Dr. Thomas J. Reeves, former Hastings College President, passes away at 86

Dr. Thomas J. Reeves, the 12th President of Hastings College, serving from 1985 to 1995, passed away on Saturday, February 5 in Denmark, South Carolina. He was 86.

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Dr. Thomas Reeves, 12th President of Hastings College.

During his tenure at Hastings College, Reeves oversaw construction of the Gray Center for the Communication Arts and the Daugherty Center, and the renovation of several other buildings on campus. He initiated the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program, the Twenty-two Plus program for adult learners and added several athletic teams, including men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and softball.

In 1998 he was inducted into the Pro Rege Society, the highest non-academic recognition Hastings College bestows. The Morrison-Reeves Science Center, which opened in the fall of 2009, was named in honor of Reeves and the late Kenneth Morrison, who served on the Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1999.

“Tom was an ordained Presbyterian pastor and gifted preacher, an Airborne Ranger, semi-pro baseball player, college chaplain and high school coach. He was also a great friend and mentor to me. During my 11-year watch as President, I would call him frequently,” said Dr. Phil Dudley, President Emeritus of Hastings College. Dudley served as a professor and Vice President under Reeves, and then became President in 2000.

“Tom taught a few classes when he was president and was a very popular teacher,” Dudley said. “He was highly respected by faculty, administrators, staff and students. There were two occasions when students even invited him to spend the night with them in their dorms, in Bronc and Babcock halls, which he did. He often dined in Hazelrigg Student Union, with students joining him. Tom was truly the student’s President.”

Visitation for Reeves will be from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesday, February 9 at the Folk Funeral Home at 17536 Heritage Highway in Denmark, with a funeral service set for 2:00 pm on Thursday, February 10 at the First Baptist Church, 433 S. Beech Ave. in Denmark.

In retirement, Reeves was involved with a family-owned plant nursery and was pastor for a small church in Williston, South Carolina, and served as interim president for Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.

Born in Ridgeland, South Carolina, on August 12, 1935, Reeves graduated from Presbyterian College in 1957 and Columbia Theological Seminary in 1964. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Aberdeen in 1966. He then became a professor at Converse College and an administrator for 19 years, before being named President of Hastings College in 1985.

Reeves’ wife, Delores, passed away in 2011. He is survived by his son, Thomas “Jody” Reeves Jr. and grandson Jared of Denmark. An obituary for Reeves is online at folkfuneralhome.com/obituary/ReverendThomas-ReevesSr.

Hastings College is a four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings’ student-centered initiatives include providing books, an iPad and a two-week study away experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows professors and students to focus on fewer classes at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Discover more at hastings.edu.

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