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Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College announced Keifer Thompson as the recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus for the School of Liberal Arts.

NEO will formally honor Thompson during the Outstanding Alumni Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 11 a.m. in the Calcagno Family Ballroom.

All alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend the event. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Purchase tickets at the door or through neo.edu/homecoming. Homecoming festivities will take place from Sept. 30 through Oct. 1, 2022.

Thompson grew up in Miami, Oklahoma, and graduated from Miami High School. He played soccer from the age of eight into his college years. His father still lives in the same house, his childhood home.

Thompson attended NEO from 1992 to 1993. He chose NEO because it was close to home. While at NEO, he continued to spend time with his friends and family, and he saved money since he didn’t have to pay rent. He favored English classes and believes those courses helped him become a better songwriter.

After graduating from NEO, Thompson transferred to Missouri Southern State University. Shortly after graduating from MSSU, Thompson and his father packed up a U-Haul and headed to Nashville to pursue his dream of being a musician.

Thompson had only lived in Nashville for one week when he met his future wife, Shawna. They married three years later and signed with their first record label as Thompson Square in 2010. They have lived in the Nashville area for 26 years.

Their son Cooper was born in 2016. Thompson said Cooper is one of the biggest blessings in his and Shawna’s life. Having him on the road with them is the best thing they could imagine. They sing together as a family, and Cooper often makes appearances on stage with them. Thompson currently coaches Cooper’s soccer team and loves watching him grow.

It took Thompson and his wife 13 years of playing for tips on Broadway and years of rejection from record companies before they landed the first contract. They were told they would never win any awards with their small independent label.

The Thompson Square hit song, “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” is certified double Platinum. They received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Country Duo/Group Performance and Best Country Song. They have won a Country Music Award, Country Music Television Award, and an American Country Award.

Thompson said he is very thankful for the support of his parents and thankful they were able to witness his dream come true before his mother passed. He wants to continue reaching for the next step for her and his father.

For more information, please contact NEO alumni coordinator Eric Iverson at eiverson@neo.edu.

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