Asbury College loses great man of faith, Dr. Cornelius R. Hager
Dr. Cornelius R. Hager
Born July 2, 1913, Dr. Cornelius R. Hager passed away May 18, 2007. Dr. Hager graduated from Asbury College in 1934 with bachelor’s degrees in biological science and Greek. He received his B.D. from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1938; a M.A. in 1941 from the University of Kentucky; and his D.D. from the Seminary in 1963. He was married to the late Ruth Lansell ’42 Hager and they raised three children; Daniel Richard Langer ’67, William David Hager ’68 and Cornelia Ann Hager ’71 Marshall.
Dr. and Mrs. Hager both served the College during their long life together. Dr. Hager, always willing to serve, stepped in as the interim president three times during his lifetime, in 1967, 1981 and again in 1992. Alluding to the smooth transitions, Dr. Joseph Thacker ’50 wrote about Dr. Hager in Asbury College Vision and Miracle, “His patient, open and gracious manner rapidly won the hearts of all, and the College went on about its business.”
Dr. Hager served on the Board of Trustees from 1963 to 1993 and was president of the Alumni Board from 1961 to 1963. He received the “A” Award from the College in 1970. He was very active in education in Kentucky and was instrumental in initiating the student teacher training program at Asbury College. He was a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools in Jessamine County. He was also the former president of the Kentucky Education Association. He served as a Captain in the Army during WWII and also worked at the University of Kentucky as an assistant dean for the College University Extension. He was instrumental in establishing Wesley Village and has a building named after him, the Cornelius R. Hager Manor of Wesley Village.
Dr. Hager was an active member of the United Methodist Church, holding many leadership roles throughout his life. He and his wife were the epitome of servant leaders as their willingness to serve led them to many opportunities in the community, the Church and on the College’s campus. Because of their outstanding commitment to Asbury College, the Administration Building was named in their honor in 1993.
The funeral for Dr. Hager is Tuesday, May 22 at 1 p.m. in Hughes Auditorium on Asbury College's campus. Visitation is Sunday, May 20 and and Monday, May 21 from 4 to 9 p.m. in Hughes Auditorium. Arrangements are under the direction of Hager and Cundiff Funeral Home in Nicholasville. Due to construction on the semi-circle, please use the Kinlaw Library parking lot.
Memorial contributions can be sent to the Nicholasville UMC Building Fund and/or the Ruth Lansell Hager Memorial Scholarship Fund at Asbury College.
To God be the glory.
Dr. Cornelius R. Hager
July, 12 1913- May 18, 2007