Marc Thompson was a genuine, real person from the moment you shook his hand, hugged him, or sat beside him in a crowded room. You couldn’t miss Marc; he was one of those charismatic, larger-than-life people that didn’t come around very often. He had a big smile, great laugh, and always something interesting to say and didn’t hesitate to say it. We were all lucky to know him, he was not like anybody else; he was bold, honest, and genuine.
Marc had many, many friends. He was well liked and respected at Cal State University, Chico, where he’d served as Associated Students Commissioner of Multicultural Affairs and was a Sociology/Psychology major who was only a semester away from graduation. He was a first generation college student, a curious lover of words and ideas; a person who could become captivated by something he read or heard in a lecture. He was book smart but brilliant in a way that went far beyond the classroom and had more to do with an inherent wisdom about people and life. His philosophical nature, coupled with his friendly, openhearted manner, made him an excellent leader and good friend to a diverse range of people.
Diversity was at the heart of Marc’s activism. Multicultural issues, women’s and gender issues, and environmental sustainability formed the base of his work but in many ways, his efforts were simple and focused on doing good for society and others. In the days following his death, his friends remarked that he often ended conversations with a big hug and the words, “Be the change.” Marc’s life was an example of that. He was kind and giving at the same time as rational and intellectual- he could occupy those places together, and that was powerful. Marc Thompson was powerful.
Written by Julie Garza-Withers