In Memoriam: University Professor Louise Cowan

University Mourns Loss of Beloved Teacher

Date published: Nov. 17, 2015 

Louise Cowan

The university mourns the death and rejoices in the life of University Professor Louise Cowan, who passed away on Nov. 16. She was 98.

Cowan, who joined the university with her husband, Donald, in 1959, was one of the shapers of the university’s Core curriculum and a formative chair of the English department. She was responsible for the development of the Literary Traditions sequence--a series of four English courses introducing students to the classics of the West and moving through the major literary modes: ancient epic, Christian epic, lyric, tragedy, comedy and the novel. She was the dean of the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts and co-founder of the doctoral program, the Institute for Philosophic Studies.

“Louise Cowan is a pivotal figure in the life and success of the University of Dallas,” said Provost Charles Eaker. “The Cowans helped shape my understanding of what it means to be a faculty member at the University of Dallas and how to teach chemistry as a liberal art.”

The recipient of many awards and honors in Dallas and throughout the nation for her contributions to education and her excellence in teaching, Cowan was a Laura Bush honoree in October 2001 for the establishment of The Teachers Institute at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. In 1991, President George Bush bestowed upon her the nation's highest award for achievement in the humanities, the Charles Frankel Prize.

Throughout the years, her wide-ranging literary interests have included Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Caroline Gordon, and many other writers both ancient and modern. She has written and edited several books and is the author of numerous articles on literature and culture.

The university is forever grateful for the life, learning and guidance of Louise Cowan.

The funeral will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church on Monday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, Cowan wished that donations be made to the Louise and Donald Cowan Graduate Student Fund for the university's Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

Visitation with the family will be held at the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 W. Northwest Highway, Dallas, on Sunday from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., with a rosary at 7:00.​