headshot of Thomas Golden

Remembering & Celebrating the Life of
Thomas P. Golden

July 5, 1963 - November 1, 2020

The Yang-Tan Institute has created this memory book in honor of our Executive Director, Thomas P. Golden, to share stories of his dedication to advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. Stories shared here will be collated into a hardbound book and presented to the Golden family, select colleagues, and the Cornell University archives.

Do you have a story to share? If you’d like your memory to be printed in the book, please submit it by Sunday, January 10, 2021. Otherwise, this website will continue to be available for online story collection and viewing.

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Curated Memories

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Thomas was one of the most positive individuals that I have ever met in my lifetime. He was constantly finding the good in others, the good in a difficult situation, the humor to deflect a matter, always open for a good discussion, ready to listen, and eager to act. Thomas was a role model for me and how I want to live my life, as well as how I want others to perceive me. He will always hold a special place in my heart - I entered on the NY scene in 2017 without a clue and he walked up to me and extended the warmest welcome. As I started my work in NY, he was always there to exchange ideas, help solve a problem, connect me to the right people, and years later he was still doing that even when we weren't on the same project. Thomas was a true professional, and beyond that he saw the humanity in everyone. He treated everyone with deep love, kindness, and with a steady hand. He will be deeply missed. I promise to honor his memory, lifetime of work with PWD, and hope that you find peace knowing how many lives he influenced.

- Memory by Kelly Pavich

I had the privilege of working with Thomas while i was with the NYS Education Department and later with the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. He could educate anyone about disability policy at the national level as well as bring it down to how it would impact directly on people's lives. He was a true professional but even more important he was one of the most fun people i ever spent working and personal time with. Just an absolute joy to spend time with and make my side and mouth hurt from laughing. But more important than anything to him was his family and the absolute joy he had in them. It was his energy, his fuel, his lifeforce, and he would share that all with you.

- Memory by Nicholas Rose