SNU Remembers Two Exceptional Leaders

SNU Remembers Two Exceptional Leaders

Southern Nazarene University mourns the loss of charter Foundation Board of Directors member Jack Imel who passed away on January 2, 2014 in Idaho, and former Foundation Board member and alumnus Carl Sawyer, who died on December 27, 2013 in Florida.

Dr. Loren Gresham, president of Southern Nazarene University said, “Jack and Joan Imel have been among our most loyal and committed alumni in the entire history of SNU. Their service to the Foundation Board of Directors from its inception has been remarkable. We will sorely miss Jack’s presence at our meetings, and will continue to pray for Joan.” Gresham continued, “And, sadly, just prior to the news of Jack’s passing we received the news that our colleague and friend, Carl Sawyer, had lost his battle with cancer. We remember fondly the Sawyers and their association with SNU. Carl was a generous person who shared with the church and SNU the resources he had been entrusted from God. Our prayers are with Marcia and his family.”

 Carl Sawyer

Carl Sawyer’s passions were his personal Christian faith, his family, friends, and the Southern Nazarene University athletic programs. A member of SNU’s first varsity men’s basketball team and the Class of 1966, he was a major supporter of SNU athletics, and was the lead donor of the Sawyer Athletic Center. He also provided significant financial assistance through scholarship endowments for students.

A member of the Class of 1957, Jack Imel was known for serving others through his personal Christian faith, his spirit of compassion, spiritual sensitivity and business insights. An avid advocate for his alma mater, Mr. Imel founded the Imel Work Incentive Scholarship Program to provide on-campus employment for students in financial need, and established permanent endowments providing financial aid for students pursuing studies in Music, and the Natural and Social Sciences. The significant contributions of Jack and Joan Imel were recognized by their alma mater when the University named the Imel Townhouses complex in their honor.


Jack Imel

These servant leaders will long be remembered for their caring spirit, generosity and service to their alma mater.

Southern Nazarene University’s mission is to transform lives through higher education in a Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.