Retirement Reception for Patti Cowell

The retirement reception for Pattie Cowell on Wednesday was well attended and festive. It was a pleasure to see so many retirees from English, Marcia Aune and several faculty among them. Our own (shared) Bruce Ronda spoke eloquently of Pattie’s ability to “listen deeply,” Ann Gill and John Didier spoke warmly of Pattie and her accomplishments in the College and University, and Paola Malpezzi-Price praised Pattie for her interim leadership of the Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures. At the end of her speech, Paola said that whenever she has a tough situation, she closes her eyes and thinks, “What would Pattie do?” At that point, 50 people in the crowd held up signs that asked that same question and chanted together, “What would Pattie do?” Department thanks to Sue Russell for making the signs and for collecting signatures and contributions. Pattie sends her gratitude:

“I want to send thanks to the entire English Department for its part in yesterday’s retirement gathering. Of course my thanks are not only for a warm Wednesday afternoon in January.  They are for decades of colleagues whose insight, expertise, clarity of purpose, and good humor made the department a professional home space, even as my work took me elsewhere on campus.  Your collective generosity will replace the wading boots I use for fishing (though I see no nervous fish) and repair an aging garden bed or two.  Your kind words on cards, in emails, and in person remind me how lucky I am to have found such a sustaining professional community. It warmed my heart to see so many friends, colleagues and former colleagues in one place, and to remember so many stories and years.  Sherry and I reminisced long into the evening when it was over.  Many thanks.”


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