said. “Set goals in a way that you’re getting the most of the experience. Enjoy the college life as well and be immersed in different backgrounds of people as well as new environments you have seen.”

He encourages students to set goals of completion and to also take advantage of the value an individual degree offers.

“A degree holds value way beyond friendships and relationships I have developed at EKU,” Thompson said. “Use this time at college to truly develop not only lifelong friendships but to also understand the benefits of your degree.”

He recently served as interim president of Kentucky State University. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief academic officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Thompson is also a professor of sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Eastern Kentucky University.

“Eastern is so valuable to me,” Thompson said. “Getting my undergrad was truly the best thing I got from EKU.”