UConn Professor honored after death
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 23:10
Charles A. “Skip” Lowe embodied the notion of having joy in everything he did.
“Joy” was the theme for the “Skip” Lowe Tribute on Monday in the Student Union. Lowe was a member of the UConn faculty for more than 40 years as a professor of psychology and as interim dean of the graduate school. After a long fight against cancer, he died this past June.
The tribute honored Lowe’s life and served to dedicate the new atrium of the Bousfield Psychology Building to him.
It was also a setting for friends and family to share their stories and memories.
UConn President Susan Herbst shared how Lowe was one of the first people she ever met on campus, and that though she only knew him for a short time, he had become a great friend.
Hebst said Lowe was warm, friendly and generous, and would stop by her office just to see how she was. She recalls meeting him at Starbucks right after she had assumed office he said, “I just want to support you in any way that I can.”
Everyone talked about Lowe’s great sense of humor and love for life.
Acting Vice Provost Sally Reis shared some of Lowe’s philosophies. For example, when stressed out about something he would always say, “Lighten up.” He also said to always “seek a standing ovation in your lecture classes.”
Lowe, on Reis’ request, wrote a series of tips for department heads and included fun anecdotes such as, “Shoot back email responses without thinking about them” and “[Explain that] deadlines amuse you and budgets are simply guidelines.”
Reis said that Lowe’s sense of humor was with him at all times. She recalls walking into his hospital room on a particularly bad night where he had turned completely yellow and his wife was not sure he would make it. He told Reis as she walked in, “Sally, it’s not easy being yellow.”
Philip Austin, spoke of Lowe’s commitment to UConn and his incredible teaching and leadership skills. “He walked the walk in addition to [having] the talk,” he said.
Austin made it a habit of showing up to meetings 10 minutes early to discuss matters of the University with Lowe. Austin said it was a productive 10 minutes.
Lowe’s former student, Debra Polvin, pointed out that his engaging lectures and big personality that made Lowe so influential on people’s lives. It was the way he gave his students confidence. “He would trick us into believing we could, and we did,” she said.
Lowe’s wife was the last to speak, thanking everyone for the support. She talked about the letters and emails that were sent to Skip while he was going through treatment. She said it gave him hope, but for her it gave her an even better gift. She was able to see the side of him that was the inspirational teacher, and loyal and true colleague and friend.
She said, “[Skip] had a saying on his desk, ‘In three words I can sum up everything I know about life, it goes on.’”
David B. Miller, Associate Head of Psychology, said, “[Skip] is and will continue to be surely missed, but his legacy will live with us for a very long time.”
The Charles A. “Skip” Lowe Atrium will be open in 2013. The Lowe family has established the Skip Lowe Graduate Scholarship in Psychology. If you would like to donate to the scholarship visit foundation.uconn.edu.