Born in Thailand and raised in West Texas, Cheek enjoyed a 26-year career as an Army intelligence officer before joining ASU as events manager in 2007. Since then, he has helped ensure ASU events ranging from distinguished lectureships and ribbon cuttings to commencement ceremonies and Rambunctious Weeks go off without a hitch. Just as importantly, he is also a primary contact for community groups and organizations that want to stage their events on campus.
“The citizens of San Angelo love ASU and go out of their way to help the students in many ways,” Cheek said. “So, providing these ASU facilities in the best light possible is a way of giving back to the community. It’s also a way of keeping and fostering that close relationship between ASU and its students and the town.”
Cheek also fosters close relationships with the ASU students who make up the bulk of his events staff. He is definitely a father figure in the Ram Fam.
“The students are almost like family,” Cheek said. “They’re almost like my own children, particularly the ones who work for me. The students come here for a real education, but many of them also need a job. My job is to balance their work for me with their class schedules. I had mentors in the Army, and I feel I need to pass that on to the students. When you help grow a student like that, you get both a better student and a more productive person.”
“The students are almost like family…particularly the ones who work for me.”
For his exceptional direction of ASU events and mentorship of students, the Alumni Association has named Cheek its 2020 Outstanding Staff.
“It’s a huge honor, though I don’t see that I’ve done anything particularly special,” Cheek said. “I’ve just been doing my job. It’s a big honor, but it was definitely a surprise.”
Cheek and his wife, Gayle, a two-time ASU alumna, have three kids. All three have attended ASU, and the youngest is on the verge of earning his ASU diploma.