By SASCHA RAIYN, News Editor
The University of Michigan-Dearborn lost an active member of its community last week. Student Susan Lowe died at her home on Tuesday, Sept. 29. She was not enrolled this semester because of health concerns.
Lowe was a women and gender studies and sociology double major. She was active in Women and Leadership and Learning (WILL), a participant in the Student Outreach and Academic Resources (SOAR) program and a 2014 UM-Dearborn Difference Maker. She co-founded the Association of Non-Traditional Students (ANTS) and was a founding member of the UM-Dearborn chapter of the Association of American University Women.
“She was gonna change the world,” said student and SOAR program assistant Rebecca Richardson.
Richardson co-founded ANTS with Lowe. With Richardson, Lowe presented research on women’s leadership and non-traditional student learning at several national conferences.
“She was interested in environmental law. She wanted to take on the Koch Brothers and get Petcoke out of Detroit,” Richardson said. “And that giggle, that infectious giggle.”
Lowe came to UM-Dearborn in 2011 after being out of school for more than 20 years.
“She just embraced being here,” said professor and SOAR program director Ellen Judge-Gonzalez. “She was very, very bright, academically a very gifted, talented person, and passionate about so many different things.”
“I’d love to become an environmental attorney working to stop climate change,” Lowe said in her Difference Maker profile. “I want to craft public policy to ensure that industrial polluters are held accountable for the environmental damage they are causing for humanity.”
Lowe was a recipient of the Center for the Education of Women Linda J. Rider Scholarship and the CASL Alumni Affiliate Scholarship. She was a member of the Golden Key Society and MetroScholars.
“In SOAR, Susan was a constant, encouraging mentor for students, a committed and determined student herself, and a person who brightened a room just by being in it.” Judge-Gonzalez wrote in a notice to SOAR students about Lowe’s death.
“She’s just really going to be missed,” Judge-Gonzalez said. “It’s too soon to lose someone with that capacity.”
A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Clarkston Community Church.
The family asks that donations be made to the SOAR scholarship fund in lieu of flowers.
“The SOAR program helped my mom out a lot,” Lowe’s son Nick Lowe shared via Facebook. “I know she would love to see more people benefit from the same program.”
Donations can be made online at https://leadersandbest.umich.edu/find/#!/give/basket/fund/306326
Plans for a campus memorial vigil have not been finalized.