New Tabor campus center to honor Travis Roy
MARION — The new campus center at Tabor Academy, which is slated for completion in December, will be named the Travis Roy Campus Center, school officials have announced.
“Travis supported Tabor with his time, investment, and thoughtfulness, and he championed the Campus Center,” noted Trustee Steve Sprague, a 1968 graduate, as he fondly remembered fellow Trustee Travis Roy, who graduated in 1995.
Travis Roy earned wide recognition for the foundation he created, the Travis Roy Foundation, which aims to enhance the lives of people with spinal cord injuries and support research.
He was paralyzed from the neck down during his first shift on the Boston University hockey team. He had previously played on the Tabor Academy hockey team.
“This project is something Travis felt strongly would enhance the student experience, and I'm really sorry that he didn't stay with us long enough to see it completed,’’ Sprague said.
Travis Roy died Oct. 29, 2020 at 45.
Sprague is a longtime supporter of Tabor and lead donor on the school’s new 22,000-square-foot building. He is one of many donors to support the student-centered campus initiative.
“It’s hard to describe what this honor would mean to our son,” said Brenda and Lee Roy, Travis’s parents in a release provided by Tabor Academy.
He is remembered by those who knew him as being a true friend and a role model, his parents said. “Letters we’ve received from classmates since his passing often refer to his kindness and outreach to others,” his parents said.
Travis Roy and Sprague served on the Tabor Board of Trustees together for several years.
“I really admired him. He was a warm and friendly guy, and it was a pleasure working with him. I admired his thoughtfulness and good judgment,” Sprague recalls. “He truly loved Tabor and gave everything he could to the school. He's somebody I wanted to be like. He embodied everything Tabor represents. We're all going to miss him and felt it was important to honor him in such a central and permanent place at the school.”
Travis Roy started at Tabor as a junior, spending two years at the school. He played soccer, golf, and hockey at Tabor and served as a proctor during his senior year.
“He loved the Tabor community like no other. During his time at the School by the Sea, Travis formed lifelong friendships that saw him through both the highs and some of the darkest days of his life,” said Brenda and Lee Roy.
“While his initial goals at the school might have been hockey-related, it was important to him to be seen as more than a hockey player. He participated fully in every aspect of the school that he could,” his parents share.
While at Tabor, Travis Roy also discovered a knack for ceramics, a skill his parents said he was proud of beyond his love of sports. “The ceramics award he received senior year was, in fact, one that he was most proud of,” said Brenda and Lee Roy.
Travis Roy stayed connected to his alma mater throughout his life. He served as a Tabor Trustee since 2014 and was the Class of 2015’s graduation speaker.
“As a trustee, he loved spending time back on campus interacting with students and catching up with faculty members who were now some of his closest friends,” his parents said. “He would say, without question, that his time at Tabor whether as a student, an alumnus, or as a trustee were the best days of his life. He took his role as a trustee very seriously and saw it as his opportunity to give back to the school that he loved so much.”
Head of School Anthony Jaccaci described Travis Roy as an inspiration. “This facility, located in the heart of the campus, is purpose built to create the relationships that make a Tabor experience so special and unique and befits Travis’ spirit of kindness and grace.”
“There is no doubt in our minds that Travis would be honored, humbled, and thrilled to have his name placed on the new Campus Center, a meeting place for the entire Tabor community. It would be the absolute highest tribute Tabor could bestow on him.”
“We are fortunate at Tabor for the care and dedication that has been given to this project,” Jaccaci said “and now, with Travis’ name, this space will be a jewel in the school’s facility crown.”