By: Chris Bendel – Sports Editor & Anna Hays – Staff Writer
Thomas J. Marshall, beloved roommate and friend to many in the University of Dayton community, was hardly ever seen without a smile on his face.
One of Tom’s housemates, senior operations management major Matt Nowicki, met Tom their first year at Fenwick High School in Illinois, and was initially drawn to Tom’s ability to “just make everyone’s day better.”
“Everyone knew him, everyone wanted to be around him,” senior marketing major Greyson Feichtinger said, remarking on Tom’s significant impact in the lives of his community both at UD and at home.
Tom exuded a fun-loving, spirited and energetic presence on campus, according to his roommates. Tom was an active member of Sigma Chi fraternity, finance and economics club and the business school’s real estate club.
Senior finance major Kyle Smith said he’d stay up with Tom late into the night at the library, as well as play video games at their house on Keifaber.
Tom’s roommates have always been impressed with his well-rounded nature.
“He was a down to earth, level-headed dude who had a good balance between school and fun,” senior accounting major Nick Fiore said.
Nowicki believed that Tom “flew under the radar but was insanely brilliant.”
“He comes off as this big goofy guy, so a lot of people underestimated how smart Tom was … He was actually one of the smartest kids I know,” Nowicki said.
UD’s student body received the news of Tom’s passing the weekend of fall break Oct. 10-11, through an email from UD President Dan Curran.
Tom’s impact on both the UD community and his hometown was clear when nearly 100 UD students made the trip to Western Springs, Illinois, to attend his funeral service. The UD student presence joined the multitude of Tom’s friends, family and Western Springs community members at St. John of the Cross Parish.
Feichtinger, who also met Tom at Fenwick High School, hopes that those grieving for Tom can “try and implement [his] good morals into everyday life.”
Tom’s roommates said that he would want to be remembered by wanting them to do their best.
“Everything you do, be the best at it. I think Tom would want the same from anyone,” Nowicki said. “Be the best person you can be.”
“Think of Tom every day and strive for success in honor of his name,” Feichtinger said as advice to those grieving.
The loss of Tom has left a void in the UD community. While his loved ones cherish the memories made with his fun-loving and genuine personality, his legacy on campus is one that will be remembered by all who knew him.
UD students, faculty and staff came together for the service held for Tom in Chaminade Chapel Monday, Oct. 13.
Smith said the event “really got people thinking about all the good that Tom’s done, all the people that he’s touched here” — a way for those in the community to support one another as the campus mourns the passing of a dear friend.