‘El Nasser Way’ named on campus

Submitted Photo Joanne El Nasser pulls the plastic to reveal a sign marking El Nasser Way, the sidewalk between Central Avenue and Fenton Hall that Dr. El Nasser used every day on his way to campus

A public event including family, friends, alumni and administration was held recently for the formal naming of “El Nasser Way” on the State University of New York at Fredonia campus by President Virginia Horvath, in memory of Dr. Marwan El Nasser, who was a Professor Emeritus of Economics.

The walkway is located in front of Fenton Hall and connects the campus to Central Avenue.

A reception was hosted by the School of Business at the Williams Center, including speakers, following the ceremony.

Dr. El Nasser graduated from high school in his home town of Amman, Jordan. Soon after, he attended the University of Alexandria in Egypt and in the late 1950s earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering. He returned to Jordan for a short period, but soon his unquenchable thirst for learning led him to the U.S. for the first time. As an immigrant student, he found a home in the early 1960s at Ohio State University. It was there he thrived intellectually and met Joanne Gerber, who became his devoted wife of nearly 50 years. In 1970, he left Ohio with a Ph.D. in Economics, and he, his wife, and son, moved to Fredonia, where Dr. El Nasser became a professor in the Department of Economics. He remained a faculty member in the department for the next 47 years until his death in December 2017. Dr. El Nasser also served as department chair and as official Mace Bearer for Commencement, representing the most senior faculty member in years of service. In 1976, as part of his commitment to bridge his Eastern upbringing with Western education, he led his family to Egypt for six months on a Fulbright Fellowship and in the process, passed along his passion for travel to his sons. He continued with several more trips in the ’70s and ’80s, escorting students and educators to Egypt. He resumed his work abroad in the late ’90s, traveling to the newly-opened Central Asian States. From 1998-2004, he established himself as one of the pioneers of Western education in the country of Uzbekistan. It was said, that in all his work and travel, he never stopped teaching and mentoring.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons, Farris (Kim, Laith, Rami), of Boulder, Colo.; Omar (Dilafruz, Zaid, Salman), of Buffalo, and Alexander (Layla), of Tampa, Fla.; his sisters, Fatima and Fatheyeh; and his brother, Adnan, as well as grandchildren, 36 nieces and nephews.

The Dr. Marwan El Nasser Scholarship has been established with the Fredonia College Foundation to support the recruitment of an incoming community college transfer student. Preference is given to a Jamestown Community College student. The donor of the fund developed the scholarship in an effort to recruit and financially assist incoming transfer students, who must be enrolled full-time but can have any major, and must be in good academic standing, be ambitious, and show promise.