On the night of Tuesday, December 3, The New School lost a beloved member of the community — Will Gary, a dedicated and kind hearted security guard often seen at the 66 West 12th Street building entrance.
According to a source from the security department, Will Gary suffered from a neck injury while lifting weights, which led to a heart attack a few days later. The source also mentioned that Gary suffered an allergic reaction to medication he received at the hospital. The official cause of death is not yet known.
A few reflections dedicated to Will Gary have come in to our Free Press email. Many students, faculty members and staff will undoubtedly remember Gary as a positive and uplifting man who could brighten everyone’s day. If you would like to say a few words and share your fondest memory of Gary, please leave a comment below.
WNSR: New School Radio featured Will Gary and his positive and energizing attitude part of their 25@25 series in 2011.
“Will Gary was that type of person who brightened your day when you saw him, even when you were tired, over-worked, or stressing about getting to class. When you walked in to 66 West 12th Will greeted you with a warm infectious smile. He was always kind and considerate. He was extremely funny and loved sharing stories about his son, in which he was very proud of. His passing is a terrible loss. He will be missed. I hope he knew how much he was appreciated and loved by the New School community.”
– Tiffany-Liana Williams, Office Manager at Parsons Office of Advising
“One day after he greeted me by name, as he always did, I made my way to the elevator and heard him stop another student to ask for her name as she tried to rush past him. She scoffed at being delayed and when she came onto the elevator she said ‘What is his problem?’ I answered that he genuinely wanted to know her name, that in the future he would say hello to her by name every time she sees him, and he is one of the nicest people she will ever meet. Everyone in the elevator vehemently confirmed.
I did not know him very well at all but the impression he made on me was great. He seemed to me a rare and extraordinary person with an abundance of kindness and joy that he relished sharing with anyone passing through the doorway that was his domain. He certainly took me out of whatever stress, hurry, or inane thought I was having with the enormity that was just his smile and greeting.
– Lauren Santorso, student
“In my last conversation with Will, before we all departed for Thanksgiving break, he was telling me about his grandmother, and her positive outlook on life. Now in her nineties, she’s entirely independent, goes grocery shopping by herself, and goes out with her friends to bingo. ‘You’ve got to live everyday like it’s your last,’ is something he often told me. We have to cherish all those little things.
In the fast paced environment that we live in, where we’re running from place to place, rarely making eye contact with the people we walk past everyday, I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t want to come to a pause and talk to Will before they started their day and when they were finally ending it. From his jokes to his determination to learn everyone’s name, he gave us all a little bit of love. Will was a cornerstone of The New School community – the smile that we all looked forward to seeing.
Will was, and is, a truly beautiful soul, and although the 12th Street lobby won’t be quite the same without him, we should all remember that it only takes a quick smile or a few words to make someone’s day. And the best way to keep remembering him is by doing just that.”
-Danielle Balbi, Editor-In-Chief, The New School Free Press