(l. to r.) Ted Maeder (Tom Maeder's brother)
and President Lindgren
Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren held a dedication of the Thomas
H. Maeder ’66 Fire Pit on July 24, 2013. The Fire Pit, located just outside the
Birdsong Café in the new
Brock Commons student center, was named in Maeder’s honor by his friends
Ann and Buddy Allen ’62. Maeder passed away on July 2, 2013, and the dedication
served as an opportunity to celebrate his life and recognize his contributions to
his alma mater. Lindgren welcomed guests to the event.
“Tom was a Randolph-Macon man through and through,” said Lindgren. “He was an integral
force in the re-colonization of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity on campus, and he
was a loyal and consistent Presidents Society donor for many years. And most conspicuously,
he was front row center for every R-MC basketball game, supporting his beloved Yellow
Jackets. His presence and spirit will be sorely missed and we extend our thoughts
and prayers to his family.” Lindgren also expressed his gratitude to the Allens.
“This Fire Pit will quickly become a place for students to congregate; that is why
Buddy and Ann Allen thought that it was the perfect venue for honoring Tom’s legacy
on the Randolph-Macon campus,” he said. “We heartily agree with Buddy and Ann, thank
them for their meaningful naming gift—a continuation of years of generosity toward
the college—and welcome the opportunity to add Tom Maeder’s name to the ranks of
distinguished alumni honored on our campus.”
Rev. Buddy Childress ’69 gave the invocation, and Judge Jim D’Alton ’65, Maeder’s
fraternity brother, shared his thoughts about his dear friend.
“Tom and I were great friends,” said D’Alton. “This is a fitting tribute to him:
a place where people can gather, exchange ideas and socialize. It’s truly a reflection
of Tom and a deserving gift from the Allen family and R-MC. Tom will be missed but
Jim Cluverius, one of Maeder’s childhood friends, told the crowd, “Tom was courageous,
bold, and intensely loyal. I remember playing baseball at the Westover Hills playground.
Tom was a catcher and he was a bear of a guy behind the plate. He never gave in.
In fact he became a legend in the Richmond rec league. And we all loved him.”
The Fire Pit
The decorative Fire Pit, which will be available for student gatherings, is paved
with beautiful bluestone pavers, and the pit is veneered in brick. The natural-gas
burners are surrounded by crushed, recycled glass.
About Brock Commons
Brock Commons, a two-story, 26,000-square-foot student center, was open for the
first time on Commencement Day, June 1, 2013. Graduates and their families enjoyed
tours of the impressive building, which houses a theater, coffee shop, campus store,
café, student mailroom and spacious multi-purpose rooms. Construction of Brock Commons
was made possible through a $5 million gift from Joan and Macon F. Brock Jr. ’64
as well the generous support of the Birdsong family and numerous alumni and friends
of the college.
The all-brick Brock Commons, designed by Marcellus Wright Cox Architects and built
by English Construction, features arched windows, keystones, and stately columns
at its entrance. Designed to complement R-MC’s other buildings, the first floor
includes a spacious, two-story atrium and a game room. The second floor boasts a
stunning balcony that overlooks the Frank E. Brown Fountain Plaza, the site of the
college’s Commencement ceremony. The second floor also serves as the hub for Student
Life, providing office space for student organizations, several student meeting
rooms, a large conference room for the Student Government Association, and staff
offices to give students a central location for student services.