Walter Palmer Thompson
Walter Palmer Thompson, plant geneticist, university administrator (b near Decewsville, Ont 3 Apr 1889; d at Saskatoon 30 Mar 1970). Raised on a farm in Haldimand County, Ont, Thompson graduated from U of T in 1910 and received his PhD from Harvard in 1914. He began his career at U Sask as head of biology in 1913, became dean of arts and science in 1939 and was president 1949-59. He became famous for his work on the genetics of cereal grains, studying chromosome numbers and breeding the first new strains of rust-resistant wheat. President of the RSC in 1947, he received their Flavelle Medal in 1949, was president of the International Botanical Congress in 1959 and received honorary doctorates from 7 Canadian universities. He was chairman of Saskatchewan's Advisory Planning Committee on Medical Care; its recommendations in 1962 formed the basis for medicare in Saskatchewan.