The willingness of Thomas Harvey III to give back to his community is well known and well documented.
“You have to have a positive impact,” said Harvey, Dewey Beach Enterprise Inc. president, during a recent tour of Hyatt Place Hotel in Dewey Beach. “It’s been a really great thing to be able to pay back.”
For his philanthropic contributions, Harvey will be among those inducted into the University of Delaware Alumni Hall of Fame June 7. Harvey and fellow inductees will be recognized during a ceremony at Gore Recital Hall in the Roselle Center for the Arts on the University of Delaware campus.
“I have to admit, I was stunned when I really began to think about it,” he said of the honor.
Since its inception in 1984, 246 alumni have been inducted into the university's wall of fame in recognition of their professional and public service excellence.
Previous notable inductees include U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sen.Thomas Carper; scientist, inventor and businessman Robert Gore (W.L. Gore & Associates); legendary university football coach Tubby Raymond; and American lawyer and politician Thomas McKean.
Harvey credits his parents when asked where his charitable streak came from.
“My mother and father were always quiet proponents of giving,” he said. “They gave many things in their own quiet way.”
He gave a couple quick examples. Harvey said his parents owned a bus company when he was growing up, and twice a year they would take kids from an orphanage in Newark to a roller rink free of charge. In junior high, his dad would dress up as Santa Claus and visit the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington at Christmas time to hand out presents.
“They were always coming up with things,” he said. “That’s absolutely where I learned it.”
This is the second time the university has recognized Harvey for his contributions. In 2011, he was awarded the Lerner College of Business and Economics Alumni Award of Excellence.
Harvey is modest about his recognition, saying that maybe it’s a way of saying, "Thank you," for not just giving back to the university, but also the community.
Harvey been active for years with the University of Delaware “Delaware Diamonds”, Goldey-Beacom College, the Centerville School, the Delaware National Guard Community and the Kennett Pike Association. He also sponsors two youth teams from Delaware that play in the Sunny Hill Basketball League in Philadelphia.
Harvey also serves as president and CEO of Harvey of Hanna & Associates Inc., a commercial real estate development company headquartered in Newport. The company owns and manages more than three million square feet of prime commercial or warehouse, business campus, industrial sites, and retail shopping centers in Delaware and Maryland.
Recently, the company was recognized for donating more than $1 million to Delaware’s charitable organizations over the past 15 years.
As president of DBE, Harvey oversees the redevelopment of the Lighthouse Cove Resort project (formerly known as Ruddertowne). The multiphased, multimillion dollar redevelopment project opened Phase I in September 2013 -Delaware’s first ever Hyatt Place Hotel.
The hotel has been well received, said Harvey.
“We’re well ahead of projections,” he said.
Harvey said in addition to bringing visitors who travel from Hyatt to Hyatt, the new hotel brings a new family-friendly dynamic to Dewey. He said right after the hotel opened, 50 to 60 rooms were being used by families with kids playing in a Little League tournament in Georgetown.
“Those cars never would have been here if the hotel weren’t here,” he said. “It’s really amazing to me.”