Thomas W. Mackesey began his career at Cornell in 1938 in the Department of City and Regional Planning in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. From 1951-60, he was Dean of the College.
During his last year as Dean of the University Faculty, President James Perkins asked him to serve as Vice Provost for Planning and subsequently Vice President for Planning. By firmly establishing certain fundamental campus planning processes and principles, he contributed wisely and permanently to the evolution of the unique Cornell environment.
He retired from Cornell in 1974 and was named Professor Emeritus. He passed away on May 2, 1976. At the time of his death, then President Dale Corson said that Tom Mackesey “.has left behind a legacy in the form of some of the most beautiful buildings on campus, buildings constructed under his leadership.”