On Monday, Thompson Hospitality donated $1 million to Virginia State University, according to a press release from the school. The gift represents the second-largest gift in the school’s 128-year history, it says.
Thompson Hospitality is the largest minority-owned food service company in the United States, the release says. The company, based in Herndon, Va., has more than 3,200 employees and provides meals and facilities management at businesses and institutions in 45 states and four foreign countries. Ruby and Fred Thompson, Sr., – parents of current company leaders Benita Thompson-Byas, senior vice president; Fred Thompson, Jr., chief administration officer; and Warren Thompson, chairman and president – both earned degrees from Virginia State.
Warren Thompson said VSU was a natural beneficiary of the company’s success. “The foundation started at VSU,” he says in the release. “We wanted to make a statement of support for education in Virginia. What better place than VSU?”
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell joined VSU President Keith T. Miller in accepting the Thompson gift. McDonnell said the company exemplifies the private support necessary to help advance higher education.
“Thompson Hospitality represents 30 years of successful entrepreneurship,” he says in the release. “We’re thrilled they’re headquartered in Virginia.”
Virginia State University received its first gift of $1 million or more in May 2010 from the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation.