CAS alum an accomplished physician, musician

Dad and daughter standing in front of a Christmas tree

ABERDEEN, S.D. – During medical school, Dr. William Hampton was known as “the trumpet player guy”—he would often set up in the lobby of the student center and play his horn during breaks from studying.

Music and medicine are both major parts of Hampton’s life, and thanks to an educational start at Northern State University, he got to pursue both.

Hampton, a 1996 NSU grad, works as an emergency physician at Wisconsin’s Holy Family Memorial Hospital and ThedaCare Shawano Medical Center. He also works as an adjunct trumpet faculty member for Holy Family College and continues to perform, including with his local symphony orchestra, in church, and putting on a faculty recital at least once a year.

They’re very different careers, but for Hampton, the common thread was his educational experience at NSU. He said Northern helped him succeed by, first, modeling what it means to be a great educator.

“So much of what I do now is teaching, and I feel like I learned from the best of the best,” he said.

Music Provided Best Memories

Another way Northern helped with his success was giving him the opportunity to perform in a breadth of musical ensembles, from symphonic wind ensemble to chamber choir to orchestra to brass ensemble. 

“It was such a confidence builder to leave NSU and to be so well prepared to take on any musical challenge because I had experienced it before,” Hampton said.

Some of his best memories at NSU come from those musical opportunities, including with the Marching Wolves, Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and NSU Orchestra.

“I have so many great memories of playing incredible music in all of them,” Hampton said. “I also was privileged to be part of the theater department, primarily performing in the pit orchestra. I also have fond memories of delivering The Exponent on campus and playing in the pep band for basketball games in the Barnett Center.”

NSU an Affordable, High Quality Choice

When it came to choosing Northern, Hampton said both quality and affordability were factors.

“First, I thought the educational and musical opportunities there were the best in the state,” he said. “The facilities continue to be cutting edge, particularly with the recent remodeling and expansion of the Johnson Fine Arts Center.”

Also, NSU awarded him a Presidential Merit Scholarship and an Excellence in Music Scholarship. Saving money on his undergraduate education meant a significantly lower financial burden in his further education, including medical school.

Hampton graduated from Northern with a bachelor’s degree in music and an associate degree in pre-medicine. He received his master’s degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and his doctorate from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Numerous Professional Accomplishments

Originally from Sturgis, Hampton now lives in Manitowoc, Wis. He and his wife, Shay, have four children: Casey, 23; Audra, 15; and 5-year-old twins Brynn and Greyson. He said he’s been blessed with many opportunities since graduating from NSU, including numerous memorable accomplishments:

  • Acceptance for publication, two piccolo trumpet etude books, fall 2019
  • Trumpet soloist with the Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra, spring 2019
  • General assembly speaker for the National Emergency Nurses Association Fall Conference, fall 2018
  • Keynote speaker for American Association of Critical Care Nurses Regional Trauma Conference, spring 2018
  • Named Director of Medical Education at Holy Family Memorial, fall 2017
  • Guest lecturer for Mayo Clinic Grand Rounds, spring 2017
  • Lecturer for Advanced Critical Care and Emergency Nursing in Las Vegas, Neva., and Advanced ICU and ED RN Pediatric Conference, San Diego, Calif., in fall 2016
  • Presenter at National Association of State EMS Officials, fall 2016        
  • Named a Fellow in the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, spring 2016
  • Received RYT 200 certificate upon completion of White Lotus Foundation Yoga Teacher Training Course, fall 2012 

Advice for Current Students

Hampton’s advice for current Northern students: Get involved on campus beyond the classroom.

“While I learned a great deal in my classes, it was the involvement in everything else that campus had to offer that has really shaped who I am today,” he said. “From serving as the editor of ‘Shelterbelt,’ NSU's literary and art anthology, to performing in various musical ensembles to celebrating during Gypsy Days to serving in student government, those experiences have contributed substantially to who I am today. If you aren't a part of something that excites or moves you, I think you're leaving at lot of what makes NSU special on the table.” 

He also encourages students who have a passion for more than one field to go for it.

“If your heart is really in both things, then do both things,” he said. “People talk about choices, yes, but it doesn’t also mean that you have to narrow yourself. You can be more than one. You can have more than one identity and have that be a big part of who you are and what you do. Northern gives a person that flexibility because there are so many offerings.”

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $55 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.