D.V. Hurst, who died at age 93, is remembered for expanding then-Northwest College and serving as its ambassador to the Eastside community.
When D.V. Hurst became president of Northwest College in Kirkland in 1966, his vision was to expand the college, both the size of its campus and its academics. To win over a bedroom community worried about development, Mr. Hurst became active in civic life and served on the Kirkland City Council for 12 years, including four as mayor.
“He was the face of the college to the community,” said his son, Rick Hurst. “His goal was to show the community that they shared the same goals, that the college was a part of the city.”
Mr. Hurst, known as “D.V.” throughout his life, died Dec. 28 after a brief illness. He was 93.
An avid football fan, Mr. Hurst considered one of his proudest accomplishments brokering a deal to keep the Seahawks training facility in Kirkland. When the team announced it needed to move from Carillon Point in 1986, Mr. Hurst negotiated a 20-year lease with then-general manager Mike McCormack for 12 acres of undeveloped land at the college.
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The Seahawks headquarters moved to Renton in 2008.
Born Duane V. Hurst in Avondale, Minn., in 1923, Mr. Hurst became an ordained minister of the Assembly of God Church. He earned a master’s degree in education from Drury College in Springfield, Ill., and was later awarded two honorary doctorates, one from Seattle Pacific University in 1992.
When he was chosen to lead Northwest, a private Christian college (now Northwest University), he was the first trained educator at a college known primarily for training future clergy members, said Darrell Hobson, a former dean of the college and Mr. Hurst’s son-in-law.
During Mr. Hurst’s 25 years as president, the Northwest campus nearly doubled in size, to about 60 acres, and the enrollment did likewise, growing to about 800. He also broadened the course offerings to create an accredited liberal-arts college, Hobson said, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees.
“He believed very strongly in education, in good scholarship. He thought the college needed to serve a broader population than just clergy. It’s a quality product,” Hobson said.
With some of the college’s neighbors in the Houghton community wary of its expansion plans, Mr. Hurst became active in civic life, joining the Kirkland Rotary and, in 1976, running for City Council. Over the next 12 years, the city completed its first comprehensive land-use plan, opened an expanded library and senior center, and acquired land for many of its waterfront parks, according to city records.
Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen, at a City Council meeting earlier this month, paid tribute to Mr. Hurst, thanking him for “his many years of service and his foresight in creating an outstanding community.”
Mr. Hurst also enjoyed outdoor activities, especially fishing. On one trip with his son, they arrived in Seward, Alaska, only to learn that their chartered yacht had broken down. Instead, they were told, they could go out on a local working boat, but the captain warned, “This is a fishing boat. This ain’t no pleasure cruise,” Rick Hurst recalled.
He said his father “got a sparkly look in his eyes. We knew we were in for an adventure.” The family continued to fish with the same captain for years.
Mr. Hurst is survived by his son; his son’s wife, LeAnn; and son-in-law, all of Kirkland; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Aggie, and daughter Gigi.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Butterfield Chapel at Northwest University, 5520 108th Ave. N.E., Kirkland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hurst Scholarship Fund at Northwest.