After serving the last 15 years as Gustavus Adolphus College’s Director of Campus Safety, Ray Thrower will be returning home to North Carolina to become the Assistant Vice President of Campus Safety and Security at Queens University of Charlotte.
“Gustavus and St. Peter have been our home since 1998 and my wife, daughters and I have enjoyed every minute here. The Gustavus community is something special and something that will always be a part of me,” Thrower said. “I am eager for this new challenge at this stage in my career.”
Thrower came to Gustavus in 1998, just 29 days before the March 29 tornado that swept through the College and city of St. Peter, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing the College to close for three weeks. Thrower immediately became a major asset to the College’s recovery following the disaster.
During his tenure at the College, Thrower has worked tirelessly to improve relations and communication with public safety agencies. He has also initiated and helped lead bi-annual full-scale public safety exercises and drills that allow Gustavus employees to collaborate with local and regional first responders to practice responding to different emergency situations. Thrower has also spearheaded the College’s use of Rave Mobile Safety – software that allows College officials to send out timely messages to campus constituents via voice messaging, text messaging, and e-mail in the event of an emergency.
Thrower also stepped onto the international stage when he served as president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). His term as president came at a crucial time for campus safety and security as a result of the April 2007 tragedy at Virginia Tech University where an active shooter killed 32 people on that campus.
In response to the situation at Virginia Tech, along with subsequent active shooter situations at schools such as Louisiana Technical College and Northern Illinois University, Thrower co-authored the IACLEA Blueprint for Safer Campuses, which provides recommendations for campus safety along with a summary of successes and failures from the response to the Virginia Tech tragedy. He continues to contribute extensively to the national and international dialogue for K-12 and campus public safety and has appeared and been quoted on numerous news services in the arena of campus public safety.
This will be Thrower’s second stint at Queens University of Charlotte as he previous served there from 1986 to 1990 as Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police. He then assumed the same title at Davidson College in North Carolina for eight years (1990-1998) before coming to Gustavus.
“Ray’s proactive and collaborative approach to ensuring the safety of our students, staff, and visitors here at Gustavus is something that I have greatly appreciated during my time here,” Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students JoNes VanHecke said. “He is one of the leaders in his field and has performed his duties with professionalism and integrity. We are sad to see him leave, but we wish him well as he takes on this exciting new challenge back in North Carolina.”
Thrower’s last day at Gustavus is July 26. He will begin his new duties at Queens on August 1.
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