Darryl King never expected to see his name on a building at King’s University College. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he would be accepted into the Western affiliate.
“I was 18 years old, my father had just passed away and it was a close call – two for and one against to let me in,” said King, BA’97 (History). “For me, I believe that moment was an affirmation that King’s believes in people and in giving people a chance. As I reflect on it today, I believe in people, and in giving back so they can have an opportunity, an opportunity like I had.
“The fact I am where I am today, and the fact I can give back in a significant way, is a tribute to King’s.”
On Wednesday, King’s officially opened the Darryl J. King Student Life Centre. After six years of planning and fundraising, this state-of-the-art social and academic hub now boasts numerous amenities, including a fully serviced learning commons and writing centre, a 490-seat theatre, classrooms, seminar rooms, a fitness centre, as well as a two-storey fireplace.
And above it all will be King’s name on the newest building on the campus he grew to love.
“It’s actually strange,” King laughed, “I am a fairly young guy still. My initial inclination was to tell them to name the building what they wanted, but not after me. But then I thought, maybe this is a testament to show alumni can continue to support their institution. It’s important that we all, to some extent, give back.”
Attracted by its Western connection, and Roman Catholic affiliation, King wanted to be part of King’s from the start. His special admission served as the opportunity he needed.
“I always thought I would succeed, but didn’t know where I would end up,” King said.
Summer internships at transportation companies led to his first job in the logistics industry following graduation. Since, he has more than 20 years of logistics experience including executive-level positions supporting Toyota and numerous other global leaders.
Today, King is president and founder of Logikor Inc., a Cambridge, Ont.-based firm that creates custom logistics solutions for manufacturers with locations in Canada, the United States and Hong Kong.
He has always spoken highly of his days at the Western affiliate, and credits the institution with both his professional success and philanthropic outlook. Through his company, King supports communities, both locally and globally – from Lisaard House, Cambridge Food Bank and the North Mississauga Soccer Club, to Free the Children, Kiwanis International and Habitat for Humanity, as well as numerous others.
His financial support of the Student Life Campaign makes him the largest alumni donor in the history of King’s.
“It’s an amazing feeling – a sense of pride, accomplishment, achievement. It’s hard to put into a single word. It’s overwhelming, however,” King said. “I am not that guy who is thinking about my legacy and what I need to do for future generations, although I am doing more of that now.”
Darryl and his partner, Kerry, have a blended family of eight children. Kerry’s daughter, Taylor, is currently enrolled at King’s.
“Buildings like these get built because of collaboration, a willingness to get something done,” King said. “It’s something that we need to actively promote – that people need to be engaged, and good things will happen.”