Thomas Reynolds
Thomas Reynolds

Obituary of Thomas Hedley Reynolds

Please share a memory of Thomas to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
>Thomas Hedley Reynolds, known for nearly three decades of >transformational leadership at two Maine educational institutions, died >Tuesday, Sept. 22, at his home in Newcastle, Maine, after a long >illness. He was 88 years old. His wife of 24 years, Mary Bartlett >Reynolds, was with him at the time of death. > >Reynolds served as president of Bates College from 1967 through 1989, >and of the University of New England from 1990 to 1995. His success as >commander of an armored unit in the Mediterranean theater of World War >II came to symbolize Reynolds' qualities as an academic >leader: far-reaching vision, decisiveness and energetic determination. > >At Bates, Reynolds presided over a regional school's evolution into a >national liberal arts college now regarded as one of the nation's best. >He led Bates to strengthen its faculty and curriculum, add such key >facilities as a modern library and arts center, diversify its student >body and eliminate the SAT requirement. > >"He brought a renewed sense of confidence and purpose," says John Cole, >a faculty member who arrived soon after Reynolds and now holds an >endowed history professorship bearing Reynolds' name. "He enlarged this >place, invigorated it, professionalized it." > >Reynolds left retirement to become the third president of the >University of New England. Originally taking the position on a >short-term basis, Reynolds ended up giving that growing institution >five years of valuable service. "He saw something here, material in the >raw that had the potentiality for greatness," UNE trustee Neil Rolde >wrote in a 1995 tribute to Reynolds in "Coastlines," the UNE magazine. > >Reynolds was born on Nov. 23, 1920, in New York, the son of Wallace and >Helen (Hedley) Reynolds. He attended The Browning School in New York >City and Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, from which he graduated in >1938. In 1942 he earned a bachelor's degree in political science at >Williams College. > >With America embroiled in World War II, Reynolds enlisted in the U.S. >Army and was decorated for his service as a unit commander in a tank >battalion that fought in the Mediterranean theater. After the war, he >earned a master's degree in 1947 and a doctorate in history in 1953, >both from Columbia University. > >Reynolds joined the history faculty at Middlebury College in 1949. >He remained at Middlebury for 18 years, becoming dean of men in 1957 >and dean of the college seven years later. > >Reynolds became Bates' fifth president in January 1967. The expansion >and evolution that distinguished his tenure touched nearly every facet >of the Bates experience, from student life to academics, from physical >facilities to college finances. > >"Throughout his presidency, his core interest was developing the >quality of the faculty, and consequently the quality of the curriculum >and of the undergraduate experience," says Carl Benton Straub, a >professor emeritus of religion and the Clark A. Griffith Professor >Emeritus of Environmental Studies. Straub served as dean of faculty >under Reynolds for 15 years. > >Reynolds led Bates in diversifying its student body -- academically, >geographically, ethnically and racially. It was during his tenure that >the college ceased to require that student applicants report their SAT >scores, a move that widened the range of accepted students without >affecting academic standards, as later Bates studies showed. > >In addition, Reynolds' tenure at Bates saw the construction of a new >library, an arts center, a field house and the conversion of the former >women's athletic building into the Edmund S. Muskie Archives. > >Reynolds took the helm of the University of New England just 12 years >after that institution was born from the merger of a small liberal arts >college and a school of osteopathic medicine. His tenure was marked by >steady increases in student enrollment, academic prestige and financial >capability. A signal Reynolds achievement was the construction of the >Harold Alfond Center for Health Sciences. > >Off campus, Reynolds served as a director of the Public Broadcasting >Service in Washington, D.C., and as a trustee and chairman of the board >of WCBB-TV in Lewiston; a member and director of the National >Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; a director and >president of the New England Colleges Fund; and as chair of the >Governor's Special Commission on the Status of Education in >Maine. Known on campus as a private man, Reynolds was a voracious >reader and an outdoorsman who enjoyed skiing, tennis and particularly sailing. > >Reynolds was predeceased by his parents and by a son, David Hewson >Reynolds, one of four children born during his marriage to Jean Fine >Lytle. They married in 1943. In addition to his wife and Jean Lytle of >Randolph, Vt., he is survived by a sister, Elizabeth Reynolds Henderson >of Locust Valley, N.Y.; two sons, Thomas Scott Reynolds of West >Tisbury, Mass., and John Hedley Reynolds of Stannard, Vt.; and a >daughter, Tay R. Simpson, also of Randolph. > >A memorial service for former Bates College and University of New >England president Thomas Hedley Reynolds, who died Sept. 22 at his home >in Newcastle, Maine, takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in the >College Chapel at Bates College, College Street, Lewiston. >For more information, please call the Office of the President, Bates >College, at 207-786-6102. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to >The Thomas Hedley Reynolds Professorship in History, in care of the >Office of College Advancement, Bates College, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, >Maine 04240 or to the scholarship fund at the University of New England >in President Reynolds' memory, in care of Scott Marchildon, assistant >vice president of institutional advancement, UNE, 716 Stevens Ave., >Portland, Maine 04103; telephone 207-221-4230.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Thomas Reynolds, please visit our Tree Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Thomas
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Riposta Funeral Home
Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Online Event
About this Event
Thomas Reynolds

In Loving Memory

Thomas Reynolds

1920 - 2009

Look inside to read what others have shared
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
Services for Thomas Reynolds
There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by planting a tree in memory of Thomas Reynolds.
Plant a tree in memory of Thomas
Share Your Memory of