At Rensselaer

INSTITUTE DEAN AND HISTORIAN

Portrait Honors Four Decades of Service

Gary Gold   
A lifetime of service:
Thomas Phelan
Service to the university that spans almost 40 years was celebrated Dec. 4 when a portrait of Thomas Phelan was unveiled in Russell Sage Laboratory.
  The painting, by artist Langdon Quin, "is not only a portrait, it is a work of art," said Phelan, who was honored by a standing-room-only crowd of faculty, trustees, students, staff, alumni, and friends.
  Phelan, who currently serves as Institute Dean, Institute Historian, and senior adviser to the president, came to Rensselaer in 1959 when he was appointed resident Roman Catholic Chaplain. He later served as dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences from 1972-1994.
  "Few among us, in the history of this school, have so powerfully demonstrated what it means to love and to serve with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength," said Acting President Neal Barton '58.
  H&SS Dean Fay Duchin, Professor Michael Halloran '73, and Rensselaer Trustee Arthur Gajarsa '62, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, joined Barton in recalling Phelan's profound contributions to Rensselaer.
  "This 'man for all seasons' exists each day to support many with a kind word and a helpful smile, bringing the hopes and dreams of all whom he touches to greater heights," said Gajarsa, whose long and close friendship with Phelan began when Gajarsa was an undergraduate in engineering.


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