An alumnus who literally sang the praises of Chapman University and served as an unflagging supporter of alumni activities, the Rev. Dean Echols ’46 passed away Aug. 28. He was 88.
Friends and colleagues remembered Echols as a powerful speaker, tireless president and board member of the Alumni Association and gifted tenor. As an undergraduate, Echols sang in the Cardinal Quartets, a traveling choral group that toured churches and schools throughout California and Arizona, inspiring students to enroll in Chapman.
“He was a gentleman and scholar. He was just super,” says Bernie Davis ’47, who sang bass with the quartets.
Echols carried his passion for music into retirement and recently helped Margaret Schumacher create the Schumacher Concert Series at The Covington retirement community in Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Throughout his pastoral ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Echols always encouraged youths to attend Chapman. He returned to campus himself in 1984 as director of alumni relations, and in 1986 he was named director of church relations.
Former Alumni Association president Adam Riffe ’95 said he always marveled at Echols’ knack for recruiting students to Chapman with sheer enthusiasm. Echols was proud to list 54 students he had encouraged to attend Chapman.
“He was so passionate about his alma mater and encouraging of students to choose Chapman. I think there’s a much larger legacy at Chapman because of Dean,” Riffe said. “He truly made a positive impact on the university.”
Condolences may be sent to Dean’s wife, Mally Echols, in care of David Moore in University Advancement, 1 University Drive, Orange, Calif. 92866.