Memorial Service Scheduled for David Dowell, Former CSULB Provost

 david dowell

Photo courtesy of Carla Yarbrough.

A memorial service is scheduled next Saturday at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) for David Dowell, the university’s recently retired provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, who died last week.

The 65-year-old Long Beach resident died Tuesday, October 25 after suffering a heart attack during a cycling ride in the Palos Verdes Mountains, according to the Luyben Dilday Mortuary in Long Beach.

Dowell’s family will hold the service on Saturday, November 12 from 2:00PM to 5:00PM at the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, located at 1250 North Bellflower Boulevard. The family requests that attendees wear Hawaiian shirts to the service to honor Dowell, said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley in an email to the campus community.

The Tennessee native earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in psychology with an emphasis in program evaluation in 1977 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Upon graduating he moved to California where he began his career at CSULB, wearing various hats during his 39-year tenure, including titles such as professor and chair of the psychology department and dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He retired as provost during the 2015-16 school year after stepping into the role in 2013.

Upon hearing of the news last week, Conoley expressed deep sadness of Dowell’s sudden passing.

“An institution on campus for nearly 40 years, Dave was a champion and advocate for students,” she told the campus community. “Many of the national accolades we received for growth in graduation and retention rates and reducing opportunity gaps can be attributed to his leadership and tireless efforts to improve student outcomes.”

She described him as a sharp mind and quick wit with an unforgettable laugh that will be greatly missed.

Dowell enjoyed cycling, tennis, gardening and reading. He was also a supporter of the arts and loved jazz music. He is survived by his wife Nancy, brother and sister, Paul and Nancy, and three daughters, Maria Elena, Laura Ann, and Julia Rose.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.