Homer A. Thompson was Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. From 1947 to 1967, Professor Thompson was Field Director of the Agora excavations in Athens. His wife, Dorothy Burr Thompson, was for many years a member of the staff of the Agora excavations. She is an authority on ancient Greek figurines and ancient gardens.
The Princeton Society of the AIA was the principal initiator of the Thompson Lectureship Fund in 1987. Friends of Homer and Dorothy Thompson contributed to the endowment to honor them for their outstanding contribution to classical archaeology.
Scholars who hold the Thompson Lectureship are generally selected with consideration to the Thompsons' lifelong interest in Greek minor arts and the topography of Greece, though others may be selected as well. The Thompson Lecturer is recommended to the AIA Lecture Program Committee by the Thompson Lectureship Subcommittee.
The Thompson Lecturer annually visits two societies, the Princeton Society and one other.