Adams State remembers fourth president, Dr. John Marvel


Adams State University is saddened by the death July 28 of its fourth president, Dr. John A. Marvel. He held that post from 1966-1977, then became president of the System of State Colleges and Universities Consortium in Colorado. In 1977, he was also installed as president of the American Association of State College and Universities.

"Dr. Marvel fostered shared governance and campus dialog during a time of often turbulent social change in our country and on campus," said Dr. Beverlee J. McClure, president of Adams State University. "That was also a time of growth and maturation for the college. Student enrollment grew to 3,073 in 1970, a record that stood until 2009. Dr. Marvel's tenure saw construction of new dormitories, the College Center, and a new library. He also helped initiate the Adams State Foundation in order to provide scholarships and other important resources."

Dr. Marvel's commitment to Adams State students continues, with his family suggesting memorial contributions be made to the Adams State University Foundation. (Memorial gifts may be sent to the ASU Foundation, 208 Edgemont, Alamosa, CO, 81101. For more information, please call 719-587-7122.)

Highlights of Dr. Marvel's presidency figure prominently in Mostly Marvelous, a history of Adams State from 1966-1981, written by Emeritus Professor of English and Adams State alumnus Don Stegman.

Frances and Dr. John Marvel

In 2005, Adams State renamed its renovated president's residence "The Marvel House," in recognition of the contributions made by Dr. Marvel and his late wife of 68 years, Frances. The couple received honorary doctorate degrees at Adams State's 1982 Spring Commencement, and Dr. Marvel gave the spring 2007 commencement address. The Adams State Foundation presented the Marvels with its highest honor, the Willis Fassett Jr. Award, in 2009. Among his additional honors, Dr. Marvel was inducted into Adams State's Educator's Hall of Fame in 2015. Dr. Marvel's son John Marvel is a 1970 Adams State graduate; daughter-in-law Connie Marvel graduated in 1975.

A memorial service and reception are scheduled for Friday, August 26, from 2-4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Alamosa, Colorado. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dr. Marvel's remarkable life.

By Julie Waechter