Dan Thompson was a homicide detective with the Milwaukee Police Department and the father of six children when he decided to do something to make his life better. He enrolled at Concordia University through our Miller Parkway Center in 2012 to increase his career advancement opportunities and set an example of hard work and education for his large family.
Three years later, Dan is earning his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management and will be the student speaker at Concordia University’s mid-year commencement ceremony held on Saturday, Dec. 19.
All of Dan’s kids will be there to cheer him on. “Being a good father is what motivates me every day,” said Dan.
Dan’s own rough childhood set an example for the type of man he did not want to be. “My dad was abusive and an alcoholic. It was a terrible environment to grow up in.”
It was when Dan and his mother fled their home in California and moved to Milwaukee that Dan discovered Jesus. Dan’s mother enrolled him at St. John’s Lutheran School in Milwaukee for eighth grade. His new Christian community helped Dan realize that negative things can make a person stronger and that God is with him, has always been with him, and is preparing him for a life of purpose and leadership.
Dan’s motto is simple: “Do something useful.” He applies this in every aspect of his life.
As an attentive husband and father he is celebrating the accomplishments of his children, ranging in ages from 7 to 26. His oldest, Danny Jr., is challenged with cerebral palsy and seizure disorder and requires constant care. By Dan’s example, all of his children work hard and seek knowledge.
Dan also “does something useful” every day as a member of the Milwaukee Police Department for nearly 25 years. Whether he is praying with criminals or praying for them, Dan knows that God is working through him to be a compassionate leader and protector of the community.
Dan is not nervous about speaking before his 700+ graduating classmates and thousands of guests in the audience. He is excited to use his voice to proclaim God’s power, and inspire his classmates to do something useful.