Thomas F. Crane was one of a notable group of teachers who formed the original Faculty of Cornell in 1868. He often spoke of having seen Cornell grow out of its swaddling clothes into one of the leading institutions of the country. He liked to remark that he knew the campus when it was a barren hilltop, before the shade trees were set out. His life had been associated with Cornell unremittingly since its founding, and the pseudonym of “Teefy” found a lasting place in college song and tradition, i.e. “Give my regards to Davy-remember me to Teefy Crane” – the first song a freshman learns.
Professor Crane was associated with the Department of Romance Languages for over 40 years, retiring in 1909 as Professor Emeritus. He was the first Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences prior to his becoming Dean of the Faculty; and also served as Acting President on two occasions during President Schurman’s absence.
Professor Crane passed away on December 9, 1927 at DeLand, Florida, where he had intended to spend the winter with his sister.