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July 12, 2004

In Memoriam

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas
Photo: UCSC Photo Services

Tribute to Eric Thomas by Ken Doctor, president of the UCSC Alumni Council.

UCSC Foundation trustee and alumnus Eric Thomas died June 30 of a heart attack at his home in Sacramento. He was 43.

A 1984 Oakes College graduate in economics, Thomas had been a member since 1997 of the Alumni Council, the governing board of the UCSC Alumni Association, and served as president from 2002 to 2003. Thomas was deputy executive director of the California State Treasurer’s Office.

Student scholarships were among Thomas’s many passions, and the family asked that a scholarship fund for a UCSC student be set up in his memory.

Contributions may be made to the UCSC Foundation, earmarked for the "Eric Thomas Memorial Scholarship," and sent to the Annual Fund, University of California, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. A fund on his children's behalf has also been established. Donations may be directed to the Eric Thomas Memorial Fund, in care of the Golden 1 Credit Union, 1109 L St., Sacramento, CA 95814.

“Eric was a treasure and a good friend, and his passing leaves an unimaginable void,” said Kenneth Doctor, president of the Alumni Association. “His name ought never to be forgotten on our campus."

Thomas helped organize UCSC’s first African American Alumni Reunion, an all-class, all-college event in 2000. Also that year he cofounded Black Escargot, the UCSC affinity group for African American alumni. He was a tireless admissions outreach volunteer, career mentor for current students, and fundraiser. Charismatic and outgoing, he was often tapped for the role of master of ceremonies and—given his love of music—more than once as deejay.

He is survived by his wife, Leilani Ferrari (Oakes ’84), and two children, Imani and Tiger.

A memorial service was held July 10, at the Riverside Wesleyan Church, 6449 Riverside Blvd., in Sacramento. The family requested that donations be made to the memorial fund for his children in lieu of flowers.

See obituary in the Sacramento Bee

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