We are deeply saddened by the death of our long-standing colleague and friend, Dr Barry Thomas.
The family have requested any gifts in Barry’s memory be directed towards the York Opportunity Scholarship, which can be given via the link at the top of this page.
This scholarship was set up so students from all backgrounds can be seen for what they can achieve, and it ensures a struggling student is given the recognition and support they need to thrive at York. The scholarship mirrors Barry’s own impact and support on so many individual York students throughout the past sixty years.
Barry was a hugely influential figure. His warmth, kindness and intelligence shaped the University and our history. He was a pioneer as one of our first students and earliest graduates, and continued as a valued teacher and a researcher in the Department of Chemistry. Even after his retirement, his wisdom was always on hand as he kept his office open on campus. For many of us, this characterised Barry, he was always interesting with the perfect story ready to enthral, but was also deeply interested in other people and lifting up new voices.
Barry’s legacy is subtly seen throughout the University campus, as it is largely thanks to his ingenuity and passion that we can boast such a beautiful and green lakeside campus. He petitioned our first Chancellor, Lord James, to invest in a diverse range of wildfowl back in the 60s, and even hand-raised abandoned coot eggs in the fume cupboards of Chemistry labs. Barry (literally) sowed the seeds for the award-winning biodiverse campus which we have today - a place cherished by staff, students and the general public, and will continue to be enjoyed for many years to come.
In short, Barry shaped the university experience for generations of students, from the tutorials he led with undergraduate chemists, to the pioneering impact he had on the college system as Vanbrugh College Principal - his impact is simply immeasurable.
Any gifts towards the York Opportunity Scholarship in his memory would be warmly appreciated, and 100% of what you give will go directly to supporting students at York.
With kind wishes and thanks,
Barry’s children, Beth and Ted.