UPDATED: Administrator, beloved alumnus dies
Ken Bascom passes unexpectedly
UPDATED Thursday, June 28, 5:20 p.m.:
With the passing of Ken Bascom, senior director of facilities and planning, came the loss of a dedicated and revered member of the Biola community.
During his time at Biola, Bascom worked his way from the ground up, literally. After training as a groundsman Bascom transitioned into administration, during which time he worked alongside current vice president of university services, Greg Balsano.
Building with character
It was never enough to simply build new structures, but rather, Bascom desired the buildings to meet several important requirements, according to Balsano.
“He didn’t want the buildings to be just boxes, he wanted them to have beauty, character, usability and a spiritual aspect,” Balsano said.
Several notable and trademark features in current Biola structures are due to the initial ideas of Bascom.
The scriptures inside the Library having to do with the “Light of the World”, the lantern on top of the library and the building’s overall theme of “Light” were all things Bascom strongly promoted and advocated for, according to Balsano.
The scripture windows and Jerusalem stone in the new Talbot East building are also a result of Bascom’s input.
Bascom also set high standards in his everyday life, not just campus construction, Balsano said.
“Ken was a person of great personal character. He didn’t just talk Christian...he lived it and he set high standards for himself and that included work ethic and relational issues,” Balsano said.
“He was a good listener and able to deal with planning issues from a neutral position. He really listened to what people needed, then tried to come up with a solution for them and the rest of Biola. He was a very spiritual and dedicated, hardworking person. He had a lot of credibility and trust because of his character.”
Preserving the past while shaping the future
Bascom was not only passionate about building and construction but also maintaining Biola’s history, according to Balsano. Bascom gave public presentations, wrote historical articles, led campus tours and helped start the Library’s Heritage Room, according to Biola’s news page.
Though Bascom devotedly preserved Biola’s past, he was also dedicated to improving the university’s future.
“He saw himself as leaving a mark for the future people at Biola,” Balsano said. “His way of doing that was through building...he saw the buildings as another way to glorify God.”
Ken Bascom passed away unexpectedly early Monday morning after serving the Biola community for over 40 years.
As a student at Biola, Bascom was hired for the grounds crew in 1970, and went on to assume the role of senior director of Facilities, Planning and Construction in 2001.
Under his leadership, notable projects such as the Bell Tower and Metzger Hall were able to come to fruition. Most recently, Bascom was able to oversee the construction and completion of the Talbot East building.
Caring for the campus and community
Though Bascom left his mark on the Biola campus through new buildings and construction, he also acted as an unofficial ambassador to the La Mirada community.
La Mirada City Manager Thomas Robinson reflected on his interactions with Bascom over the past several years.
“I’ve known Ken for many years... I have great respect for him. He was the guy I could go to in the Biola organization about anything. He was a go-to guy who took things seriously and tried to make things better,” Robinson said.
Robinson worked with Bascom on the Biola Master Plan over the past year and recalled Bascom’s desire to see the university maintain a solid relationship with the surrounding La Mirada community.
“He cared deeply for Biola as a university. He worked hard to make sure Biola was a good neighbor to the rest of the community,” Robinson said. “He was very sensitive to [Biola’s] need for growth but also the community’s interests. He cared about the community and the campus.”
Despite his passing, Bascom’s legacy of improving the Biola campus still lives on according to Robinson.
“Just this morning I looked out one my windows and saw a crane at Biola working and I thought, ‘There’s Ken still working...still making the campus better.’”
A memorial service is set to be held on July 1 in Biola’s Sutherland Auditorium according to the Biola news page. Biola is also putting together a commemorative book for Bascom’s family and have asked those with memories of him to email their remembrances to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Bascom passed away unexpectedly early Monday morning, leaving a legacy of building into Biola.
Bascom served as the senior director for facilities and planning.
President Barry Corey sent a letter to Biola staff first thing Monday morning.
“One cannot walk these beautiful campus grounds without seeing the physical marks of Ken's giftedness everywhere,” he said. “But far more profound is the godly and gracious influence he has had on countless people over many decades.”
In his letter, Corey asked for the Biola community to support Bascom's family and immediate colleagues in prayer.
"I ask that ... you intercede in prayer for [his wife] Greer, their children, grandchildren and extended family as they grieve the passing of Ken. Please pray as well for Ken's immediate colleagues here at Biola who are no doubt shocked and at a loss today," he said.
The Chimes will continue to provide more information as it is available. If you knew Bascom and would like to share your thoughts, please comment below or email email@example.com.