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NJIT Community Mourns Loss of Dr. Gary Thomas

The NJIT community mourns the loss of Dr. Gary Thomas who died on Tuesday, January 1, 2008, at age 70.  From among his many years in practice as an engineer, professor and administrator, Dr. Thomas devoted 18 years to NJIT from 1980 through 1998. Thomas served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs from 1990 to 1998, vice president for research and graduate studies from 1997 through 1998, and vice president for academic affairs from 1980 to 1990. Thomas also helped form NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts (where he served as the first dean), the School of Management, and the Dorman Honors College. Subsequent to his tenure at NJIT, Dr. Thomas was appointed chancellor of the University of Missouri–Rolla. He retired from that position and returned to New Jersey in 2005.

Dr. Thomas is survived by his wife, Barbara Tedesco; four children, Katelin Thomas, Ellie Thomas, Derek Thomas, and Jennifer Tedesco; three grandchildren, Gwyneth and Caleb Foley and Ahsaan Cauley; his sister, Lois Innes; his brother, Donald Thomas; and many nieces and nephews.

During his service at NJIT, he led the development of the university’s academic and research programs resulting in significant growth in research expenditures to over $40 million. Dr. Thomas advocated for the growth of graduate education programs in order to support the university’s research effort. A doubling of PhD awards was achieved during his tenure. As a tribute to Provost Thomas’ leadership for graduate education and research growth at NJIT, the Gary Thomas Doctoral Fellowship Program has been recently established in his name by the university, with the first awards to be made in Fall, 2008.

Arrangements for viewing have been made at the Farmer Funeral Home, 45 Roseland Avenue in Roseland, New Jersey on Friday, January 4 from 2-4 p.m. and from 7-9 p.m. In lieu of flowers or other demonstrations of remembrance, the family requests that contributions be sent to NJIT to add to the endowment that supports the Gary Thomas Doctoral Fellowship. Checks should be made payable to The NJIT Foundation and sent to the address below. Questions regarding the Thomas Fellowship program may be directed to Jacquelynn Rhodes, Associate Vice President of Development at 973-596-3407; rhodes@njit.edu.

Office of University Advancement
Attn: Gary Thomas Doctoral Fellowships
New Jersey Institute of Technology
323 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Newark, NJ  07102-1982