Shawn King to Retire After Three Decades of Service

April 26, 2024

He has dedicated nearly 32-years of service to the university. He has held six different titles, under eight permanent or interim presidents. Countless major and minor projects have crossed his desk: the building of a new rec center; the transformation of the PUB; the construction of the ISC; the top-to-bottom renovation of EWU’s main academic building, Patterson Hall; the rise of the newly refurbished Science Building.

But now it’s time for Shawn King, associate vice president for facilities and planning, to hang up the hard hat and head off to retirement.

“Over my career the campus has really transformed into a quality regional campus,” says King. “The new and renovated buildings provide quality learning, gathering, playing and living spaces for all. The greatest impact for this campus is the people that work here and provide all the services for our students and staff.”

King started his Eastern journey in November 1992 as a plumber/pipefitter/steamfitter supervisor. He learned quickly that the 300-acre campus operates like a small city, one in which the facilities team makes sure everything runs smoothly every single day of the year — rain or shine, hot or cold.

He has had a unique view of the campus’s dramatic changes over the years, in both size and complexity. Of all the big projects, King is most proud of the new Interdisciplinary Science Center and the renovated PUB, which he calls the most challenging undertaking.

“Remember this (project) pretty much split the building right down the middle,” he says. “There were many unknowns and many places we had to surge people to during the construction period. We now have a great space for students to use as an anchor point on campus. The senior project manager, Troy Bester, did a great job of planning and coordinating a very tricky renovation project.”

Also tricky, King points out, are the logistics that go into each project. He credits the dedication of his team and the various trade workers with contributing to Eastern’s many successes over the years.

“During my career as AVP, we have planned and requested projects from the legislature, designed and constructed major and minor works projects,” says King. “We have built and maintained, cleared, and cleaned and provide a safe and comfortable working and learning environment for students, faculty and staff.  Our motto is ‘One Team, One Future,’ which symbolizes this unit’s dedication to the university, its students and the community.”

Retirement plans involve spending more time with his family at their house on Deer Lake, and yet one more construction job to manage — a new woodshop where he can work on projects while, hopefully, “keeping my fingers attached.”

King is certain he gave EWU everything he had, and he walks away proud of what he’s accomplished.

“There are so many people that I consider friends and esteemed colleagues,” he says. “I have learned much from others that have supported my career.  Hopefully I have passed along some information and guidance to others on campus.  I know that the campus is in good hands as I put myself out to pasture.”