June 20, 2014
Cowen Circle will be a permanent reminder of the crucial role Scott and Marjorie Cowen have played in the life of Tulane for the past 16 years. Photo credit: Cheryl Gerber.
Gibson Circle, the semicircular driveway that fronts the university’s iconic Gibson Hall, has been renamed in honor of Scott and Marjorie Cowen.
“Cowen Circle will be a permanent reminder of the crucial role Scott and Marjorie Cowen have played in the life of Tulane for the past 16 years and the place they will hold in our hearts forever,” Darryl Berger, chair of the Board of Tulane, said following the board’s vote this week.
Cowen, named one of the nation’s Top 10 Best College Presidents by TIME magazine, will retire June 30, having served as Tulane’s president since July 1998. Under his leadership, Tulane more than quadrupled its undergraduate applications while experiencing all-time highs in student quality. The level of total private giving to the university also doubled, and it received a record amount in research awards. During Cowen’s tenure, Tulane was twice named one of the “Hottest Schools in America” by Newsweek.
The board resolution that established Cowen Circle noted Cowen’s essential effort in leading Tulane through Hurricane Katrina. It also lauded Marjorie Cowen’s “central role in guiding, supporting and counseling Scott as he realized these impressive achievements, giving selflessly of her time and energy and for opening the Cowens’ home to students and visitors on holidays and special occasions, expanding the role that the presidential residence plays in the life of the university.”
Cowen’s directive to make public service a core requirement of Tulane’s undergraduate curriculum, his role in transforming K-12 public education in New Orleans and his commitment to athletics all played a role in the board’s decision, according to Berger.
“This is such a tremendous honor for Margie and me,” Cowen said. “We are so humbled and grateful for the love and support of our Tulane family.”
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