The Jane Cowley Memorial Endowment honors the late Lou “Jane” Cowley, a respected A&M-Commerce alumna and committed educator. Ms. Cowley’s husband, alumnus Jessie “Harold” Cowley of Sulphur Springs, Texas, established the endowment to recognize and memorialize Jane’s impactful 35-year career in education.
The endowment was initially established in 2008 to provide scholarships to secondary business education majors, but this year the endowment was re-directed to offer an annual scholarship to an individual who is seeking a graduate degree in Educational Technology Library Science (ETLS) and plans to work or teach in a local school district.
Dr. Juan Araujo, assistant dean for the College of Education and Human Services at A&M-Commerce, expressed appreciation for the Cowley endowment and emphasized the importance of well-prepared school librarians.
“Skilled librarians can positively affect students’ reading and writing mastery as well as math scores on standardized tests,” Araujo said. “We are deeply honored to receive this generous gift from the Cowley family and know that these funds will facilitate the education of future librarians who will improve the quality of education for children in East Texas.”
The Cowley family’s Lion legacy began in the 1950s when Harold and Jane met on a blind date while attending East Texas State Teachers College (now A&M-Commerce). The couple graduated from the university in 1954. Harold obtained a degree in agriculture education, and Jane graduated with a degree in business education. They married the same year.
After graduation, Jane taught high school business education classes for several years. She returned to Commerce in 1968 to obtain a master’s degree in library science and then dedicated several years to her work as a high school librarian and library consultant for Region VIII Education Service Center.
During her 35 years in education, Jane worked at several school districts across Texas, including Harrold, Valley View, Iowa Park and Talco-Bogata. As in her college days, Ms. Cowley went above and beyond in her career. In addition to teaching, she served in many extra-curricular advising, coaching and sponsorship roles for the benefit of her students. She was deservingly named business teacher of the year for Region IX in 1981.
The Cowley family’s Lion legacy continued with their only child, Dr. James Cowley. Dr. Cowley also graduated from A&M-Commerce with Bachelor of Science, Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees. He has remained an active alumnus, serving many years on the Alumni Board and earning the Gold Blazer Award for service in 2014.
Dr. Kimberly McLeod, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, expressed appreciation on the university’s behalf for the Cowley family’s contributions to A&M-Commerce.
“What a privilege it is for Texas A&M University-Commerce to honor the Cowley family, and in particular, Jane Cowley, for her life of leadership and legacy,” McLeod said. “The scholarship endowment for future students seeking a Master of Library Science will continue to add value to our public schools and future Jane Cowley Scholarship recipients. This scholarship and family legacy will live on and multiply indefinitely in the lives of learners,” she said.
Learn more about the scholarship on the Jane Cowley Memorial Endowment page.
For information about establishing an endowment at A&M-Commerce, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 903.468.8187.