To faculty, retirees, and interested students from Maxine Mark
Re. Thomas R. Mark, September 10, 1924 – November 12, 2010.
“Dr. Thomas R. Mark taught in the Department of English at Colorado State University for more than four decades before his death in 2010. During his last years as a professor and during his retirement, he was afflicted with macular degeneration. As his sight diminished, he continued to pursue his independent scholarly life with the assistance of a computer reader.
On May 29, 2014, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. a reception will take place in the Event Hall of CSU’s Morgan Library. This reception celebrates the completion of the Thomas R. Mark assistive technology room in Morgan Library, was well as the funding of the Mark Family Endowment. Thomas would be exceedingly happy to know that students are pursuing their academic endeavors with the visual aids provided in his room, and using the library resources supplied by the Mark Family Endowment. You will receive an invitation to see the room, inspect what it has to offer, and learn more about Thomas Mark and the reasons for setting up the room in his honor.
Thomas Mark taught was a scholar of 17th century literature, taught Shakespeare and Milton, occasionally Dante, challenging and delighting hundreds of students many of whom were writing him and meeting with him until he passed away. I still hear from his students from time to time.
He was born and raised in New York City and lived for several childhood years in Hungary. Consequently he spoke both Hungarian and English like a mother tongue. He attended a gimnazium in Budapest and then graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1942. After serving in the Army as a combat medic with the 102nd Infantry Division in the European Theater and being awarded the Bronze Star for his heroism, he returned to Brooklyn College and received his Ph.D. from Columbia. His crowning publication, which took years during his teaching career, was his translation of Imre Madach’s The Tragedy of Man, a 19th century poetic drama. It was a work of love and is rated by one of Hungary’s world renowned comparative literature professor’s, Mihaly Szegedy-Maszak, as the best in English. Professor Szegedy-Maszak, now a friend, was an exchange professor at Indiana University in Bloomington for at least six years.
It is now my and our sons’ pleasure to honor Tom as the person and scholar he was. He was a Coloradoan at heart, a wonderful loving and witty husband and father, and a man devoted to his students’ well-being and intellects. I and sons Gregory and Brian would like his name to live on in a very important way. Those of you, who knew him well, also knew of his macular degeneration. Though the news was devastating to him, he determined to retain the sight he had and turned to technology to aid him. To continue his scholarly life while he taught and later to continue reading independently, he learned to use a computer reader. Though books were his love, he knew he must accept what technology had to offer him: it saved his life.
This room, dedicated to him as a husband and parent, scholar and teacher, is our tribute as the Mark Family Foundation. Tom would be exceedingly happy to know that students are able to continue their academic lives as he did with the visual aids provided in this room. He would value as well the resources provided by the Mark Family Endowment and the CSU Library. He would want every student to know the wonderful life of reading books or listening to music that he, too, enjoyed during his lifetime.”