Views on Campus: Through the eyes of the VP’s daughter

Contributing Writer

By Elizabeth Thompson

If you asked me two years ago where I wanted to go to college, Quinnipiac wouldn’t have been my answer. I wanted to have the full experience of college, and felt as though Quinnipiac would have been a “sheltered” experience.

Mark Thompson, the executive vice president/provost of Quinnipiac University, is my dad.  My childhood was filled with Quinnipiac, as my dad has worked here for 15 years. Prior to being a student at Quinnipiac, I never had the identity of “Mark’s daughter.” Now, as a student at the school he works at, people often associate me with his title. It aggravates me when professors make a big deal about it in front of my entire class. While it may be a bit frustrating when professors cannot see me as just another student, it comes along with the territory.

Originally, I tried to hide this part of my life from fellow Quinnipiac students. I came to college with the goal of having my own identity, instead of being known as “the VP’s daughter.” Now as a sophomore, I feel more established as an individual, and am comfortable embracing my dad’s position as a part of my identity. As I began to share my dad’s identity with friends, their reactions caused me to feel proud rather than embarrassed. I realized that my friends liked me for me, and were accepting of who my dad is as well. My fear that they would feel uncomfortable or treat me differently was never an issue.

When I hear people talking about “Mark Thompson’s daughter,” it does not faze me. For example, a rumor was spread that I am a freshman who lives in Commons, and that the game room that was added to commons was for my benefit. This could not be further from the truth, and it is now a joke between my dad and I. My dad never abuses his power, and I feel like a normal student every day.

My younger sister is planning on being a freshman here next year, and I could not be more excited to show her how much our father has done for this school. While I’ve always been proud of him, I am amazed everyday by his excellent work ethic and the respect other people have for him. The compliments that mean the most to me are when students of my dad say, “Your dad is Mark Thompson?! He is one of my favorite professors.” The pride I feel when people tell me this makes me love Quinnipiac more than I thought I ever could.

My original fears of Quinnipiac being the wrong school for me could not have been more false. I feel that I am receiving the best educational experience at this school, and I am blessed to have so much support both at home and at school.

The small part of my life that is defined by being the daughter of an administrator does not change how proud I am of my dad’s hard work. I’ve never met anyone so dedicated to not only the student body, but to their family as well. My dad is my role model, and I feel so lucky to get to share my college experience with one of the many people who have built Quinnipiac into the university that it is today.

I love you, Dad. Thanks for making me proud to call the VP my father every day.