In the Community: From the Office of Samra Brouk
Over one hundred people recently gathered at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to celebrate the 60th birthday of local artist Thomas Warfield as he received a Commendation Award from New York State Senator Samra Brouk.
“Thomas Warfield is one of those people who makes a mark on those he interacts with. Over his career, he has made the arts accessible to countless people who otherwise would not have an outlet for their creativity,” Brouk said. “It is my honor to have been able to present Thomas with a Commendation Award on behalf of the Senate, and I can say confidently that his effect on our community will be felt for decades to come.”
The award is reserved for those who devote their personal time, energy and creativity to bettering their community and inspire others to do the same.
“This day of recognition and celebration is a reminder that as we each touch one another’s lives with compassion and joy we lift the vibration of our community, our state, our nation and the planet to a consciousness of peace,” said Warfield.
Over his career, Warfield has performed on stage, television and film, in more than 100 cities worldwide. He has demonstrated his talents as a singer, dancer, actor, model, composer, choreographer, director, producer, educator, activist and poet. He has been Director of Dance at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT for 24 years, and former chair of the RIT President’s Commission on Pluralism and Inclusion as well as the Performing Arts Task Force. Warfield has also been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and HIV/AIDs awareness.
“Thomas breaks down barriers between people, cultures and academic disciplines, demonstrating to our students how they, too, can challenge assumptions and think innovatively,” Dr. Gerard Buckley, Dean at RIT and President of NTID said. “Senator Brouk’s commendation is a well-deserved honor recognizing what Thomas has given to our students and so many others.”
Dr. David Munson, President of RIT said he and all at RIT are honored to recognize how Thomas has enriched RIT, Rochester and the world through his creativity, innovation, and commitment to serving our community.
“Thomas is an inspiration and a wonderful example of how one’s dedication to peace and inclusivity can impact our world. In addition, his natural curiosity about how the arts intersect with technology embodies so much of what we do at RIT.”