By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
Dr. Charles Trevathan, instructor of sociology and social work and associate general counsel for the university, died Tuesday evening after suffering an apparent heart attack. He was 68.
Trevathan collapsed while in the office of the Department of Sociology and Social Work and was taken by ambulance to Hendrick Medical Center where he died after 5 p.m. At press time, funeral arrangements were pending through the Elliot-Hamil Funeral Home.
Trevathan came to the university in 1987 after practicing law in Kentucky for 26 years to serve as associate general counsel with Dr. Gaston Welborn, vice president and general counsel.
“I have lost one of my closest friends and colleagues for over 17 years,” Welborn told the Office of Media Relations. “While Charles did not graduate from ACU, he bled purple and white. His greatest love at ACU was his students.”
Trevathan began working more closely with students in 1991 when he became vice president of the Student Service Office, now Campus Life, in addition to associate general counsel.
Trevathan moved into the classroom in 1997 after resigning his role as vice president. He joined the Department of Sociology to begin teaching-a role that at the time he called “a dream for this stage of my life.”
“He will be missed tremendously,” said Dr. Colleen Durrington, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He felt so blessed to teach, and we’re thankful for every one of the students he blessed.”
Trevathan was selected as the university’s Teacher of the Year in 2001 and continued to serve as associate general counsel. In March, Trevathan suffered his first heart attack and had four stints put in his heart-a procedure that kept him out of the classroom for only a week.
“ACU has lost a true friend and a popular teacher and mentor,” said Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, who was out of the state but spoke with Media Relations. “He will be missed by the entire ACU family and alumni worldwide.”
Students, faculty and staff will be able to sign a book or write notes to the family all day Wednesday in the Administration Building Room 109.
Trevathan is survived by his wife, Phyllis, who worked in the university’s Career Services until she retired in May, and three daughters, Carol Turner, Julie Bowie and Karen Trevathan Gunn.
-Lori Bredemeyer contributed to this report.