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Michigan State University

Larry Thompson, Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient


Larry Thompson, Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient


B.A. Culver-Stockton College, 1967; M.A. College of Social Science, 1969; J.D. University of Michigan, 1974  

Distinguished Alumni Award: Presented to alumni who have differentiated themselves by obtaining the highest level of professional accomplishment in their field.

He is a dedicated public servant, a champion of social justice and a Spartan.

Larry Thompson has an extensive career in government, in private practice and as a public company general counsel, where his actions reflect a commitment to equity and social justice. Thompson graduated cum laude from Culver-Stockton College in 1967, received his master’s from MSU College of Social Science in 1969, and received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1974.

He is a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General who served during the George W. Bush Administration. Mr. Thompson served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia and General Counsel and EVP of PepsiCo Inc., where his efforts centered on promoting diversity. He has been awarded the first-ever William T. Coleman Lifetime Achievement Award by the African American Partners Network, the Edmund Jennings Randolph Award for contributions to the DOJ’s mission, the Outstanding Litigator Award by the Federal Bar Association, and the AT Walden Award by the Gate City Bar Association. Mr. Thompson served as the Lead Director of The Southern Committee, served on the Compensation Committee of the Graham Holdings Company, and is currently on the Board of the Franklin Templeton Mutual Series Funds, and the George W. Bush Foundation Board. He is an elected Fellow of the American Board of Governance Counsel, and the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and was elected to the Council of the American Law Institute.

Upon Mr. Thompson’s retirement from PepsiCo, the company created the Larry Thompson Fellowship Program to honor his life’s commitment to adding diversity to the legal profession. Through his work in public service, Larry Thompson has distinguished himself as an extraordinary Spartan.   

“There's been this sense of service that started with my education at Michigan State, and I'm really grateful that that's been a keystone of my career.”

Who will lead in public service? Spartans Will.