Calvin B. Hanson, M.A. Litt.D., D.Hum.
President, Trinity Western University 1962 - 1974 President Emeritus, 2006-2013
Dr. Calvin B. Hanson (1925-2013) was not only Trinity Western University’s founding president, but also one of its visionary pioneers. He was appointed founding president 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 his leadership, TWU grew from 17 students in 1962 under the name of Trinity Junior College to 375 in 1974, with the new name of Trinity Western College changed in 1971. In 1968 he was awarded the Doctor of Letters from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Dr. Hanson resigned in 1974 to hand over the reins to Dr. 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 has 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 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 was given the title of President Emeritus for TWU on the occasion of the inauguration of the University’s third president, Dr. Jonathan S. Raymond. Dr. Hanson lived in Bellingham, Washington with his wife, Muriel. He is survived by his wife, three married children, and five grandchildren. Born in Long Beach, California on September 22, 1925, Calvin Hanson passed away peacefully on May 10, 2013 at Bellingham, Washington, surrounded by his family.