By Cody Schuman
On November 6, former Adams State College president, Dr. John Marvel and his wife, Francis, received the 2009 Willis Fassett Jr. Award. The award marks as the latest in many accolades for one of the college’s most influential people.
Dr. Marvel strived for excellence through nearly half a century of devoted work in higher education and served as the college’s fourth president in 1966. Marvel wanted future progress and to establish a stronghold within the community. He worked together with the board and the community to raise private funds to enrich programs the state and federal funding could not touch.
Willis Fassett, Jr., for whom the honor is named, served as an original foundation board member. He, along with Marvel, strived to build a lasting and successful foundation for both the college and the community during the very early stages of the foundation. William Fassett said, “My father held John in high regard both professionally and personally.”
The award was presented to the couple during the Adams State Donor and Student Recognition Banquet. “My mother and father would be thrilled to death to know that John and Fran are receiving this award,” William continued.
Marvel retired from Adams State College in 1977 but continues to have a lasting impact on the college. Both he and his wife received honorary doctorate degrees in 1982. Just recently, the college also renamed the president’s residence after them.