La Verne Mourns Passing Of Dwight Hanawalt
Dwight Hanawalt, whose relationship to the University of La Verne as a student, coach, teacher and administrator spanned nine decades, passed away Thursday in La Verne. He was 92.
Hanawalt attended what was then La Verne College from 1937-41. Following World War II, he returned to La Verne College in 1946 and helped restore the Leopards athletic program to full operation.
Over the next 40 years, Hanawalt taught as a professor of Physical Education, coached intercollegiate athletics, served as the dean of students and chaired the Health Physical Education & Recreation Department.
“Dwight Hanawalt’s commitment to our institution and affection for our students is inspiring,” said La Verne President, Dr. Devorah Lieberman. “The impression he and his family has made upon our campus is evident."
Among his coaching duties during his career included serving as an assistant football coach under Roland Ortmayer for several years. During his tenure he also coached track & field, badminton and men's volleyball. For more than 25 years he was the organizer and leader of the university’s Freshman Camp. His folk dancing and square-dancing classes were popular parts of the curriculum and became a central segment of campus life.
"Dwight leaves a legacy as a great man, a leader, an educator, and kindness," said La Verne Athletic Director Julie Kline. "His contributions will forever be engrained in Leopard Athletics and the University of La Verne."
The following year he was the 1987 recipient of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes individuals within the SCIAC who prompt collegiate athletics and the concept of the student-athlete as a coach, administrator or long term member of the conference. In 1994, he was part of the inaugural induction class to the University of La Verne Athletic Hall of Fame.
"Dwight was a sincere human being who had a willingness to do whatever the university asked," added Rex Huigens, former Leopard head football coach and former chair of La Verne's Movement & Sports Science Department. "Without a doubt he made a strong impact at La Verne."
He is survived by wife Imogene and their five children, Don, Ruth, Mark, Kent and Jay, his brothers Wayne Hanawalt and Clair Hanawalt and his sisters Doris Frick and Miriam Long (deceased) as well as more than 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 21, 10:30 a.m. at the La Verne Church of the Brethren.