Thomas J. Condon, a former University of New Brunswick professor, dean of arts, and vice-president passed away on Sunday, April 22, 2012. He will be missed.
University community mourns the passing of Thomas J. Condon
Dr. H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell
UNB President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of New Brunswick has lost a cherished member of its extended family.
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Thomas J. Condon, a former University of New Brunswick professor, dean of arts, and vice-president.
Dr. Condon began his professional teaching career at the University of New Brunswick as an assistant professor of history in 1962, following the completion of a PhD from Harvard University.
Over the following decade, he accepted international teaching fellowships in Indiana, New York, and London.
Ultimately, however, Tom chose to make UNB his home, returning to Fredericton to continue his research and teaching, and to lead the faculty of arts.
Tom went on to serve two terms as vice-president of UNB Saint John.
Over that time he improved both the educational offerings and infrastructure at UNB Saint John, helping to shape the campus into the world-class institution it is today.
He also served one year as acting president of UNB.
Tom retired in 1996 following a distinguished teaching and administrative career that saw him author dozens of studies and publications.
That same year he was named vice-president emeritus of the Saint John campus, and the Thomas J. Condon Student Centre at UNB Saint John was named in his honour.
He was also named governor emeritus of the UNB Board of Governors.
Despite his retirement, Tom remained very involved in the life of the university, including serving for two years as the acting vice-president (Saint John) and leading an in-depth analysis of funding arrangements between the Saint John and Fredericton campuses for former President John McLaughlin.
Today's sadness extends beyond the walls of the UNB. Our province mourns as well.
Tom was a proud New Brunswicker and his numerous activities and interventions on behalf of his adopted community will not soon be forgotten.
His work in saving and restoring Saint John's Imperial Theatre, for example, was celebrated by City Council and rewarded with an honorary life governorship at the theatre.
Over the years, Tom gave his time to numerous groups, societies, and bodies, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Jeux Canada Games, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, Festival by the Sea - Saint John, and Symphony New Brunswick.
In 2004, the Governor General and the Government of Canada recognized his outstanding service to his country by appointing him a Member of the Order of Canada.
This was followed up in 2009 with his naming to the Order of New Brunswick for his remarkable contributions to academia, his inspired leadership of post-secondary institutions and organizations, and his tireless dedication to culture in New Brunswick.
Our thoughts are with Tom's family.
While we are deeply saddened by this loss, we remain in awe of Tom's achievements and contributions.
He was a caring and selfless man, and his life touched so many others during his time among us.
We honour that memory today, as we will continue to do in the days, months, and years ahead.
Tom is pre-deceased by his wife, Ann Gorman Condon, a long-time professor of history at UNB. Flags on both campuses will be lowered prior to the funeral service.
A tireless advocate for UNB Saint John
Dr. Robert MacKinnon Vice-President, UNB Saint John
community has lost one of its strongest advocates with the recent passing of
Dr. Thomas J. Condon.
A cornerstone in
the history of UNB, he was a tireless leader and visionary, changing the course
not only of the University of New Brunswick, but also of our province and, of
course our community.
graduate who completed his undergraduate degree at Yale, Tom served as a
history professor at UNB Fredericton between 1970 and 1977.
As the only full-time American history
professor at UNB Fredericton during that time, Tom was able to make a
significant difference in the delivery of programs, touching the lives of
students and colleagues alike.
In 1977, he
was appointed as our campus’s second Vice-President, serving in the position
for 11 years. One of our longest serving Vice-Presidents, he lead a decade of
steady progress for our campus working to improve the facilities and education
at UNB Saint John.
1996, Tom retired, for what would be the first time, from UNB. In recognition of his administrative, and
scholarly contributions, Tom was named Vice-President Emeritus of the Saint
Recognition of his impact
on students in and out of the classroom was formalized with the naming of the Thomas
J. Condon Student Centre in his honour.
Tom had a flair for getting
others to work with him in his support of causes.
Perhaps it was his soothing voice, constant
smile and optimistic outlook. Tom was well known for his support to the
He was instrumental in restoring the Imperial Theatre,
served on the board of Symphony New Brunswick, created the Writers’ Federation
of New Brunswick, as well as sitting on community and cultural boards such as
Festival by the Sea, Canada Games, and the Saint John Board of Trade. Tom loved
his adopted home of Saint John and worked hard to make Saint John a community
Dr. Tom Condon has touched the lives of many – his colleagues, friends, students and even his acquaintances.
Tom was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004 and received the Order of New Brunswick in 2009. He has truly left behind a legacy that will keep his memory alive in our community for decades to come.
Despite his many endeavours, Tom was a true friend and family man.
Always making time for a quick game of tennis with his late wife Anne, or lending an ear or a shoulder to his children, Greg, Katie or Caroline, Tom was someone on whom others counted. A great mentor and leader, his presence will be missed by many.
A true gentleman and scholar, Tom made his mark on the university and the community.
He was much loved and respected by everyone who had the pleasure to know him.
His loss is immeasurable and our thoughts go to his family at this time.
Visiting will take place on Wednesday April 25 from 7:00-9:00pm and Thursday April 26 from 2:00-4:00 pm and 7:00-9:00 pm at Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John, NB (506-634-7424).
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated from Cathedral of Immaculate
Conception, 91 Waterloo Street, Saint John at 12:05 pm on Friday, April 27th, 2012. The family asks that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the charity of people’s choice.
Share your condolences
You can share your condolences with Tom's family and friends using a special UNB condolences form. By using this form, you can choose whether you'd like your comments to be shared on this website as well.
You can also submit your condolences directly to the family via a form on the Brenan's Funeral Home website.
Thoughts and comments can also be shared via Twitter using the hashtag #rememberingtom
Condolences and remembrances from the community
My sincere condolences to Kate, Caroline and Greg on their loss -- also to Tom's large family of friends at UNB Saint John and UNB Fredericton, and in the City of Saint John, the province, the country and, indeed, the world.
Tom lived and breathed his love for his adopted home and alma mater. As we sigh in sadness at our loss, we should then inhale deeply, take up his baton and honour his memory, and his legacy, by working to perpetuate the causes that were near and dear to his heart.
We will not forget you, Tom. May you rest in peace.
I remember the first time I met Tom. I was a student, we shared a passion for our university, UNB.
We later found ourselves defending our university against the Government of the day. We would not have the good fortune to have a campus of the University of New Brunswick in Saint John if it weren't for people like Tom advocating so strongly for the university we all love over the years.
Years after graduation I still kept in touch with Tom and we enjoyed many conversations about the possibilities and future of the university. Tom will be sadly missed.
My UNB career started in 1980 when Dr. Tom Condon, Vice-President at the time, hired me to run the UNBSJ "computer centre".
He was a strong leader who would command respect with just the sound of his voice. He had an amazing ability to remember the names of anyone he met - no small feat given the many academic and community positions he held.
As a faculty member at UNB Saint John, I also had the pleasure getting to know both Caroline and Greg and hope that they take some comfort in the knowledge that their father made such a difference in our University, city and province and that he will be missed by so many people.