Tom Grabowski graduated from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois receiving a BA in Theatre and Physics. He received his MFA in Design from The University of Illinois. He began at then Pan American University (later the University of Texas-Pan American) in 1981 as a staff member with responsibilities for set and lighting design for the University Theatre within the Department of Communication and after a year became a lecturer. In the fall of 2000 he was appointed to an Assistant Professor position and in 2006 was promoted to Associate Professor. He became Interim Chair of the Department of Communication in 2011 and became Chair in Fall 2012. As the University became The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2015, he became the chair of the new Department of Theatre/Television/Film.
In his 35 years with the University he has designed sets and lights for over 300 productions for the University Theatre, the Music department, the Dance Ensemble and the Folkloric Dance Company. He was a member of the design team that planned the construction of the Communication Arts and Science Building that houses the Jeffers Theatre (297 seat thrust) and the Studio theatre in 1984, the Academic Performing Arts Center that opened in 2014 and was a consultant to the design of the Student Union in 1999 that includes the Union Theatre (500 seat proscenium). He is active with USITT and USITT-Upstate NY. He served as vice president for membership from 2002-2016 for USITT-SW. In 2016 he retired from UTRGV and accepted a position on Visiting Associate professor at the department of Theatre and Dance at SUNY Potsdam. He enjoys sunsets and sharing rainbows.