TC Mourns Gilchrist and Weinberg
Published in TC People
TC lost two valued members of its community this past spring.
Joe Gilchrist, Building Supervisor for TC’s Seth Low faculty dormitory and union shop steward for employees of the College who are members of 32B/32J, which represents all residential apartment staff in New York City, passed away in early May. Most recently, Gilchrist also served on the President’s Committee for Community and Diversity at TC, and in the past, on the President’s Strategic Planning Committee, together with trustees and faculty.
“Nobody who works at TC doesn’t owe Joe,” said Gilchrist’s longtime friend, TC Public Safety Officer Bill Manning. “He was a union man, but people on both sides of the aisle trusted him and confided in him. They knew he cared about what was best for everyone, and for Teachers College.”
Gilchrist supervised the Seth Low dorm for 33 years, raising his own son and daughter there. (Click here to see a eulogy for Gilchrist written by John Broughton, Associate Professor of Psychology and Education.)
“If a steward is someone who takes care of others and in some sense steers the ship for all, then Joe Gilchrist was a steward for the TC community,” wrote TC President Susan Fuhrman, in remarks read at a memorial service for Gilchrist by Janice Robinson, Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs. “By all accounts, Joe was a kind, steady, strong, thoughtful man who made Seth Low his life’s work. He was there to say hello in the mornings – and he knew everyone by name. He was there to fix the boiler whenever it needed fixing. He was there for faculty members at any hour of the day or night, for whatever they needed – whether it was a repair on a leaky faucet or a kind word when someone was ill. New faculty, who often were grappling with both their first academic job and their first brush with life in the Big Apple, found his presence particularly reassuring. And of course, Joe raised his own two children, Justin and Jordan, in Seth Low, so he wasn’t ‘just the super,’ or even just a member of the building’s community. He was, as one faculty member puts it, ‘the Dean of Seth Low.’”
Steve Weinberg, Director of Budgets, also passed away in May. Weinberg, who was the first person to serve in that role at TC, held that title during his entire 13-year career here. During his tenure, the College achieved balance budgets every year. Weinberg was also extensively involved in the financing of TC’s New Residence Hall.
“Steve was a really decent, forthright guy,” said Hank Perkowski, Associate Vice President & Controller. “You tend to think of budget directors wielding hammers, but he was a very approachable, nice person. He was also very funny – not a joke teller, but quick with spontaneous one-liners in all kinds of situations.”
Omar Mayyasi, Associate Director of Budget and Planning, who reported to Weinberg, describes him as “the kind of person you’d trust with anything.
“On a work level, Steve was a presence,” Mayyasi said. “When he walked into a room, people would go quiet. And he could get things done, whether he was an expert on the issue or not. He led teams on issues that were way outside of his field, and he always was effective. He relied on people to give him the information he needed, and then he’d make his decision. And it was always the right decision.”
Weinberg – an avid family man whose greatest joys were golfing and going to Yankee games with his two grown sons -- also cared deeply about those who worked for him.
“When my son was born, he was as excited as I was,” Mayyasi says. “He sent out a blast email to everyone in our office. He shared war stories with me about not sleeping. And he gave advice about everything, from raising kids to buying a home to good places to eat. He was just a great guy.”