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EIU Media Relations

Former President Dan Marvin Passes Away, Leaving Enduring Legacy


Dan MarvinDaniel E. Marvin Jr., who served as Eastern Illinois University's fifth sitting president from 1977 to 1983, passed away Monday at the age of 69.

"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the Marvin family in this time of sorrow," said EIU President William L. Perry. "Dr. Marvin provided strong leadership to the university as its fifth president.

"Through his leadership in the establishment of the Tarble Arts Center, as well as WEIU radio and television, he fulfilled his vision for making the university a resource for the community. His legacy continues today as these programs continue to enrich lives throughout the region.

"He also enhanced the academic environment of the campus through the creation of the first honors program, which has evolved into an Honors College that brings some of the state's best and brightest students to Eastern.

"We are forever grateful for Dr. Marvin's leadership and dedication to Eastern Illinois University."

Marvin was 39 when he assumed the presidency on Feb. 15, 1977, making him the youngest president in Eastern's history.

During Marvin's tenure, he worked tirelessly to move the university forward and promote its service to the region.

"We took the university to the people," Marvin said, reflecting on his presidency in EIU's 1995 Warbler yearbook. "We simply made the university more responsive to the surrounding area and communities."

For example, the Tarble Arts Center was dedicated in 1981, providing a major cultural arts resource for east-central Illinois. The facility was built entirely by donated funds and named after its major benefactor, alumnus Newton E. Tarble, who wanted to "take the arts to the people."

Marvin also greatly impacted the region when, after appointing a committee to study the creation of radio and television broadcasting facilities, he approved the establishment of WEIU in 1983. In addition to serving the community, WEIU provides one of country's best programs for training broadcasting students.

Marvin, who was instrumental in the establishment of the honors program, was particularly proud of raising admission standards for the university.

He also traveled extensively to investigate exchange programs for the university in Poland, Korea, Taiwan and China.

Marvin left Eastern in June 1983 to become president and chief executive officer of the First National Bank of Mattoon and its holding company, First Mid-Illinois Bank Shares Inc.

In 1995, Marvin was named to the Centennial 100, a list of the 100 most influential people in the university's history.

Highlights of other notable events during Marvin's presidency:

  • Following the previous season's 1-10 football record, Coach Darrell Mudra took the helm and led the Panthers to the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship.
  • Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) classes were offered for the first time.
  • The Office of University Planning and the Office of Personnel were created.
  • All sports except football became Division I; athletics joined the Mid-Continent Athletic Association; tennis and golf were re-instated.
  • Old Main was named a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The student legal services office was established.
  • The campus newspaper was renamed The Daily Eastern News.

Marvin earned a bachelor's degree in biology at East Stroudsburg State College in Pennsylvania, a master's degree in zoology from Ohio University, and a doctorate in cardiac and respiratory physiology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Before coming to EIU, Marvin was director of the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. In 1975, he was appointed to the President's Advisory Committee on Extension and Continuing Education by President Gerald Ford.



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Media Relations
Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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