Every Tuesday at 5:15 p.m., runners gather outside of Jack Quinn’s Pub to run a 5-kilometer race through Colorado Springs. On May 1, a new group of runners gathered, wearing bright blue t-shirts. They came to honor the life of Kevin Morgan, a Colorado College campus safety officer who passed away last December in a car accident.
The event was organized by Viki Butchko and Jon Ramsay, both of whom are campus safety officers who worked with Morgan. When Butchko realized Morgan’s birthday, May 1, coincided with the weekly 5k he used to run, she and Ramsay suggested they do one in his honor.
Morgan was an avid runner, a part of Jack Quinn’s Running Club, and a former member of the Boulder Running Co. team. In his mid-twenties, he won a few local 5k races and was known to run the Manitou incline. Though he worked three jobs, he still managed to train every day. He was dedicated to the sport, claiming in a 2010 interview with the Colorado Springs Independent that he had Olympic dreams.
His hard work was noticed and appreciated by those around him. Nick Calkins, the Associate Director of Campus Safety, remembers Morgan as dedicated from the very beginning. “He was a very hard worker,” said Calkins. “I don’t know of anyone out there who worked nearly as hard as he did. He would just constantly be out there, he was always volunteering to do things. He was always wanting to be part of stuff, to recruit other people. He was very much so a charismatic part of the team.”
Most of the Colorado College Campus Safety officers attended the event. Calkins ran with his team to honor Morgan’s life. When he talked about Morgan, it was with an endearing sincerity. He described Morgan as a person untouched by the jadedness typical in his line of work. “The grime that sort of collects on you after a while, he didn’t have,” said Calkins. “He would just constantly be out there, very cheerful the entire time.”
Morgan was giving both inside and outside of work. “Kevin, he really knew how to help people,” said Butchko. He was the kind of person who was always volunteering to do things and recruit other people. His memorial service read, “It wasn’t enough just to be healthy and happy; Kevin wanted to help others to feel that way, too, and worked to inspire and motivate everyone he knew, encouraging them to get up and get moving, to reach higher, to do more. Those who knew him will remember his kindness, his humor, his enthusiasm, his humility, his friendliness.”
In a letter sent to staff after the crash, this sentiment was reiterated. “His amiable and engaging style made working with him a pleasure and we not only viewed him as a colleague, but also a dear friend who always went out of his way to serve others.”
“He didn’t live long, but he did live well, and the lives he touched are better for it,” read his memorial service. All the proceeds of the sale of the blue-shirts the runners wore were donated to the Marian House, a catholic soup kitchen downtown. They featured a picture of Morgan running, and a quote indicative of his faith as well as his love of running; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Even after life, he is bringing light to others.