I was saddened today to hear the news that Thomas J. Serra, a long-term Middletown public servant and friend of Wesleyan’s, had passed away. A former mayor, high school principal and city councilman (among many other roles), Tom was for decades at the center of our city’s political life. “In everything he did, he put Middletown and the people of the city first,” said Robert Blanchard, a colleague on the City Council. Mayor Dan Drew pointed out that “Tom Serra was first and foremost a family man — a loving husband, father, and grandfather,” and that he was devoted to providing opportunities for youth as a teacher, principal and city leader. State Senator Matt Lesser, recalled how Tom was a mentor to him, and that he was always available to provide advice to those who wanted to enter public service. I met Tom and his brother, State Representative Joe Serra, shortly after I began my tenure as president, and I learned quickly of their devotion to the greater good of the city of Middletown.
On behalf of the Wesleyan community, I extend our sympathies to the Serra family, and to his many friends and colleagues. He will be missed.