Deceased May 22, 2019
We have lost a beautiful voice and a beautiful person.
Tom Dunn came to Amherst from New Rochelle (N.Y.) High School with a droll sense of humor, a gracious manner toward everyone and a voice that epitomized the meaning of the word mellifluous. Along with Tom Jones ’68, Don Stolper ’68 and Dick Frantzreb ’68, Tom was one of the soloists who formed a brilliant core of the re-energized Amherst Glee Club in the fall of 1964. In high school he had already mastered the acrobatic art of a Gilbert & Sullivan patter song; in our freshman year he learned to yodel, drawing copious applause with the relentlessly catchy “Switzer Boy.”
The relaxed, fully felt quality of Tom’s singing voice was part of everything else about him. He was easy to talk to. He carried his inner conflicts quietly while listening attentively to others.
He could also be deadpan hilarious. On one Glee Club bus trip, as we were passing through New Rochelle on the way into New York, Tom appropriated the bus’s P.A. system and delivered a parody tour-guide narrative. “On your left is New Rochelle’s tallest skyscraper …” (Eleven stories.)
After Amherst and a Harvard M.B.A., Tom worked for 15 years as a writer and announcer at WGBH public radio in Boston. Later he did voice-overs for clients as diverse as Martha Stewart, Range Rover and various charities, as well as for scientific organizations that valued his ability to handle difficult medical and engineering language.
Tom attended as many of our reunions as possible. At the 50th, Jim Lynch recalls, “he mentioned some of the health issues he had endured as well as the ups and downs of broadcasting. I am glad to have known him and to have been with him during those Glee Club years.” Spoken for all.
John Stifler ’68