Penn State alumnus and longtime donor passes away

February 26, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Thomas W. Tewksbury, alumnus and longtime volunteer and donor to Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, passed away on Feb. 18.

A Wheaton, Illinois, native, Tewksbury earned his master’s degree in physical education from Penn State in 1954 while at the same time pursuing a professional baseball career with the Milwaukee Braves organization. A year later he married Jane Mason, a Penn State and College of Health and Human Development (HHD) alumna in home economics. They were married for 64 years and have four children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Thomas Tewksbury

Thomas W. Tewksbury, alumnus and longtime volunteer and donor to Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development.

IMAGE: Penn State

After graduating from Penn State, the couple lived in New Jersey where Tewksbury taught and coached before joining Sears, Roebuck and Co.’s management trainee program. He held management positions with Sears around the country and later joined the Allstate Insurance Company. In 1990 Allstate named him senior vice president for corporate human resources and administrative operations. He served on Allstate’s board of directors from 1986 until his retirement in 1994. 

Tewksbury’s vision and expertise in human resources helped Allstate gain recognition as a progressive, leading-edge company in its relationship with employees. He initiated Allstate’s Work and Family Connections Program, which included family illness allowance, family leave of absence, flextime systems and child care. He was a recognized business leader for taking a more personal approach to human resources; empowering employees from underrepresented groups; and transforming corporate culture. 

Tewksbury received the Penn State Alumni Association’s Alumni Fellow Award in 1988 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus by the University’s Board of Trustees in 1997.

Tewksbury helped build alumni engagement and the culture of philanthropy at Penn State as a volunteer fundraiser for the College of Health and Human Development over several decades. Tom and Jane Tewksbury served on the college’s development council during the University-wide "Grand Destiny" capital campaign and co-chaired the "Investing in People" initiative. Together, they established six scholarships helping a wide range of HHD students and an endowment that has supported teaching excellence for more than 25 years.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 17, 2019