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Lockwood Tribute

A Legacy of Integrity

Dr. Dan Lockwood accomplished a lot during his time as Multnomah’s president. Under his guidance, the University blossomed into an accredited institution bursting with new programs, new buildings and new teaching sites beyond its Portland campus. Lockwood’s fingerprints are all over the school.

Although these feats illustrate Lockwood’s capability and drive, they can’t speak for his heart — but his friends, assistants, colleagues, students and family can. Their words reveal the motivation behind the achievements: his deep love for God and his care for people.

The way Lockwood lets theology permeate every area of his being is perhaps his most outstanding accomplishment of all. His life, although made up of many components, is whole. Integrity is the thread that fastens his every aspect to an eternal, biblical perspective.

Greg Allen, who has been a close friend for more than 28 years, sums up Lockwood’s mindset: “There are no divisions in his life,” Allen said. “It’s integrated.” Lockwood lives in harmony with his values even when no one’s looking.

Allen recalled a time he and Lockwood were driving to a conference in separate cars. Lockwood was unaware that Allen was driving in front of him, but Allen could see his friend’s reflection in his rearview mirror.

“I don’t think I’ve ever told him this,” Allen said, “but I could see that he was praying the whole way to the conference. Even when he thought no one was watching, he was talking with God.”

Allen met Lockwood in 1984 while he was pursuing his M.Div. at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Lockwood was his first professor. Allen was captivated by his humor and enthusiasm for teaching.

“He’s always been someone I want to be like,” Allen said.  “When I’m dealing with theological conflicts or troubles, I ask myself, ‘In what balanced way would he handle this?’”

Balance is something Dr. Dave Funk is no stranger to. Like Allen, he met Lockwood in a seminary classroom when he began attending Multnomah in 1993. Funk was struck by the way Lockwood balanced his roles as seminary dean and professor while still maintaining a separate, private life as a husband and father.

“His embodiment of bringing theology to life — living it out — impacted me the most,” Funk said.

When Lockwood became president in 1997, he asked Funk to be his personal assistant. The two worked together for the next 14 years. Funk saw Lockwood bring a faculty member’s perspective to the presidency, a viewpoint that greatly benefited Multnomah.

“He wanted the school to have the characteristics of a mature institution,” Funk said. “He championed university structure and helped us grow.”

Although Funk eventually left his job as Lockwood’s assistant to become director of institutional effectiveness at MU, Lockwood’s character continues to influence him today. “He challenged me to integrate a theological worldview,” Funk said. “Theology wasn’t just a dry discipline to him. When you worked with him, you saw how it connected to real life.”

Marian O’Connor was witness to this connection too. Like Funk, she’d been Lockwood’s assistant and student. O’Connor worked for Lockwood seven years while he served as the seminary dean, and she took two theology classes from him.

“He’s an extraordinary teacher,” she said. O’Connor was not only impressed by Lockwood’s breadth of knowledge, but also by the way he communicated it so well to his students.

However, it was his desire to contribute to his students’ spiritual maturity that O’Connor admired the most.

“He would consider his theology courses to be failures if, at the end of them, his students’ hearts were unchanged,” she said. “He wanted you to deepen your relationship with the Lord.”

In Lockwood’s view, theology should impact peoples’ hearts and souls.

“His desire was that Multnomah would be a place where students could be spiritually grounded for life,” she said. “That’s why he was still drawn to the classroom after he became president.”

Lockwood did continue teaching theology even after he shouldered the responsibilities of the presidency. Dave Jongeward, a psychology professor at MU since 1985, said the first thing he noticed about Lockwood was his passion for academics.

“He loved to teach,” he said. “I thought he must have more important things to do as president, but to him, teaching was the important thing.”

Lockwood also had a passion for enhancing the school from the inside out. “He was about physically and academically building up the campus,” Jongeward said.

And Lockwood did build up the campus. During his presidency, the University constructed seven buildings. Eight graduate and seminary degree programs were launched, and nine undergraduate majors initiated. An Adult Degree Completion Program, which now provides three majors, was born in 2007. Multnomah received university status in 2008.

Dr. Dan Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), has worked with Lockwood professionally for more than 24 years. They first met when Lockwood was seminary dean and Multnomah’s seminary was applying for membership with ATS. Aleshire witnessed many important chapters in MU’s story, including the school achieving university status.

Throughout his career, Aleshire has seen many colleges change personality once they’ve undergone a structural revision. But that didn’t happen at Multnomah. “That’s because of Lockwood’s leadership,” Aleshire said. “When you look at MU from the time he started his presidency until now, the school’s DNA is still the same. He has expanded the institution, but without changing its character and core values.”

Aleshire said the consistency of Lockwood’s character and his care for the institution has left a lasting impression on him.

“I wish there were more presidents who were of his stripe,” he said. “He has shown integrity in every interaction we’ve had. He’s a person of his word, and his word is gentle.”

Gentleness is not often a quality associated with leadership. But Lockwood has been able to lead well by leading humbly.

Denise Stone, who was Lockwood’s assistant from 2011 until his retirement in 2013, will miss his calming personality and quiet strength. He was the kind of boss who believed in her and made her more confident in herself — even when she wasn’t perfect.

Stone recalled a time she made a mistake while working for Lockwood. “He never got frustrated with me,” she said. “He took the responsibility for my mistake!”

Stone is amazed at Lockwood’s multidimensional life. His love of knowledge, writing, teaching, marathons, mountain climbing, Broadway shows and magic tricks come together to form a true renaissance man.

“He’s like a diamond,” she said. “Every time you turn it, the light shines on a different dimension.”

One dimension that shone the brightest for Stone was Lockwood’s commitment to his wife Jani and daughter Elise.

“He unashamedly loves them,” Stone said. “I don’t normally tell people this, but I heard a lot that went on his office. There were times when the way he talked to his wife brought me to tears because of the tenderness in his voice.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jani Lockwood doesn’t hesitate when asked what words best describe her husband of nearly 41 years: “Loving,” she said. “And tender.”

The two met during her freshman year at Westmont College. “He was really cute,” she said, grinning. “He had beautiful red hair. There was chemistry.”

Dan Lockwood’s character, though, ultimately won her over. “He’s a godly man,” she said. “And he believes in what’s right.”

As Jani Lockwood walks around their house in West Portland, the home they’ve shared for 18 years, she points out her husband’s favorite spots. A beautiful piano rests before the front window, where he plays in the evenings.

In the garage, an elevated platform serves as his magic studio. Cupboards are stuffed with recipes for illusions; ropes and scarves peek out of drawers. A mirror on the wall acts as his private audience, showing him how to perfect each trick.

Upstairs, there’s a small library where books start at the floor and stack nearly to the ceiling. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” series sits above the seven Harry Potter tomes.

“He’s reading through this right now,” said Jani Lockwood as she pointed to Winston Churchill’s six-volume work on WWII. “He’s the best-read man I know of.”

Reading, like many of their activities, is something they enjoy doing together. They exercise, see movies, browse the newspaper, take Sunday afternoon naps and watch their beloved Broadway shows side by side.

“We cuddle a lot too,” Jani Lockwood added. “Is that scandalous?” She paused and then laughed. “You can add that now that he’s not president anymore.”

He may not be president anymore, but Dan Lockwood has left an indelible imprint behind him: “He’s tried to change the climate at Multnomah,” she said. “There used to be so many rules. But legalism is out now. He wanted the school to be a place that could help students and forgive them.”

Jani Lockwood’s description of MU’s new atmosphere reflects the couple’s parenting style. Elise, their daughter, agrees. “Christianity was a very big part of growing up for me, but I never felt like it was being forced down my throat,” she said. “My parents never gave it to me in a legalistic way. They are able to engage in culture and still maintain a strong faith.”

And Dan Lockwood’s faith has never been stronger. His season at Multnomah may have ended, but his legacy of integrity and humility endures.

“He didn’t seek the formality of the office,” Jongeward said. “He sought the friendships of faculty, staff and students. It wasn’t about power with him. It was about building the kingdom of God here at Multnomah.”