Donor Of The Month - Michael Thompson
Arizona State’s most spirited are those who blast their horns and high-step across the football field at halftime to form their signature pitchfork.
A school’s marching band is the loudest group of students with the fiercest pride, and ASU’s band is no different. Former member and current “Voice of the Sun Devil Marching Band” Michael Thompson remembers all too well what it was like to sprint across the field under the lights on Saturday nights.
“(My favorite ASU memory) was my first time entering Sun Devil Stadium for the pregame show of s Sun Devil football game. It was like entering a sea of gold-gold pom-poms had been distributed across the stadium. I still remember my first show that year,” he said.
Naturally Thompson wanted to remain connected to such a feeling even after receiving both his undergrad (Computer Information Systems) and MBA degrees. He also
“I have been giving (to ASU) for several years now. It all started with my desire to stay connected to the university and I initial did this through my life membership with the ASU Alumni Association,” he said. “My giving started through the ASU Foundation then transitioned into the Sun Devil Club to the Sun Devil Marching Band over the years. I have stayed engaged with the Sun Devil Marching Band through various alumni activities and continue today as a volunteer staff member.”
These days, it’s become increasingly clear what an important role the band plays in revving up an already rabid crowd due in part to the spotlight head Football Coach Todd Graham shone on them immediately upon taking over the football program in 2012.
“It’s been tremendous for the band,” he said. “It’s great to see such a great integration between Sun Devil Athletics and the Athletic Bands. I’m pleased to see how Sun Devil Athletics recognizes the vital role that the marching band plays in so many aspects of the game day tradition. Coach Graham has been an important part of helping to reinforce and support the band’s role.”
And for the band members themselves, Thompson’s volunteer work and donations have much more than fiscal meaning.
“He’s awesome,” said section leader and mellophone player Lisa Hedlund. “He’s an iconic voice to so many and such a good mentor and part of our program. When he rode the bus with us to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, we all begged him to make the bus announcements in his announcer voice. And on the last day of the trip he only spoke in that voice! He really dedicates himself to the organization out of personal interest and has a lot of fun doing it!”
Thompson will continue to be an icon and the booming voice fans hear during pregame and at halftime—he’s a Sun Devil through and through.
“I was hooked and committed to being a part of the Marching Band when I was a Sun Devil,” he said. “…The SDMB was such an important part of my college experience that I wanted to ensure that I do my part to help to allow others to be a part of such an important university tradition.”