SUNY New Paltz students, faculty, staff and alumni joined with Campus Auxiliary Services and Sodexo staff to dedicate a new bench and plaque in memory of Darold Thompson ’99 (Black Studies), who passed away in August.
Thompson worked on campus for 17 years as a cashier in the Hasbrouck Dining Hall and was well-known and popular with many current students and alumni.
Many students who had gotten to know Darold over the years wrote their own messages in his honor on a banner that was on display in Hasbrouck Dining Hall. A few excerpts:
- “Darold, your lively positive spirit affected so many people around you, who love and appreciate you. May you live on through the souls that you touched.”
- “Your spirit lives on in the New Paltz community as you will be deeply missed. With every passing day, the pain weakens, but the legacy you left grows stronger.”
- “You had a beautiful soul. You never tried to impress anyone, you were truly yourself until the very end. You’ll live forever in all our memories.”
Students had also organized a vigil in Thompson’s memory following his passing.
“If you knew Darold, you knew that the thing he cherished above all else was the sense of belonging to a community, to a family,” said Steve Deutsch, executive director of Campus Auxiliary Services. “He loved helping people and he went above and beyond to do so on a regular basis. This bench will be a fitting tribute – a place where students can hang out and share community together. We hope it serves as a lasting memory of who Darold Thompson was, the life he led, and the influence he had on us all.”