William Gary, 46, died in Brooklyn's Methodist Hospital from complications following surgery to repair vertebrae he damaged while weightlifting, according to friends and the city's medical examiner's office.
Donors gave between $20 and $9,000 apiece in the fundraising drive for Gary's 10-year-old son, Adriel, through a GiveForward page created by the school.
"They are fantastic people and I know they've been helping my brother since day one. I can't say nothing bad about them," said Gary's grieving sister, 45-year-old Mia Gary.
"They are 100 percent there for my family — the staff, the president of the school — they're just so there for me right now."
Gary's family will host a viewing Thursday at Gilmore Funeral Home, 191-02 Linden Blvd., from 4 to 7 p.m. with a service until 9 p.m. He will be buried Friday at 11:45 a.m. at Calverton National Cemetery in Long Island, relatives said.
The New School plans to host another memorial at the university in the spring semester.
In the wake of Gary's death, hundreds of friends posted remembrances on social media and signed a memory book at his usual post in the lobby of 66 West 12th St.
Gary started work at The New School in 2002. Before that, he was a member of the Army from 1990 to 1998, serving in the Gulf War and training troops as a sergeant, his sister said.
At the university, Gary endeared himself to students, developing lasting friendships that extended beyond the school grounds and offering health and weightlifting tips, a passion he picked up as teenager, according to friends and his sister.
His death has left a glaring absence in many people's daily routines.
"I anticipate, in my body and soul, saying 'hi' to Will, having that affirmation of life and humanity that was always buzzing around him," said Stephanie Browner, a dean at the school.
"And now I feel that anticipation and the emptiness of knowing that affirmation won't be there."