Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic
Doyon Foundation established the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic in honor of the late Morris Thompson, an avid supporter of education who served as the president/CEO of Doyon, Limited from 1985 until his passing in 2000. Read more about Morris.
The event raises money for Doyon Foundation’s Morris Thompson competitive scholarships, which are awarded to students who exhibit Morris’ most-admirable qualities, including vision, dedication to excellence, exemplary leadership and integrity. Since inception of the event, the Foundation has awarded 214 Morris Thompson Memorial competitive scholarships totaling $556,180.
About Morris Thompson
Morris Thompson, the son of Warren Thompson from Indiana and Alice (Grant) Thompson from Tanana, dedicated his life to Alaska Native issues and its people. A Koyukon Athabascan, Morris was born and raised in Tanana, Alaska and is now laid to rest in his home village.
Morris, a Doyon, Limited shareholder, was one of Alaska’s most prominent business leaders. He had a colorful and successful career serving the people of Alaska in many roles in the private sector and within the federal and state governments.
His first job at the national level took him and his family to Washington DC, where he served as special assistant to the secretary of the interior in the Nixon administration. At age 31, Morris was appointed area director of Bureau of Indian Affair in the Juneau area office, being the youngest person ever to receive such an appointment. At age 34, he became the youngest commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a position to which he was appointed by President Nixon.
Morris began working for Doyon, Limited in 1981, initially hired as vice president. In 1985, he took over the helm of Doyon as president and CEO until 2000, leading the corporation to become one of the most profitable and stable Alaska Native corporations it is today.
Morris was vice president of the Northwest Alaska Pipeline Company. He held the esteemed position of president of the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) and also served as co-chairman of AFN. He was a director of the Anchorage and Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, founding vice president of Commonwealth North, a director of Doyon, Limited, and served as vice-chairman of the University of Alaska Board of Regents. He was appointed to the Totem Resources Corporation board of directors, as well as to the First National Bank of Anchorage board.
Morris received numerous public service awards including being a nominee for the Alaskan of the Year and being voted one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Men in America.”
Native leader, corporate leader, political leader – he was all of these. But his essence was that of a family man, loving and always united with his wife, Thelma, their three daughters and grandchildren. “Big,” his nickname from an early age, will always be cherished by his family and friends.
Morris traveled the world, from villages to Washington DC. But he never forgot where he came from. He always referred to himself as “just another boy from Tanana.” He used his wit, values and wisdom to heal, unite and lead. His lifelong commitment to bringing all Alaskans together in progress and prosperity made him a true bridge between cultures.