Tom King 1956–2022
Haverford's long-serving executive director of Campus Safety passed away Aug. 11.
Tom King, who served as executive director of Campus Safety for 20 years, passed away Aug. 11. He was 66.
Tom moved to Haverford in 2000 after serving in a similar role at the University of Pennsylvania and, before that, as a detective with the Philadelphia Police Department. Over the years, Tom initiated, led, and oversaw countless advances and improvements in Haverford's campus safety efforts, including a new computerized records management system, a bicycle patrol, and the development of a Campus Emergency Procedures Plan. Tom was particularly adept at preparation and planning; the College’s emergency notification and response system and numerous "tabletop'"and on-campus exercises are representative examples. He also oversaw the installation and implementation of a broader card access system including universal card entry, a convenience designed to enhance safety for the entire Haverford community.
"Tom brought trust, concern, and respect—and love—to students and colleagues, every day, across the Bi-Co," noted Haverford President Wendy Raymond. "His upbeat, wonderful sense of humor, coupled with a can-do attitude and optimism, defused many a tough moment. He will be sorely missed on this planet, by us, and his family, and his wide circle of friends and colleagues across the Bi-Co and multiple communities."
Midway into his time at Haverford, Tom was asked to combine Haverford and Bryn Mawr campus safety offices into a single Bi-Co department as a means of enhancing cross-campus cooperation, a configuration that continues to this day. Another highlight of his stewardship was the hosting of EMTs on campus, at the Haverford College Apartments, a way for the College to be a good neighbor to nearby residents and do so in ways that also enhance safety and wellness for students, faculty, and staff. His "manage by walking around" approach brought him in constant contact with the entire community. The student body showed its affection and appreciation in a number of music videos that poked gentle and loving fun.
That eagerness to connect with others drove him to be an industry leader. Tom was the president of the Campus Security Directors Association of the Delaware Valley and served on the Board of the North East College and University Security Association. He conducted numerous presentations at regional and national conferences/webinars including American Society of Industrial Security, the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, and the annual conference on Legal Issues in Higher Education at the University of Vermont.
Tom was an avid cyclist, participating in races and longcourse rides worldwide. A pancreatic cancer diagnosis followed soon after his retirement from Haverford, but that did little to slow him down, and he continued to cycle and indulge his love of travel, making trips to Ireland, Montana, Bermuda, and other destinations.
A Celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale, 3801 Grant Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19114, from 1:00–4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Tom’s family has asked that donations be made in his name to Smile Train or the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.