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Calvin Bryan Hanson was born in Long Beach California on September 22nd, 1925. He passed away peacefully on May 10th, 2013 at Bellingham Washington, surrounded by his family. He is survived by Muriel, his wife of sixty-five years, by his children, Brenda, Kent, and Pamela, by his grandchildren Lindsay, Taylor, Brianne, Tyler, and Chase, and by his great grandchildren Ellie, Gwenyth, and Calvin. Cal devoted his life to his Christian ministry and spent his early adult years with his young family as a missionary in Japan. In 1961, he became the founding president of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, and nurtured the fledging institution for the following twelve years before going on to teach at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield Illinois. Cal never quite managed to retire, and will be remembered as a man who worked tirelessly and travelled widely to bring his message of comfort and hope to as many people as he could reach.
Source: email from daughter Pamela Goossen, May 16, 2013.
Dr. Calvin B. Hanson not only was Trinity Western University’s founding president, but also one of its visionary pioneers. He was appointed founding president of Trinity Junior College in June 1961 when the institution existed as just a working committee that grew from an idea of the Evangelical Free Church of America.
Under Cal Hanson's leadership, TJC grew from 17 students in 1962 to 375 in 1974, with the new name of Trinity Western College adopted in 1971. Awarded the Doctor of Letters from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois in 1968, Dr. Hanson resigned in 1974 to hand over the reins to Dr. R. Neil Snider. Hanson served as Director of Internship and Field Education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School from 1978-1995 where he also taught Practical Theology courses.
Dr. Hanson attended Wheaton College and received a B.A. from Augsburg College. He was a missionary in Japan for 10 years prior to joining Trinity Junior College and had pastoral experience in a number of churches from Illinois to British Columbia. He also held an M.A. from the University of Minnesota where he was engaged in doctoral studies when he was elected founding president of Trinity Junior College. Dr. Hanson was often quoted saying, “If Jesus Christ is Lord, nothing is secular.” He underscored the need for integration of the spiritual with all of life – including the academic and the social aspects of life.
The inaugural issue of TWU’s yearbook, The Pillar, was dedicated to the University’s first president, the name taken from the title of Hanson’s first convocation address in September 1962. The first building on campus built by TWU, the chapel, was also named in his honour.
Dr. Hanson has authored a number of books including On the Raw Edge of Faith in 1977, an autobiographical account of the founding of Trinity Western and the events leading up to and covering the twelve years he was president. In addition, as an ordained minister, he was a frequent speaker. In the spring of 1992, Dr. Hanson received an honourary Doctor of Humanities (honoris causa) from Trinity Western University and in 2006 he was given the title of President Emeritus for TWU on the occasion of the inauguration of the University’s third president, Jonathan S. Raymond, Ph.D. Dr. Hanson was living in Bellingham, Washington; he leaves behind his wife, Muriel, their three married children and five grandchildren.
Source: email from TWU President Jonathan Raymond, May 16, 2013