Cliff and June Hamlow
"You invest your life in something that you believe in." That's a personal philosophy Cliff and June Hamlow have certainly proven by their involvement and impact at Azusa Pacific University. Once they enrolled as students, they never left; APU became their home. Cliff, from Denair, California, came to the university in 1952, and June came from West Point, California, in 1954. They met on campus and married in 1957. The Hamlows later had three children, who have carried on the APU tradition. Sheryl and Gordon graduated from APU, while Darrell worked for fifteen years in APU's physical plant.
Cliff is quick to tell you that he chose Pacific Bible College (PBC), which APU was called in the 1950's, because of the outstanding choir. June, as a new teenage Christian, chose PBC because of her thirst for knowledge of the Bible. She majored in Bible Studies and became the first female student body president to serve at Azusa College.
PBC president Cornelius P. Haggard was so impressed with Cliff's leadership abilities and athletic interests that he asked him to stay on campus and develop an athletics program after his graduation in 1956. Cliff did that and much more. Over the next 55-plus years he held ten major positions at Azusa Pacific University, including director, professor, head basketball coach, division chairman, dean, chief operating officer, vice president for alumni & church relations, executive vice president, vice president for business services, and vice president emeritus for university projects.
Providing dynamic leadership during times of financial constraints, Cliff was a major force in keeping the university within its budget. His abilities to balance reality and entrepreneurship became an asset to APU. He oversaw the construction of APU's Segerstrom Science Building. He is also very active in the community, serving on numerous commissions and committees. Cliff, who refereed sports for more than 40 years, also was invited by members of the Glendora community to run for city council and later he became the mayor of Glendora.
Following graduation, June worked at Azusa College in the Business Office. While raising their children, she discovered a passion for languages and went on to study French, Latin, Spanish and Japanese. Eventually, she earned a master's degree in linguistics with a specialty in Spanish from California State University at Fullerton. In 1965, she joined the Spanish Department at APU, and taught Spanish for many years.
During their time at APU, the phenomenal growth and the many events that have happened on campus can be considered miraculous. They believe the greatest strength of APU is that it has not departed from its original motto of God First. Cliff and June contribute to the Hamlow Endowment Scholarship, which Cliff's parents started years ago to provide scholarships to students for many years to come.
With total faith that their money will be invested for Kingdom growth, the couple has also remembered APU in their living trust. In keeping with their personal philosophy, you invest your life in something that you believe in - so you invest your finances the same way."
"Ministry has been our life," said the Hamlows. They believe ministry can be in whatever you do, whether in the community, in the classroom, or refereeing a game. Cliff's favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3: 5-6: "Trust is the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." June's favorite verse is found in 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."
The Hamlow name has been around APU for more than 60 years, and will continue that way long into the future. Look at the floor the next time you're in APU's Felix Event Center. It's named the "Hamlow Court," in honor of Cliff and June Hamlow, who have made personal, financial, and spiritual commitments to APU, a place they call home.