Dan Harrison, former Vice President of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA and past Director of the Urbana Student Mission Convention, passed away Sunday May 18, 2003, after a struggle with brain cancer.
Harrison served as Director of Urbana Mission Conventions in 1990, 1993, and 1996. During that time he also served as Vice President and Director of Missions for InterVarsity. Prior to 1987 he was a missions administrator with Wycliffe Bible Translators and the English Language Institute in China (ELIC). After leaving InterVarsity in 1997, Harrison was the Director of Middle East Media and then founded Leadership Development International – an organization which started a Christian University in East Asia.
Harrison joined InterVarsity in 1987 as the Associate Director of Urbana 87. Appointed as a Vice President in 1989, he led the organization’s mission emphasis through the changing worldwide landscape of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Under Harrison’s leadership thousands of InterVarsity students participated as missionaries through InterVarsity’s Global Projects. Harrison’s vision to send students into cultural exchange programs, which worked directly with university programs overseas became the driving force behind the formation of national student movements in 13 of the 15 former Soviet republics.
Born in China in 1941, Harrison had a great love of missions work, and his childhood in remote China led him back there to begin a university. As a frequent missions speaker Harrison often recounted the history of his own life and struggles with a dysfunctional family background. At Urbana 96 Harrison said “God, in His grace, has allowed me to be used in spite of my brokenness.”
“Dan’s great passion was the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Steve Hayner, President of InterVarsity from 1988 – 2001. “He was focused, enthusiastic, creative and deeply committed wherever God called him to serve.”
Harrison was the author of 3 books: Strongest in the Broken Places (InterVarsity Press, 1990), Hope for the World (IVP, 1991), and Romancing the Globe (IVP, 1993).
Harrison is survived by his wife, Shelby, four daughters: Paula Harris, Melody and Tom Hanson, Tonya and John Eisenhauer, and Holly and Paul Martinez; a foster son Brian and Nina Leong; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 1:30 PM, Sunday May 25 at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Memorials may be given to Leadership Development International for their work in China.
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, an interdenominational campus ministry, has 750 chapters on more than 530 college campuses in the United States, and is a member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, InterVarsity is the sponsor of the Urbana 03 Student Mission Convention. For more information about InterVarsity, see our website at: www.intervarsity.org.