1951-67: Richard Porter Thomsen '30
"I’d like to think that in identifying you as sons of Episcopal High School, people will associate you with such qualities and concepts as fair play, good sportsmanship, reliability, tolerance, respect for others, a strong sense of justice, a willingness to give of yourself for the good of others, and an unshakable sense of honor … leading lives of quality will reflect the best of what you have learned at your School." - Richard Porter Thomsen, Class of 1930
Richard Porter Thomsen, Class of 1930, was a master at Episcopal when he was appointed to be the eighth head of school and was the first to assume the title Headmaster. Thomsen joined the Episcopal faculty in 1939 and was the quintessential faculty member, engaging in all facets of school life: teaching, coaching, living on dorm, and supervising study hall. With his experience and long history with the School, Mr. Thomsen was well prepared for the role.
As Headmaster, Mr. Thomsen made difficult decisions appropriate to the School’s role of “in loco parentis.” One of those decisions is credited with saving the eyesight of a student requiring experimental eye surgery following an accident. When the boy’s parents could not be reached for approval, Mr. Thomsen assumed responsibility and made sure the surgery was carried out by the best ocular surgeon available.
When Mr. Thomsen retired in 1967, the successes during his tenure included the quadrupling of the EHS endowment; expansion of the School’s facilities to include Pendleton Hall, Berkeley Dorm, and Flippin Field House; a significant investment in admissions and college placement; and revision of the monitor system.