REVEREND DANIEL L. TOWLER
1999 – FOOTBALL
Reverend Daniel L. Towler, ED.D., “Deacon Dan”, a son of William and Evelyn Towler of Donora, Pennsylvania, Dan soon discovered that among his God-given talents was the ability to run with a football.
The sport helped provide him an education at Washington and Jefferson College. Then, while a four-time All-Pro for the Los Angeles Rams and still a student, his master’s degree from USC. When he reached that goal, although in his football prime, he walked away from the sport and heeded the call to the ministry.
Dan was a two-time All-State player at Donora High where he led that high school to Western Pennsylvania and titles in 1944 and 1945. Arguably the best high school team ever seen in our state. One publication ranked this team the #2 team in the nation after Texas High School team featuring Doak Walker and Bobby Layne.
At W & J (1948) his incredible 133 points in only eight games was the leading average-per-game (16.6) tally in the country and is still the top season total at W & J.
With the NFL Los Angeles Rams Dan gained 3493 yards rushing in six seasons, a Rams career mark that held up for over two decades. He led the NFL in rushing in 1952.
Dan was pastor at Lincoln Avenue United Methodist Church in Pasadena for a decade. In 1966, he became the campus minister and director of the Wesley Foundation at Cal State, Los Angeles. He went on to complete his doctorate at USC in 1969 and became Special Assistant to the President at Cal State, Los Angeles, a position he held for 19 years.
During that time, he was assigned to the University Development Office and began a program to establish support groups for the university and organized the Black Support Group and the Asian Support Group. He raised more than $200,000 in scholarship funds for the gifted, needy and minority students. He helped establish funding for athletics, including the Jogathon, the All University Fund Drive for Athletics, the Greenlee and Krinock Tennis Tournament, and men’s basketball. He also developed the Support Group Council.
Dan continues his ministry today at Cal State, Los Angeles, counseling and giving spiritual guidance to students who have problems and need guidance, or who simply need a campus friend.
Dan’s community service is broad in scope. He is a life member of the National Board of Trustees of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, past president of the NFL Alumni Los Angeles Chapter, a member of the L.A. Music Center Education Division, and member of the Tournament of Roses Committee in Pasadena, where he lives with his wife, Roslyn, They have a grown daughter, also named Roslyn.
Among the many honors bestowed on Dan are an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Washington and Jefferson; a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Claremont School of Theology, where he has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1975; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from USC; a Life Membership in Cal State Alumni and the university’s Distinguished Achievement Award in 1996; and outstanding service awards from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the cities of Pasadena and Los Angeles, the National Caucus and the California Coalition of Black School Board Members, and the California Youth Homes.