Douglas Lowry, the Joan and Martin Messinger Dean Emeritus of the Eastman School of Music, died early Wednesday morning surrounded by his family. He was 62.
Lowry’s passing came as a shock to many after his resignation just over a week ago in which he cited health reasons. Lowry, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2011, has served as Eastman’s sixth head since 2007.
“Doug has been an inspirational dean, a nationally respected leader in music education, and an accomplished composer who was committed to creating beautiful music,” Jamal Rossi, who has taken over Lowry’s duties as dean of Eastman, said.
To commemorate Lowry and his legacy, the University held a memorial service in Eastman’s Main Hall later that afternoon.
“This view alone is a remarkable tribute to a remarkable person,” Rossi said to the attendees, which numbered in the hundreds.
University President Joel Seligman, donning a baseball cap reading “Eastman School of Music,” announced that Eastman’s main entryway would thereby be renamed Lowry Hall.
“I’m wearing my Eastman hat today,” Seligman said, ushering Lowry’s wife, Marcia, and members of the Eastman community to the stage.
“Losing such a strong leader in such a tight-knit community really has an impact,” junior Elizabeth Noble said. “Even if you didn’t know him personally, you still feel it.”
“None of us know whether we go to eternal silence or eternal light,” Seligman said. “For those of you who are spiritual, this is of great significance. Doug would have loved to know the significance of that moment. It would have meant a great deal to him.”
Sanguinetti is a member of the class of 2015.