SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Chuck Cox has been an active part of the Evangel University family for more than 46 years — as a student athlete, a supportive graduate, and for the past 30 years, as its senior director of alumni relations.
According to Cox, he intends to stay involved after he retires from Evangel on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015.
“Evangel is deep in Chuck’s DNA,” said Dr. Carol Taylor, president of Evangel University. “No one has known our alumni and their stories like Chuck. He has been deeply committed to his alma mater and to serving our thousands of alumni. I am grateful for his service and deep love for the alma mater we share.”
Cox graduated from Evangel (then College) with a degree in mathematics in 1973 and joined the U.S. Marines, where he served until 1981 as a commissioned officer and pilot.
It was during those early years that Cox first caught the eye of then-President Robert H. Spence.
“Chuck impressed me with his involvement and support while in the Marines,” he said. “From the beginning, he and Jo provided financial support, attended regional events and even returned to campus for a homecoming.”
Spence was pleased when the opportunity came about to hire Cox full-time in 1985 to head Evangel’s alumni relations efforts.
Organizer, leader, servant, friend
During his time of leadership, Cox has planned and orchestrated 31 homecomings, with 25 or more events at each. The largest was in 2005 — the University’s 50th Anniversary — which saw more than 4,000 in attendance at the football game and 1,400 at the celebration banquet.
Cox also produced more than 300 alumni and friends dinner-events in major metropolitan areas across the U.S.
“Chuck planned everything he did with a meticulous attention to detail — as thorough as the process he used as a Marine pilot,” said Dr. Spence, who served as president from 1974-2014. “Nothing was ever left to chance.”
As a strategic member of the advancement division at Evangel, Cox assisted the University’s fundraising activity that generated more than $65 million in gift income since 1992, used to construct nine buildings and increase the endowment.
“He is a planner, an organizer, and Chuck is one who inspires others,” said Jim Williams, retired vice president of university advancement at Evangel. “He was especially gifted at organizing volunteers for our events, from mass mailings, to the alumni golf tournament, to homecoming.”
For Cox, however, it was all about the people.
“Serving Evangel University and its alumni has been a tremendous joy and privilege,” said Cox. “Being a member of the strategic team that has helped to transform the campus from mostly old barracks to the magnificent structures that we now enjoy has been deeply gratifying.
“But Evangel is more than buildings and grounds, it’s the extraordinary administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and students who make up the greater Evangel family that make it exceptional.”
He has been referred to as a walking encyclopedia of the alumni.
“He took a very keen, personal interest with every group of alumni, all ages, and kept up to date on their personal lives,” said Spence. “For Chuck, alumni leadership was a ministry that he was immersed in totally.”
One of his major responsibilities has been leading the 26 members of the Alumni Association board of directors.
“First and foremost, Chuck has a committed heart for Evangel,” said Bill Link, a 1962 graduate who served as the alumni board president from 2009-2014.
“He also has the temperament needed to do the job. Chuck is very structured and forward thinking. I found him to be innovative in how he utilized the board to explore opportunities beyond the current array of services offered to alumni,” said Link, owner of Redeemed Books & More.
His leadership skills and his connections with alumni have kept him in demand for key university projects and committees, too, ranging from the EU Athletics Hall of Fame to the recent Presidential Search Committee.
The personal side
Chuck met his wife, Jo (Veach), when they were Evangel College students in the early 1970s.
Together, they have three children, all of whom are Evangel graduates, and two of whom married Evangel graduates: daughter Erin ’00 and Troy ’98 Kuchta; daughter Nichole ’02 and Josh ’03 Allen; and son Brandon ’05 and Shayla Cox. Chuck and Jo also have six grandchildren — all “future Crusaders.”
Prior to joining the staff at Evangel, Cox earned a Master of Divinity from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in 1984.
Cox has been recognized over the years for his work outside of Evangel University as well.
The Springfield Business Journal selected him as one of “40 Under 40” to watch in 1990; he was selected for and graduated from the Chamber of Commerce’s “Leadership Springfield” class of 1996; and the AG Alliance for Higher Education honored him with Omnicron Pi “Faithful Administrator” award in 2005.
In 2010, the Evangel University Alumni Association and the EU Board of Administration gave Cox special recognition for 25 years of outstanding and dedicated service.
“The best part of these 30 years has been the choice relationships that have been built, because of the opportunities afforded me through the role as alumni director,” he said. “What an uncommon and cherished experience it will forever be to me and my family!”
- “I’ve known this man for a long time. When you walk past Chuck Cox, you know you have walked past integrity,” said Steve Grant, 1976 graduate and KY3 (NBC TV) news anchor.
- “I have found Chuck Cox to be a professional among professionals, a diplomat among diplomats, and a gentleman among gentlemen,” said Dr. Larry Dissmore, professor of music and director of the Evangel Concert Orchestra.
- “Chuck Cox has been a stellar representative for Evangel University for the last 30 years. His enthusiasm for the university as well as his ability to connect with alumni cannot be duplicated,” said Dr. Bryan Sanders, 1982 graduate, professor emeritus and former chair of the Social Sciences Department.
“It has been an honor to serve in Evangel’s advancement division with Chuck for 28 of his 30 years. To this day, I am amazed by his institutional memory, impressed by his attention to detail, humbled by his spirit, and most importantly, blessed by his friendship,” said Paul K. Logsdon, 1977 graduate and director of public relations.
- “I have worked with Chuck the whole time he was Alumni Director — often helping pull things together for Homecoming. Chuck was always a delight to work with. He never demanded something, but always requested it. I am sure that no one on earth knows Evangel alumni better than Chuck Cox. He was interested in each one, whether from the 1960s or the 2000s. He is truly ‘Mr. Alumni’ for Evangel University,” said Shirley Shedd, 1962 graduate, archivist, professor emeritus and former chair of the Communication Department.
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