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In memory of Tom Calvert, founding Master of Digital Media faculty member

Oct 12, 2021 By Elyse Economides

Centre for Digital Media is saddened to learn that Tom Calvert, professor emeritus of Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts & Technology and one of the founding faculty members of the Master of Digital Media program, passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

Tom was part of the team of academics and industry professionals that created the MDM curriculum and ensured that it passed through the Senates of four universities. Tom remained on the MDM Graduate Program Committee - and served as Chair of that committee for several years - to provide advice and guidance to the program and three MDM directors (Gerri Sinclair, Jim Bizzocchi, and Richard Smith).

In recognition of his service to the program, in 2012 the board of Great Northern Way Campus created the Tom Calvert Award for the top computer science student entering the MDM program. Over the years, several MDM students have benefited from this generous award which allowed them to continue their studies.

Former associate director, Jeannette Kopak, had this to say:

"I can't emphasize enough how important Tom was in the launching of the MDM program. With wisdom and patience he steered the curriculum for approval through all 4 Academic partners in 2006/07 - not an easy feat. He was the rudder that helped navigate the program through uncharted academic waters in the early years. We could not have done it without him, and the program would not be what it is today without his guidance."

Dr. Dave Fracchia, a fellow faculty member and friend had this to say:

"I remember when I first met Tom when I walked into his office to introduce myself when I was a Ph.D. student visiting SFU. It was because of him and John Dill that I joined the graphics lab at SFU in 1992. He was an incredible colleague and an inspiration throughout my career. And of course, he was an instrumental supporter of Centre for Digital Media and the Master of Digital Media program."

Tom is remembered fondly by his colleagues at the Centre for Digital Media and the greater digital media community.

Read SFU's statement.