Mary Jean Thompson B.M.
April 12, 2010
As soon as she began playing Beethoven’s third piano concerto at the dedication of Evans Music Center, Mary Jean Thompson stopped focusing on the opening scales. She was already concentrating on what would follow.
“Playing piano,” she says, “you always have to anticipate what is coming next. Your mind has to be ahead of what you are actually playing. You cannot stop and listen, even if you are playing well, or you will lose it.”
Thompson honed her self-discipline and aesthetic sensibility majoring in music and piano under renowned faculty like Boris Sirpo. “I learned how to stick with something and refine it,” she says. “You don’t quit until it’s right.”
Her creative rigor proved invaluable when she founded a firm designing hospital interiors. She upended institutional practices by creating environments that are beautiful and functional—patient-centered spaces where she tunes color, light, and materials to promote healing.
Grateful for all she gained at Lewis & Clark, Thompson has made a bequest supporting music. Her gift will help dedicated students discover and pursue their passions the way she has: con brio, with brilliance and spirit.