Citation for the Alumni Achievement Award Presented to Michael Thompson '65


It is a real honor to present my former classmate with a special Alumni Achievement Award for his long and distinguished career and service in the field of education. Besides being a dear friend of Millbrook’s and serving as a consultant to our headmaster and countless other schools, Michael is an author and clinical psychologist specializing in children and families.
Following his graduation from Millbrook, Michael went on to Harvard University and subsequently earned his Master’s in Education there before moving on to the University of Chicago where he received his Ph.D. Michael opened a private practice in psychotherapy, and when that proved to be somewhat isolating and draining, Michael began consulting with schools. That move led to his running workshops for teachers. Then the National Association of Independent Schools tapped him to be the facilitator for the Institute for New Heads, the workshop for first-time heads of independent schools. He was responsible for training over 500 heads of schools, and with his rolodex full of great contacts, he became a school consultant.  Michael has visited more than 700 independent schools around the world and has worked with faculties, administrators, and parent groups on his journeys.  

Leading workshops led to his writing articles and ultimately books about child development. In 1999 Michael co-authored a book about the psychology of boys, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. It was published six days before the shootings at Columbine High School, and, as a result of that tragedy, Michael was enlisted as a public commentator on the inner lives of boys. He went on to write eight more books about children. As an author, Michael has visited 700 schools around the world, and he has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, and ABC’s 20/20.

He has accomplished all of the above while also holding down a day job as supervising psychologist for the Belmont Hill School. For his work with children and adults of all ages and for his care and feeding of heads and teachers for more than 35 years, we are proud to present you, Michael, with our Alumni Achievement Award this year. Congratulations, thank you, and I hope you have at least a small inkling of how proud we are of you, as you are surely one of Millbrook’s very best.