2018 IWU Alumni World Changer: Dr. Marvin Hinds

By: Dezaray Barr

What do Indiana Wesleyan University’s nursing program, the United States Air Force and the defibrillator have in common? Dr. Marvin Hinds.

Dr. Hinds is Indiana Wesleyan University’s 2018 Alumni World Changer. He was also a recipient of IWU’s 1988 Outstanding Achievement Award and IWU’s 1990 Distinguished Senior Alumnus. But you would never know it from him — he’d rather talk about his church, latest woodwork, his decades of students, or his grandkids.

Hinds attended IWU (at the time Marion College) and received his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in 1951. After graduation, he joined the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Mississippi, completed the Air Force’s Radio Operator course, and then taught electronics in the program.

He was an Air Force Staff Sergeant and was awarded the National Defense Service and Good Conduct medals. Few people amass as many awards in a lifetime, and his career was just beginning.

Hinds went on to attend Valparaiso Technical Institute, and he began working at the prominent M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston,Texas, televising cancer surgeries. He moved on to research at Baylor College of Medicine, also in Houston.

After witnessing medical students pursuing their medical degrees, Hinds himself was inspired to return to school. He received his own Ph.D. in Veterinary Physiology from Texas A&M in 1971.

It wasn’t long afterward when Hinds Marion College contacted him to help launch its nursing program, a program that is now ranked as the No. 2 nursing school in the state.

Hinds taught for 23 years in the Department of Biology, also serving as the Pre-Med advisor for students.

A remarkable part of his research journey — some say Providence at work — is what happened nearly simultaneously with his move. His entire research team at Baylor College of Medicine moved to Purdue University in West Lafayette, where he was invited to join—working on defibrillation research and the defibrillator.

Hinds spent the next 15 summers working with this team,  improvingthe defibrillator, lessening the traumatic effects it has on the heart. This research has saved millions of lives and permanently changed the future of medicine and technology.

“My first love was research,” Dr. Hinds said. “When I got the opportunity to serve with this research team, I knew that it was God rewarding me for being obedient.”

Dave Hinds, Marvin’s son, said, “Dad would be very honored and humbled by this award. He was an educator. He felt it was his calling. Several times he told me how blessed he was to have the opportunity to influence the young people he came in contact with as they prepared for their own life’s path. He set the bar high, but tried to help all that he could over it. As I reflect back on Dad’s life and the things he taught me that shaped and changed my world, I’m thankful to have Christian parents and the opportunity to call him my Dad. It means a lot to our family to have him honored in this way. Thank you for adding this to our cherished memories of Marvin.”

Marvin passed away in June, after giving much of the last few years of his life to wife and nearly life-long friend, Hazel Lavera Rush. Shewent to be with the Lord a few months earlier than Marvin, in January 2018.

Marvin’s daughter, Kay Alter, now works in IWU’s Office of Development as the associate director of prospect research (and her colleagues recognize she has the same uncanny love for numbers and logistics as her father, and brilliance).

“Dad would be honored and humbled by this award. He was always quick to recognize any success he had as a result of staying in the will of God,” Alter said. “His first love was research, but in 1973 when he felt the Lord directing him to leave Texas A&M and the research he was doing to come back to Marion College, his alma mater, to teach Anatomy & Physiology so they could start the four-year nursing program, he did so without looking back.”

Hinds volunteered in the Marion community by serving on committees and leading his church’s senior adult group. He volunteered in that capacity for nearly ten years. You can also find his woodwork in various places, including some of the altar pieces at College Wesleyan Church, crafted in part from repurposed wood from former Teter Hall — once the southern anchor of “the Triangle.”

Before passing, Marvin said, “Marion is a nice friendly city. I enjoy the community and activities here.”

Alter, who graduated from IWU in both 1982 and 1996, said, “My brother and I are proud of the accomplishments of Dad and for him to receive this award. Most of all we are thankful for the blessing of a godly dad and the life he lived. The legacy he left us … to always seek God’s will.”



Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the IWU Alumni Office. Dezaray is a senior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.

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