Above: The family of Tom Arnold gather outside the meeting room, 213 William Small Centre named in his honour. From left are his daughter Lauren, wife Linda and son Eric
York University has named room 213, one of the training rooms in the William Small Centre where he worked, after the late Tom Arnold, who was the executive director of York’s Security, Parking & Transportation Services.
The dedication ceremony took place Wednesday, Nov. 23, in the Bethune Dining Hall and was attended by several hundred members of the University community, as well as members of Arnold’s family, including his wife Linda and children Eric and Lauren.
Right: guests sign a book of remembrance for Arnold’s family
Lorna R. Marsden, York president and vice-chancellor, spoke about the “very substantial contributions” to the quality of life at the Keele campus which Arnold made during his 14-year career at York. “His contributions went beyond the University,” Marsden said. Among the innovations introduced by Arnold was the development of the Student Services Unit, which has improved campus safety and is a source of employment for students. He introduced 24-hour closed-circuit television monitoring in the Keele campus parking lots and parking garages, and streamlined the functions of York’s Parking & Transportation Services.
Right: Linda Arnold views a plaque about her late husband with, from left, Donna Hubbert, manager, parking administration, Marsden, and Gary Brewer, vice-president finance & administration
Most significantly, Arnold developed alternatives to commuting, said Marsden, “especially commuting in the single-occupancy car to campus”, and he played a key role in doubling the number of transit vehicles which serve the campus and establishing the York GO Train station. “As a result of his efforts, along with those of many others who worked with him, there’s been a significant change in the commuter transportation issues on this Keele campus,” Marsden said.
Donna Hubbert, manager, parking administration at York, who spoke on behalf of staff members, called Arnold “an outstanding leader, a superior role model and a friend to all of us. It brings us all great comfort and pleasure to see the memory of Tom Arnold carried on in the community,” she said. “Each and every time someone books the Tom Arnold Room it will be a reminder of the man that gave the University and all of us all much.”
In an emotional speech, Arnold’s wife Linda (left), told the audience, “I’ve learned over the past year and a half, that it’s possible to be happy and sad at the same time. But it’s important for me to have an opportunity to thank everyone for this special event. It’s very appropriate that a room used for training and meetings be named after Tom because staff development was a particular passion of his. He liked to find each person’s strengths and develop those talents to succeed. He always looked for the win-win [solution]. He really loved his job and was proud to be a member and a leader in the York community.” she said.
Other members of the Arnold family attending the dedication ceremony included Arnold’s uncle, Murray Duncun, his cousin, Judith Bellchamber, Linda’s parents, Helen and John Walroth, and her sisters, Sandra Armstrong and Nancy Paitich.
Arnold and his mother Vera were killed in a car accident on May 14, 2004. Since that time two scholarships have been established in his memory: one by the Canadian Parking Association, and the other by York’s Confidential, Professional & Managerial Employee Association. For more on the life and accomplishments of Tom Arnold, see the May 21, 2004 issue of YFile. Arnold came to York in 1990 as coordinator of student services, and was appointed to his latest post in October 2002.