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Fahs, Ivan J. (1932-2003) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Fahs, Ivan J. (1932-2003)


Historical Note: Ivan J. Fahs was born on June 12, 1932 Binghamton, NY.  He earned a B.A. from Wheaton College in 1954 and M.Ed. (1955) and Ph.D. (1960) degrees from Cornell University. He married Joyce Evans in 1957 and had three children. He began his teaching career at Greenville, Mound-Midway School of Nursing and Bethel (MN) Colleges and doing medical research in Minnesota and at Harvard Medical School. He also owned and operated a medical/sociological research business white in St. Paul. He joined Wheaton’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 1981.  After the fall of Communism, in December 1989 he was one of the first non-Russian sociologists invited to speak to the Academy in Moscow on the relevancy of the Ten Commandments in the former Soviet society. He was Professor of Sociology for 20 years and made Professor Emeritus in 2001. He was also Past President of the Illinois Sociological Association, and member of the American Sociological Association, Phi Delta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu, and American Public Health Association. Besides teaching, another of his passions was the homeless.  He led a number of trips which taught students to better understand the homeless condition. In 1996 he chaired the City of Wheaton’s Task Force on Homelessness. On November 4, 2002—”Ivan J. Fahs Day” in Wheaton—he received Illinois’ Studs Terkel Humanitarian Service Award in recognition of his work on behalf of the homeless. He was the subject of a feature story in The Chronicle of Higher Education for his unusual pedagogical simulations, including having students incarcerated or living as homeless. He died January 5, 2003 at his home in Wheaton, IL.  He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Joyce, three children and twelve grandchildren.
Sources: Faculty Personnel file - Box 97






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