SHU alum struck by train leaves behind son, girlfriend

Thomas Ryan of Seton Hall University’s Class of 2011 was fatally struck by an NJ transit train at 7 a.m. on June 9, 2016, leaving behind his girlfriend, Janae, and his 5-year-old son, Jack.


Photo via the Tommy Ryan Memorial Fund

A GoFundMe page, “Tommy Ryan Memorial Fund”, was created by Mark Scattene on June 12 to raise money to support Jack.

“Tommy was a beloved friend to dozens, a dependable brother, a cherished son, and an outstanding father to Jack,” Scattene wrote on the Go Fund Me page. “As friends of Tommy we look to repay him for all the countless laughs and good times by helping secure Jack’s future.”

As of June 26, the Fund has raised over $65,000 of the $75,000 goal.

Ryan received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an entrepreneurial certificate from SHU.

Hector Reyes met Ryan during their freshman year at SHU through mutual friends they made at Orientation, and Reyes says the two “became the best of friends from there,” rooming together during their sophomore and senior years.

According to Reyes, Ryan studied abroad in Australia during the fall semester of his junior year, and he took a course on International Business and Culture in Egypt.

“(Ryan) was a curious guy who loved to learn about people and listen to different perspectives other than his own. He wanted to learn through experience and interaction with others,” Reyes said. “He was the type of guy who could write up an ‘A’ paper the night before just because he enjoyed the time pressure. He was also the type of guy who enjoyed to laugh, and his laughter was infectious.”

Reyes said that Ryan “definitely walked to the beat of his own drum, and his on-campus fashion attires were proof,” recounting Ryan’s choice to wear basketball shorts and a hoodie to class while snow covered the campus.

Conor Ryan, Thomas’s brother, said that while he did not discuss Jack’s future all that much with his brother, he knows that “he wanted to keep him at the best schooling in the area along with keeping him active with his many friends and activities.”

“He definitely looked forward to Jack growing up and becoming more familiar with sports – thus adding more friends and value to his life,” Conor Ryan said. “All in all, he wanted his son to grow up to be a happy and well-rounded individual, which I will take the lead on in raising him as his uncle.”

Reyes said that “Tommy wanted nothing but happiness and love for his son. He wanted his son to maintain a curious mindset and be an explorer of life and people.”

Brianna Bernath can be reached at or on Twitter @briannabernath.

Author: Brianna Bernath

Brianna Bernath is a Journalism/PR and Philosophy double major at Seton Hall University, where she serves as Assistant News Editor of The Setonian. She is currently an intern at CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer". You can follow Brianna on Twitter @briannabernath, where you can find her most recent work.

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