MANHATTAN — A New School security guard who endeared himself to students and staff during his 11 years at the university will be remembered at a school-organized memorial service after his death in December, school officials said.
The memorial for William Gary, who died Dec. 3, is scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. inside the auditorium of 66 W. 12th St., just steps from Gary's usual post in the lobby of the same building, the New School said. The school will live-stream the service on its website.
Gary died at age 46, following surgery to repair vertebrae he damaged while weightlifting, friends said. His death shocked and saddened many in the New School community.
The program is set to include a vocal performance by a student, a saxophone performance by an alumnus and remarks by a fellow security guard as well as other speakers, the event's organizer said.
"Will was such an effusive and amazing person that it's hard to think of just a few people to talk about him," said Eren Hock, an assistant to senior administrators who is helping to plan the event.
"But that was part of his magic. He made everyone feel as if they were special and close to him."
"Every time I would stop to visit with him, Will would somehow manage to give me his full attention and simultaneously greet everyone like we were all walking into some great party," New School alumnus Katherine Delgado said at the time.
"The New School community has lost a giant of a man who guarded and guided us though the day," the university said in a statement.
Administrators at The New School created a fundraising webpage for Gary's 10-year-old son, Adriel. The fund had raised nearly $28,000 as of Thursday morning.
"We're expecting a fairly simple and informal event. It's an opportunity for our community to come together and remember him," Hock said.