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Cecil Crawford '42, alumnus and friend of Olivet, passes away

Posted: Jun 11, 2013

An alumnus who took special interest in the work of Olivet, Cecil Howard Crawford ’42 passed away on June 5, 2013, in Wilmington, N.C., where he and his wife, Miriam (Gregg) ’41, had lived for several years. He is remembered for his generosity and business success by the extended Olivet community.

A native of Corona, N.M., Cecil was the son of Olivet’s first graduate, Maggie (Sloan) Crawford. He graduated from Olivet in 1942 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He and Miriam met as students at Olivet. Following their courtship, they were married in 1942.

Cecil went on to develop several business enterprises, including Regal Beloit Corporation, specializing in products that convert power into motion; TicketMaster Corporation, now the global event ticketing leader and one of the world's top five eCommerce sites, with more than 26 million unique visitors monthly; and Masterson Art Products, manufacturer of the “Sta-Wet” artist palette.

He and Miriam propelled the fundraising effort for Centennial Chapel with their initial gift, and the Crawford Auditorium inside the chapel is named in their honor. Together, they established two endowed scholarships to assist international students and the children of ministers at Olivet. They were also significant contributors to construction of the Weber Center.

In 1986, Cecil and his three brothers established an award program at Olivet as a tribute to their mother. The award recognizes outstanding Christian women and challenges students to a life of meaningful service.

“Cecil Crawford definitely bore the marks of an Olivetian,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “His dedication to moving Olivet forward and providing an excellent education for generations of students inspires all of us. He served others in the name of Jesus throughout his life. His presence among us will be missed.”

Cecil is survived by Miriam, his wife of 70 years; daughter, Marsha, and her husband, U.S. Senator Dan Coats; son, Dr. Greg Crawford, and his wife, Susan; five grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Both of his parents were Church of the Nazarene pastors.

A memorial service for Cecil was held on June 8, and his burial service will take place on June 22.

Intramural sports in which Olivet students can participate, ranging from basketball and soccer to euchre and dodgeball