Lubbock Christian University

Remembering Jack Cardwell

Jack Cardwell, a member of the LCU Board of Trustees for 22 years and a great friend of the University, has passed away on January 23 at the age of 89.

“Jack was a gentle, generous man,” shared L. Ken Jones, Chancellor Emeritus and LCU’s fifth president. “He started with nothing and built a business empire. What’s more impressive is that he never forgot who he was and his roots. He loved his family, his country, and thankfully LCU. He was a great friend to me, and he made a major difference in my time as President of LCU.”

Cardwell, for whom the Cardwell Welcome Center on LCU’s campus is named alongside his late wife, Evonne, was involved in the growth and formation of the university not only financially, but also as an advisor and integral part of the greater LCU community. He served as a member of the LCU Board of Trutees from 1974-1996, where he also shared from his vast and varied business experiences, and the Cardwells contributed to multiple scholarships and financial campaigns at LCU.

“As an engaged trustee, a generous donor, a trusted advisor to presidents, and a proud parent, Jack Cardwell played an outsized role in LCU's growth and development as a Christian university,” shared LCU’s sixth president, Tim Perrin. “He was a man of deep Christian faith, devotion to his family, love for his country, and business acumen. But most of all he had a big and generous heart, and LCU is better and stronger because of Jack's investment of time, energy, and resources. He will be missed, but not forgotten as his LCU legacy endures through his children and grandchildren.”

Cardwell was widely known throughout Texas as an upstanding businessman who built his company from one El Paso truck stop in 1954 to a national chain. He was recognized for his 60 years of entrepreneurship by Chevron in 2021.

Jerry Harris, former Chair of the LCU Board of Trustees, said, “Lubbock Christian University may have lost the presence of one of our best friends, but the things that Jack Cardwell did for Christian Education will last for a long, long time. His wise council and support have made and will continue to make a major impact on the lives of all of us. The support he has given to Christian education, the university, and individuals is much bigger than most know.”

Cardwell was a founding member of the Westside Church of Christ in El Paso and served there for much of his adult life, and his love for Christian education was also evident throughout his life.

Current LCU President Scott McDowell stated, “The Cardwell family has a legacy at LCU that will live on for years and years to come. Jack fully believed that Christian Education is very important, especially in today’s cultural climate. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude for the incredible generosity and the tremendous influence of Jack Cardwell and his family.”

"Education is very important, but an education based on Christian principles is the absolute difference our world needs—" Cardwell’s words, echoing a philosophy of his life, are written on a plaque in the Welcome Center named for Jack and his wife. "Without Christ, we have nothing."