Denison mourns the loss of Life Trustee Alexander “Sandy” Thomson III ’59

Denison Life Trustee Alexander “Sandy” Thomson III, a member of the Class of 1959, died on March 27, 2024.

After graduating from Denison, where he majored in history, Sandy joined the United States Marine Corps, a service of which he was incredibly proud. Upon his return, Sandy obtained a Master of Science from Miami University in Ohio, and he and his wife, Sally Wood Thomson ’59, began their life together in Columbus.

Sandy was greatly admired for his wide-reaching career in higher education administration. He served the Ohio State University in development and student life, Case Western Reserve as associate dean of the School of Medicine, the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio as director of development, and the University of Cincinnati School of Law as a senior development officer. Sandy retired as an associate vice president at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Sandy was deeply invested in Denison as both a volunteer and donor. He joined the Denison Board of Trustees in 1998 and served on the Enrollment and Student Affairs Committees. Upon his retirement from the board in 2012, he was elected as a Life Trustee. Sandy served the college as a career advisor, president’s associate volunteer, class reunion and campaign volunteer, and speaker for the organizational studies program. In 2019, Sandy was awarded the Alumni Citation — the highest honor bestowed upon a Denisonian.

Sandy and Sally supported a wide range of initiatives to support students and faculty, including scholarship funds, the chaplaincy fund, Red Thread grants, their Class of ’59 Horizon Opportunity Fund, student leadership funds, the Provost’s Office Leadership Funds, and their own Thomson Student Leadership Training Program, established in 2004.

As a student at Denison, Sandy joined the Sigma Chi fraternity and kept close ties with his alumni brothers. He served on the Greek life committee and as a consultant to the Office of Student Life, working to establish the framework for a partnership among Denison, alumni, and Greek organizations. He led the fundraising efforts to renovate the Sigma Chi fraternity house and was a member of the chapter’s 150th-anniversary celebration planning committee. In 2003, Sandy was awarded the “Order of Constantine,” Sigma Chi’s highest honor. At a later date, Denison’s Mu Chapter of Sigma Chi will hold a White Rose memorial ceremony at the Sigma Chi house.

Sandy’s volunteer service extended beyond Denison as well. He was active with the Rotary Club, the United Way, Buckeye Boys Ranch, the American Red Cross, and the Mercantile Library of Cincinnati. He was also the founding president of the Upper Arlington Education Fund.

You can read Sandy’s obituary here. Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the Norman Chapel at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Peace for DC, a charity established in memory of his grandson, Tom Marmet.

The Denison flag will fly at half-staff in his memory.