Stanley Thompson ’59

Do What You Love
Stanley Thompson ’59 Offers Tips for a Prosperous Future

Beta Theta Pi entered the life of Stanley Thompson ’59 with impeccable timing. He was new to the University of Minnesota, and spent much of his time studying for his dual degree in biology and natural science. The brotherhood was robust with diverse membership and Stanley valued his exposure to people of varying backgrounds, beliefs, and ambitions.

Once he became an official member of Beta Pi chapter, Stanley realized just how significant the fraternity could be. He befriended John “Jay” Enghauser II ’59, William “Bill” Westerdahl ’59, and Jon Albrightson ’60—men who remain fixtures in his life today. “Beta provided me with the opportunity to make new friends at a turning point in my life,” Stanley shared. “Several Betas became my lifelong friends.”

After completing his undergraduate studies, Stanley worked for the Pillsbury Company as a process control chemist, and other training-related jobs, in Los Angeles, California, from 1960-63. For nearly the next three decades, he was a food broker, and served as Pillsbury’s president in his final 25 years with the company. After becoming “burnt out” and dissatisfied with his work, Stanley left the company in 1991, doing startup work for several years before fully retiring in 2002.

Stanley’s start up work was challenging and invigorating, with the highlight of his career being his trips to Moscow and Budapest, where he helped reestablish Rotary after it was banned for many years by the communist governments.

One of the best things you can do for your career and overall wellbeing, says Stanley, is to “do what you really love.” He emphasizes the importance of being productive and giving back to the brotherhood, the community, and to causes that matter. No matter where his career took him and what surprises life presented, Stanley says that his time with Beta Pi will forever be the “best four years of my life.” You can connect with Stanley at

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