Marv ‘Indiana Jones’ Meyer remembered
More than 200 people packed into the Wallace All Faiths Chapel to commemorate the life of beloved professor Marvin Meyer Sunday. Students and faculty members joined Meyer’s family and friends in sharing tears and smiles alike.
Meyer died Aug. 16, of complications from melanoma at age 64. As director of the Albert Schweitzer Center and Griset Chair in Bible and Christian Studies, Meyer was a man who educated, encouraged and inspired students and faculty members in his 27 years at Chapman, said President Jim Doti.
The memorial service was more of a thank you than a farewell, as speaker after speaker stepped up to the podium to share stories, anecdotes and letters about Meyer.
Rev. Gail Stearns, dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel, opened the memorial with her invocation speech, remembering Meyer as a passionate and remarkable scholar and friend.
“We hope that Marv rests in peace, and that his spirit is alive and among us,” Sterns said.
Meyer, who taught more than 36 courses, participated in numerous archaeological expeditions in Egypt and was a committed student of the Greek language. Having traveled to many different countries to work with international collaborators and colleagues, he also held various leadership positions and served on the Faculty Senate at Chapman.
“Marv was our very own Indiana Jones,” said Doti in reference to Meyer’s love for archeology, “and an incredible public persona.”
Doti said Meyer devoted his time to challenging his students about the meaning of life and how to go about finding it. He would always engage them in serious discussions, stressing the importance of the search itself.
“Many students came to see him as a father figure,” said Charles Hughes, associate professor of religious studies and philosophy. “He was a world class scholar, and his commitment to educate his students was admirable.”
As the memorial proceeded, many attendees became visibly more touched, with tears in their eyes and sniffling going through the chapel as students and professors continued to share anecdotes about Meyer’s life.
“[Meyer] was so passionate about his students, and would always encourage them to think outside the box,” said Cristina Smith, a junior religious studies major.
As the father of three children, Stephen, Jonathan, and Elisabeth, and husband to Bonnie Meyer for more than 42 years, he found great passion in so many things. Meyer was a caring person, who loved to write, cook, hike and sing, according to a biographical note handed out during the memorial, written by Meyer’s wife, Bonnie.
“He had a phenomenal voice, in which he put all his heart and spirit,” said Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana. “He was a lover of men, God and music.”
Meyer changed the lives of many people. His numerous books, among them “The Gospel of Judas: On a Night with Judas Isariot,” “The Gnostic Discoveries,” and “The Reverence for Life: The Ethics of Albert Schweitzer for the Twenty-First Century,” will be remembered, and his never ending optimism and enthusiasm cherished forever.
“Marv was a gentleman and a scholar,” Doti said.