Thomas E. Spock '78 Named New Board Chair

Tom Spock '78

Tom Spock has been selected as the 14th chair of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College. Spock, whose appointment was announced at the Board's quarterly meeting this past weekend, will succeed Gil Kemp ’72, who has served as chair for three years, a full term as designated by the Board’s bylaws.

In making the announcement, Rhonda Resnick Cohen ’76, who chairs the Board's nominating and governance committee, notes that Spock is a natural fit for the role. "Tom’s longstanding and deep connections to the College, and numerous leadership roles on the Board make him an ideal person to lead the Board these next few years," she says.

Spock is the son of a matchbox couple whose father served on the Board of Managers and later became the College’s Vice President for Business and Finance. Tom Spock joined the Board in 1997, chaired the Finance Committee from 2004-2012, and now chairs the Admissions and Financial Aid Committee. During 2008-09, he also served as chair of Swarthmore’s Presidential Search Committee.

“As we are set to welcome and inaugurate our new president, Valerie Smith, and build toward a comprehensive campaign, this is an opportune time to transition to a new Board chair,” says current Board Chair Gil Kemp ’72. “Tom is a great choice for this pivotal time.”

As Chair, Spock will lead the Board in its fiduciary and oversight responsibilities and will work closely with the president as she determines the College’s direction and priorities, including increasing aid and access.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as Swarthmore's next Board chair, and to step into the role so capably filled by Gil, who will remain a key member of the Board's leadership," Spock says. "I grew up attending Swarthmore Friends Meeting and have long respected the enduring influence of Quaker values on the College. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the College leadership to ensure that Swarthmore provides the very best, most intellectually rigorous undergraduate liberal arts and engineering education available, while continuing to expand the accessibility of a Swarthmore education to all qualified students. I know that President-elect Smith intends to make this a priority, and the Board will be a full partner with her towards that end. “

Interim President Constance Hungerford praised both Kemp and Spock. "I have long respected Gil for his calm and steady leadership and have come to appreciate him even more since working closely with him this past year,” Hungerford says. “I have known Tom since he was a student in my Modern Art Honors seminar. He will do an amazing job as Board chair.” 

About Tom Spock ’78

Spock is a respected sports and media industry executive and a founding partner of Scalar Media Partners LLC. Prior to starting Scalar Media, he spent 10 years with the NFL, serving as its first executive vice president and chief financial officer and later as executive vice president for new media and enterprises. Before joining the NFL, Spock spent nine years at NBC in New York in a variety of financial positions.

Spock has been a regular guest lecturer in sports economics at NYU’s Stern Business School, been a guest columnist for the Sports Business Journal, and spoken at the IOC’s World Congress in Lausanne. He is also a director of Cutwater Select Income Fund.

Spock’s ties to Swarthmore predate his arrival as a student. He was born to Bill Spock ’51 and the late Betty Daugherty Spock ’52, and was raised by his father and mother, Patricia E. Spock.  He graduated from Nether Providence High School, now known as Strath Haven.

Spock earned a B.A. with honors in economics with minors in history and art history from Swarthmore and an MBA from Stanford. At Swarthmore, he played four years of varsity soccer, including playing in the 1974 NCAA Division III National Championship game.

Like his father, Spock received the Ivy Award at Swarthmore’s commencement, given to the outstanding man in the graduating class. Spock and his father are the only father-son duo to be so honored.

Spock lives in Larchmont, N.Y. He and his wife, Linda, have one grown son, Randy.