The Trent community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Tom Phillips.
Prof. Phillips is remembered as popular instructor amongst students and alumni, and an engaging and respected member of the Trent University and local Peterborough community. Having completed his Bachelor of Science at Trent, he went on to define his career as an economist following completion of graduate studies at York University and the New School for Social Research New York. He taught locally at Trent University since 1988, and also at Fleming College.
“Tom was an integral part of post-secondary education in Peterborough and in Durham," said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. He taught on both our campuses; led the development of our Careerspace; had a long and impressive career at Fleming; and was an active member of the Peterborough community, to which he was deeply committed. I was scheduled to connect with him this term and now regret that we did not do this earlier. Tom will be dearly missed by all of us who knew him.”
Born and raised in Peterborough, Prof. Phillips took pride in utilizing his education and expertise in service of his community, which made him an exceptional liaison between the University and the local business community. Over the years, Prof. Phillips served in many capacities at Trent, including faculty member, member of the Board of Governors and Senate, and director of Careerspace.
Prof. Phillips also spent time as a faculty member at the University College of the Cayman Islands, where he developed and delivered the final two years of the first economics degree program offered in the Cayman Islands – one of the world’s largest banking communities.
Prof. Phillips published several articles in popular and academic media, including The Nature of Work in a New Economy, Transformational Growth and the Business Cycle (with Edward Nell), Canada and Argentina in the New and Old Business Cycles, and Transformational Growth and Educational Change. His research expertise included economic growth, organizational change, international trade and finance, and the history of economic thought.
In addition to his roles at Trent, Prof. Phillips was a valued member of the local community in a variety of ways. Recently, at Fleming College he was serving as the Chief Recovery Officer, previously as vice-president Academic. He has served as board chair for the YMCA of Central East Ontario, Art Gallery of Peterborough, and the Peterborough Golf and Country Club. He was connected to the Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Peterborough Police Services Board, Workforce Development Board and was a provincially-appointed member of the Community Access Centre, and a member of the local lacrosse scene.
The University extends heartfelt sympathies to Prof. Phillips’ family and friends, and to all who knew him at Trent University, Fleming College, and within the local business community.
Read the full obituary. A memorial service for Prof. Phillips will be held at the Emmanuel United Church (previously known as the George Street United Church) in Peterborough on Saturday, November 19 at 12 noon, with a reception to follow.