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In memory: Gwen Stowe had 'friendly voice and good advice'

February 09, 2010

Gwen Stowe, a former assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who retired from ASU in 2006 after completing more than 30 years of continuous service, died last month in Bettendorf, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her husband, Noel, and son, James. Noel Stowe was an ASU history professor who founded the university’s Public History Program. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Graham and Patricia Lee, nieces and a nephew.

“The scope of Gwen’s contribution to the university is enormous,” said Deborah Losse, dean of humanities. “From the time that she worked in the department of English to the time when she so ably handled academic personnel matters as an assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Gwen was someone with a friendly voice and good advice.

“The chairs and directors in the college came to rely on her as they advanced the personnel files through the promotion and tenure process,” Losse said. “Gwen was a consummate professional who fully understood academic procedures in her position.”

In 1990, Gwen Stowe received the Award of Merit, the university’s highest staff award. At the time, she was an administrative assistant in the department of English.

The nomination letter, from former chair Gretchen Bataille, read in part: “She anticipates deadlines. I can count on Gwen to be resourceful when problems arise and to propose creative solutions to dilemmas.”

In addition to working in the English department and the dean’s office in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Gwen Stowe worked briefly in the Arizona Collection at ASU’s Hayden Library.

Gwen Stowe received an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, where she majored in Spanish and English. She began her service at ASU in March 1976 and retired June 30, 2006.

Memorial donations may be made to the scholarship that Gwen and Noel Stowe established in memory of their son James and his degree in anthropology, the James E. Stowe Undergraduate Field Experience Scholarship Endowment. Contributions may be made payable to the ASU Foundation and sent to the ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, PO Box 876405, Tempe, AZ 85287-6405, or online at