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Seton Hall mourns death of ‘friend to University’ Thomas Sharkey

In an email on June 9, Seton Hall announced the death of Thomas J. Sharkey, an alumnus and regent emeritus on the University’s Board of Regents.

Sharkey, a student-athlete who graduated with the class of ‘54, died on June 7 after being a “friend to the University for more than 60 years.”

Sharkey played for the Detroit Tigers after graduating SHU. (@SHUAthletics/Twitter)

“Tom Sharkey was the ultimate Pirate,” Board of Regents Chair Kevin Marino said of his late colleague. “The members of the Board of Regents are deeply grateful for Tom’s lifelong, selfless dedication to our beloved University, and will miss him tremendously. His loving wife, Ruth, and the rest of the Sharkey family are in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn this one-of-a-kind member of the Seton Hall family.”

After graduating from Seton Hall in 1954, Sharkey played professional baseball for the Detroit Tigers before serving in the U.S. Army and eventually launching his career in the insurance industry.

In 1962, he founded Meeker Sharkey, an insurance brokerage firm in Cranford, N.J.

“[Sharkey] possessed a sharp business acumen and displayed a longstanding commitment to excellence,” the Office of the President’s announcement said.

Sharkey served as a member of the Board of Regents from 1986 to 2015, when he was designated as a regent emeritus. During his time on the board, he served as chair of the “Ever Forward” capital campaign, which raised over $150 million for the University in 2007.

He also served on the boards of Seton Hall Prep School, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, and other businesses.

Sharkey was honored as the University’s “most distinguished alumnus” in 1994, and was inducted into Seton Hall’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2007, as well as the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.

Seton Hall Athletics tweeted in memory of Sharkey on June 9. 

“Tom served Seton Hall over 60 years in many ways & was an integral contributor to @PirateBlue,” the tweet said.

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Sharkey leaves behind his wife of 64 years, his four children, as well as  several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Daniel O’Connor can be reached at


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