Mr. H. Thomas Beck

Mar 16, 1926 — Mar 13, 2016


The leadership, staff, and worldwide community of the Weizmann Institute of Science deeply mourn the passing of our dear friend, Tom Beck. Tom’s warmth, inspiring leadership, abounding enthusiasm, personal commitment, foresight, and gracious generosity have made him a great friend to the Weizmann Institute of Science and its community for many, many years.

Tom was born in Hungary and was educated in England, receiving a degree in electrical engineering from Queen Mary College in 1948. He arrived in Canada in 1950, establishing, with his mother, Theresa Beck, a company that went on to great success (Beck Electric Manufacturing Company Ltd, later renamed Noma Industries Ltd.) Tom’s entrepreneurial skills in building a small company into a multinational corporation employing thousands in Canada and worldwide, were matched only by his community-minded philanthropy. Over the years, he has shared his good fortune with many humanitarian, cultural, and educational organizations, often anonymously. In addition, he took on leadership roles at the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

At the Weizmann Institute, Tom had been a Board member since 1980, eventually becoming a Life Member of the Board. He served as Deputy Chair of the Board, served on the Executive Council and Executive Committee, and was President of Weizmann Canada between 1985 and 1990. In that capacity, he was a moving force behind the successful completion of several unique and challenging initiatives, including the intensely active Canadian Institute for Energies and Applied Research, the Canadian Center for Alternative Energy Research, and the Canadian Institute for Laser Research. His great influence on our campus, both in time and in scope, has rippled through many fields, including research in physics, neurobiology, diabetes, women’s health, and many others, through scholarships, help for immigrant scientists, and support of Weizmann Canada.

We have lost a true friend and an exemplary Board member. Tom was a modest, graceful man – and a wonderful friend. We are deeply grateful for all that he has done for us for so many years, contributing time, effort, money, and energy with characteristic open mind and heart.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to Mary, Cathy, Anthony, Liddy, and the rest of the Beck family, on behalf of the staff and scientists of the Weizmann Institute, the members of the International Board, and the entire Weizmann Institute family. May Tom's memory be for a blessing.