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Remembering Lois Cowan

Wednesday, August 1, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dorothy Durante
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Long-time Board member, scholarship donor, and visionary Lois Cowan passed away at the age of 94 in July 2018.  She joined the WCC Foundation Board in 1999.  Throughout her almost 20 years of service to the College and Foundation, Lois was a steadfast supporter of WCC students.  With her background in counseling and mental health, Lois recognized that our students faced several impediments to completing their degrees.  She established the Cowan Family Scholarship in 2003, and since then has helped almost 50 students achieve a college education. 


She was the first to establish resources for student emergency aid at Westchester Community College.  Her interest in addressing food insecurity in students eventually led to the establishment of the college’s Food Pantry, which she helped to make possible.  To date, over 1,000 students and their families have been assisted with nonperishable food items.  Her additional funding established the Emergency Transportation Fund, which enables the WCC Foundation to supply bus and train passes for students in need.  These initiatives have attracted many other supporters and a focus on addressing students’ needs holistically has now become part of the national community college agenda.  Lois was ahead of her time in this regard, and we owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude. 


Lois adored WCC students, and her gentle grace and care are reflected in the legacy she leaves with us, through the programs she supported and the students she championed.  She will be dearly missed.  Gifts in her memory will be added to the Cowan Family Scholarship and can be made here https://mysunywcc.Tributedonations Please indicate “In memory of Lois Cowan” in the comments section.