In Memoriam

C. David Tompkins (1939-90)

Melvin G. Holli, November 1990

C. David Tompkins, 52, professor and former chairman (1971-77) of the Department of History at Northeastern Illinois University, died on January 3.

Born in Battle Creek, MI, in 1939, Dr. Tompkins received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. He received a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin and his doctorate in 1966 from the University of Michigan, where he had studied with Professor Sidney Fine.

Dr. Tompkins taught U.S. history and was a specialist in foreign policy. An indefatigable researcher, he had lectured extensively on his research and was the author of about 20 articles, short stories, and biographical sketches. He wrote the book Arthur Vandenberg: The Evolution of a Modern Republican, about the founding father of the American bipartisan foreign policy in the post-war years. The book became a standard reference for the study of the post-war period.

Dr. Tompkins also taught briefly at the University of Wisconsin, Loyola University-Chicago, Western Michigan University, and the University of Illinois. He was widely recognized as an outstanding classroom teacher who challenged students to think beyond the textbook. For the past two decades Dr. Tompkins was a professor of history at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

He is survived by his mother, Mary Catherine Tompkins of Battle Creek; and two children, Robert David Tompkins of Wilmette and Joan Marie Alderton of Clinton, IA.

Melvin G. Holli
University of Illinois at Chicago