W. Thomas Cook was born in McCook, Nebraska. He received his BA and Masters Degrees from Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado).Tom began his career in radio at KBRL-AM-1450 in 1948. He was a member of the Council for Public Broadcasting at KRMA-TV in Denver starting in 1965; he served on the Board of Directors for Rocky Mountain PBS for 32 years. Tom was also the host of “Denver Showcase” on KOA-TV (now KCNC) from 1979 to 1991. During this time, Tom interviewed leading figures in politics, the arts, sciences and sports.
With the opening of Metropolitan State College in 1965, Professor Cook became a charter member of the Faculty, and he established the first broadcasting curriculum in the state. This led to the first Broadcasting/Telecommunications major program, leading to a Baccalaureate degree in 1976. It was during this time that Tom, working with his good friend Carl Akers, started the first internship at KBTV-TV and radio in 1968. Today, Metro students are participating in 140 telecommunications internships throughout the region and the U.S.
Tom has received many honors during his career, including the Distinguished Faculty Award from Metro State College in 1983 and the Distinguished Service award in 1988. The Colorado/Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences inducted him into the Silver Circle in 1999 – the first educator to be so honored. And in March of 2002, the Colorado Broadcast Pioneers inducted him into their Hall of Fame. Tom served on the Board of Governors for the Colorado/Heartland Chapter, and was an enthusiastic member of the Education and Scholarship committees. In his honor, the Chapter has established the W. Thomas Cook Scholarship.
The good works of Tom’s life will carry on in the hearts of all who knew him.