Public Memorial Scheduled for Former UNR President Joe Crowley - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Public Memorial Scheduled for Former UNR President Joe Crowley

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The University of Nevada Reno's longest-serving president, Dr. Joseph N. Crowley passed away at the age of 84 on Tuesday.

His daughter Theresa Crowley confirmed the sad news with a Facebook post.

Dr. Crowley was hospitalized earlier this month with pneumonia. 

The University says Dr. Joseph N. Crowley served as the University of Nevada, Reno president for a record-setting 23 years, from 1978 to 2001. When Crowley stepped down from the University presidency, he was the longest-serving president at a single institution among the nation's principal universities. 

After he formally retired in January 2003, he then served for a year as interim president of San Jose University. Afterward, he returned to Nevada to teach on a part-time basis. He served as interim president from December 2005 to June 2006.

Crowley joined the University's political science faculty in January 1966.

Crowley leaves behind wife Joy,  four children and seven grandchildren. All four of his children are University of Nevada, Reno graduates.

His family says a public memorial is scheduled for January 6, 2018 at 2 p.m. inside the Joe Crowley Student Union, 4th floor. 

Current University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson released this statement: 

“Joe Crowley will be remembered as one of the finest presidents in the history of our University. He will be spoken about in the same breath as some of our most influential figures in the history of Nevada. Today we mourn his loss, we remember his legacy, and we offer sincere condolences to Joe’s wife Joy, and the entire Crowley family.

“At a time of tumult when he first became president, he re-established a sense of order on our campus and created a stronger sense of statewide respect for our institution. Moving throughout his historic 23-year tenure as our leader, Joe served with distinction, skill and integrity. He built the University into what it is today. He did so with a rare sense of personal grace that endeared him to an entire generation of students, faculty and staff at the University, and made him a beloved figure in our community and our state.

 “He used to always say, ‘Just call me Joe.’

“Today, hoping that Joe doesn’t mind the superlatives, we remember him for being a faithful steward of the promise that is our University, from his time as a professor and throughout his days as our president. His dedication and devotion toward the students of the University of Nevada, Reno will live on in the legacy of his work, and, as well, in the union that bears his name where students will continue to gather for generations to come.”

Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement: 

"My heart was filled with profound sadness when I learned of the passing of Joe Crowley. I was fortunate to consider him a mentor and will always remember his quiet dignity and strength of character. He presided over the University with poise, class, and integrity and I am proud to have been one of the countless students served by this remarkable man. I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a student in his political science class,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. I pray their hearts may be filled with memories of his endearing dry sense of humor and comforted by the knowledge that his legacy will be one that includes changing lives in Northern Nevada and improving the culture and direction of our University.”

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents released this statement:

"The NSHE community is profoundly saddened today to learn of the passing of Dr. Joe Crowley, an icon to not only the University of Nevada, Reno, but our state's entire education community. His extraordinary ability to work with his fellow institution presidents and the Nevada Legislature are a testament to the positive impact he has had on our state's overall public education system. As the university's longest-serving president, Joe built a remarkable foundation for UNR, and his legacy will continue to positively influence students for generations to come. Our thoughts are with Dr. Crowley's family and friends. We have all lost a remarkable leader and educator." 

Kevin J. Page, Chairman, Nevada Board of Regents
Jason Geddes, Ph.D., Vice Chairman, Nevada Board of Regents
Dr. Thom Reilly, Chancellor, Nevada System of Higher Education

WCSD Board President Dr. Angie Taylor says: 
 
"Joe Crowley was absolutely legendary for this university and for this community. He did so much to put the university on the map, from academics to athletics, and everything in between. On a personal note, he had an impact on my life since high school, when he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.
 
"This is a huge loss for all of us."

  
WCSD Superintendent Traci Davis says
 
"I am profoundly sorry to hear of the passing of Dr. Joe Crowley. Many thousands of students attended classes during his long and distinguished tenure as president of the University of Nevada, Reno and were fortunate to experience firsthand his dedication to providing an outstanding education to all students. His passion for educational excellence continues to stand as an inspiring example for students and staff alike, and for all of us who have chosen to help and support students as they pursue their dreams.

"Dr. Crowley honorably served our students, our state, and our nation, and his contribution to our future will be felt for decades to come. Nevada is a better place thanks to his leadership and legacy.

"On behalf of the Washoe County School District, I extend our condolences to Dr. Crowley’s family for their loss."

Bob Lucey, Chairman of the Washoe County Commission released this statement: 

“I am filled with sorrow to hear of the passing of Mr. Joe Crowley. Mr. Crowley had a deep influence on this community, as the longest-serving president at the University he impacted the lives of countless students and made his mark on this community in so many ways. This region has lost a passionate advocate, honorable businessman and proud Nevadan. With his name engraven throughout the UNR campus and around our county, he will always be remembered, and dearly missed.”

Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) released this statement: 

“I first met Dr. Crowley when I was a freshman and he was working as director of the political science department. During his tenure at UNR, Dr. Crowley served as a professor, department chair, and as acting president before eventually becoming president in 1979. Dr. Crowley brought further stature to UNR while serving as president of the NCAA, from 1993 to 1995, during which time he did groundbreaking work on Title IX programs benefitting women athletes. While Dr. Crowley wore many hats at UNR, he always made sure to put the educational needs of Nevadans first, working hard each day to advance the university’s mission to provide ‘outstanding learning, discovery, and engagement programs.’ Without a doubt, Dr. Crowley’s strong leadership and dedication has done great things for UNR and Nevada and he will be greatly missed.”

(University of Nevada, Reno contributed to this report.)

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