Collected wisdom: Kevin Tomkins, class of 1993
Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in the December 2012 edition of ASU Magazine.
Looking at her husband’s expression is enough to tell Julie Tomkins that her husband is about to enter Sun Devil Country.
“Even today, after 22 years, he looks like a little kid on Christmas morning when we fly into Phoenix,” she said. Kevin Tomkins earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Arizona State University. Experiences that defined his time at the university served as a catalyst to his devotion to ASU today.
Academic and athletic traditions became part of Tomkins core, as he studied, became involved and attended sporting events. “I really enjoyed the people. ASU attracts outgoing, positive students,” he said.
Tomkins asserts that he owns more Arizona State paraphernalia than “anyone alive” today. His collection is legendary, including everything from his customized ASU golf cart (equipped with a tailgating barbecue hook-up) to Rose Bowl memorabilia. His game room is filled with autographed baseballs, softballs from ASU’s national championships, and a commissioned painting of the ASU football team. Most of the collection comes from events and eBay.
“My friends who went to other schools walk in there and sort of get the heebie-jeebies,” he said. “My wife is convinced that there is not an article of ASU clothing that I don’t own. The woman who runs the stadium shop knows me.”
Today, he is known around his Arcadia, Calif., neighborhood as an avid ASU fan, hosting tailgating parties, a golf tournament to benefit ASU athletics, and ASU send-offs for new students through the Los Angeles chapter of the ASU Alumni Association.
“It’s a way for incoming students to meet new people and get their questions answered,” he said. “We supply the house, food and ASU atmosphere.”
Tomkin’s inspiration to support ASU Future Sun Devils is his way of giving back to the university. He’s also providing ASU inspiration among ardent California fans. When he first moved into his home, two neighboring families were University of Southern California supporters. “Four of their five kids ended up going to ASU. I’d like to think that I had something to do with that,” he said.