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Wausau native Roy Thorson wins Thompson leadership scholarship

January 23, 2023
Roy Thorson
Roy Thorson, a business administration major, received the 2023 Tommy G. Thompson Leadership Scholarship this month.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point senior business administration major and Wausau native Roy Thorson began 2023 with some significant news. 

He learned he had won the Tommy G. Thompson Leadership Scholarship, awarded to one student at each University of Wisconsin campus.  

In his application, Thorson highlighted his nearly two years as president of the Pointers Vote Coalition. The organization works to spread awareness about the importance of participation in local, state and national politics. The nonpartisan student group held voter registration drives on the Stevens Point campus during the fall semester. Thorson said his involvement in organizing the November candidate forum with Wisconsin candidates for State Senate District 71, U.S. Congress District 3, and Portage County Sheriff was a personal highlight of his senior year.  

“Roy played an essential role in launching the Pointers Vote Coalition on our campus,” said Professor Jennifer Collins, political science. “Through this work he has demonstrated a deep commitment to civic engagement and exceptional leadership. It has been a real pleasure to work with him and to witness his tenacity and passion for engaging students in the democratic process.”  

Thorson said he believed his civic engagement advocacy through Pointers Vote Coalition was more impactful than the work he’s done as a student planning and leading events.  

“The work I’m doing is paying off and making a difference. I will impact others I will never know,” he said.  
Thorson has minors in political science, law and policy and music at UW-Stevens Point. “I’ve made great relationships with professors in the different colleges at UWSP, it’s brought a lot of different insights into life for me,” he said. 

Thorson has been able to live at home and commute while experiencing the benefits of student life at UWSP. He notes especially influential relationships in the Department of Political Science, including Collins and Professor John Blakeman. Both encouraged Thorson to apply for the Thompson Leadership Scholarship. 

“Roy is an amazing student — smart, engaging, hard-working and very public spirited. He will represent UWSP well wherever he goes. I really look forward to hearing about his success in law school and beyond,” Blakeman said. 

Thorson plans to pursue his master’s in business administration at UW-Stevens Point this fall. He believes his business background will bring a valued perspective to law school.