President, Dr. Tommy King

The grandson of the founder of the town of Sumrall, Dr. Raymond Thomas (Tommy) King, became the ninth president of William Carey University in April 2007.

Dr. King, the first graduate of Carey to be named president, came to the position with 30 years of experience in public education from elementary to university levels.  At Carey he served as dean of the school of psychology and counseling, vice president for graduate and off-campus programs, professor of psychology, and executive vice president. He was recognized for his service to Carey by being named Alumnus of the Year and is a member of the Alumni Hall of Fame.

In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Carey College, King holds four graduate degrees, including a doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Dr. King has served the Southern Baptist denomination on the local, state, and national levels.  In local churches, he has served on the staff, on significant committees, and as a Bible teacher and a deacon. King is a former member of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and served eight years as a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

His strong record of leadership in civic affairs includes serving on the boards of the Laurel Planning Commission, the American Cancer Society in Jones and Marion counties and the Laurel-Jones County and Mississippi Library Boards. Among his honors, Dr. King was named Columbia’s “Outstanding Citizen.” He has served on local, state, and international levels of the Lions Club and is an International Foundation Melvin Jones Fellow for Outstanding Humanitarian Work. He established the Mississippi Lions Deaf Camp and was inducted into the Lions Hall of Fame in 2002. In recognition of his service to the Lion’s Club he has received numerous awards including the Ambassador of Good will award, the highest honor the club bestows upon its members. In 2015 he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.

Dr. King was recipient of the prestigious Hub Award in 2010 and the Promotion of the Arts Award from the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association in 2014. He was named a 2015 Outstanding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the year by the Mississippi Business Journal. Dr. King was also the honoree of the 2017 American Heart Association Gala in the Pinebelt. 

He has served in many state and national leadership positions including as president of the Mississippi Association of College and Universities in 2011-2012. He currently serves on the boards of the Salvation Army, the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities as well as the Council of Presidents of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He is also President of the Southern States Athletic Conference, chairman of the Consortium for Global Education, and vice-chair of the board for National Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute  (NDORT). Dr. King was a past member of the boards of the United Way and the Area Development Partnership.

Under his leadership, Carey a new fifty-acre campus was established in Biloxi.  A  medical complex of four state of the art buildings, two resident halls, Sarah Ellen Gillespie Museum of Art, Kennedy Sports Complex, Tatum Theatre, a wing to the School of Nursing, a maintenance facility and numerous other buildings have been constructed or remodeled on the Hattiesburg campus which has expanded from 135 to 175 acres.  The College of Osteopathic Medicine was established in 2010, the College of Health Sciences was added in 2015 and the Doctorate in Physical Therapy began in fall 2016. The number of sports teams has increased from six to 17, new degree programs have been added and on-line class offerings have greatly expanded. It is anticipated that a School of Pharmacy will open in the fall of 2018 on the Tradition campus in Biloxi.

Dr. King and his wife Sandra have one son, two grandsons and four great grandchildren.