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Farewell, Prof. Thomas Gillcrist

By Katie Pelletier ’03 on August 16, 2016 12:03 PM

We are sad to announce that Professor Emeritus Thomas Gillcrist [English and humanities 1962–2002] passed away this weekend.

Prof. Gillcrist taught at Reed for 40 years, arriving in 1962 after earning his B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from Harvard University. Over the course of his career, he garnered many national honors and earned the admiration of his students and colleagues for his potent intellect and good nature.  

Drawn to Reed largely because of the humanities program, Gillcrist was known for his brilliant Hum 110 lectures, like this one on the Oresteia. He taught courses on William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, colonial and postcolonial novels, and on the Bloomsbury group. He is remembered for his infectious enthusiasm for his subjects, abiding influence on his students' lives, and love of fast cars. 

“Tom was much beloved by his students and his colleagues, who knew him to have an incredibly powerful and original mind, a lovely sense of droll humor, and a kind and gentle personality. He will be much missed,” Prof. Jay Dickson [English 1996–] says. 

We extend our deepest sympathies to Prof. Gillcrist's friends and family. 

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 2, at 4 p.m. in the chapel; a reception will follow the service in the Gray Campus Center rooms BCD.