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Edgar Lafayette Lowell ’49

Edgar Lafayette Lowell ’49, April 19, 2005. After high school, Edgar took a job with a construction firm that sent him to Midway Island in the Pacific. During World War II, he helped ready airfields before returning to the U.S. and enlisting in military service. Ten years after his high school graduation, Edgar utilized the G.I. Bill and took classes through the University of Oregon, while living in Portland, maintaining a job, and supporting a family. On his way to work one day, he saw Reed from the bus and decided that the college would offer him a more intense academic challenge than the one he was currently undertaking. He got off the bus, checked in with the admission office, and was enrolled on the spot. Edgar received a BA in psychology from Reed, an MA in psychology from Wesleyan College in 1951, and a PhD in social psychology form Harvard in 1952. He taught at Harvard for a few years, but found that his interest in psychological issues for children were paramount, leading to a position with the John Tracy Clinic, a private, nonprofit education center for infants and preschool children with hearing losses in Los Angeles. He stayed at the clinic for 35 years, retiring as executive director. He also taught at USC, and started a program at Cal State–Northridge for training superintendents of schools for the deaf and blind. He was a member of the board of fellows for Gallaudet College (University) in Washington, D.C., and received an honorary LLD from the college in 1979. Edgar married in 1944; he and his wife, Dorothy, had a daughter and son. A later marriage to Marilyn Olsen spanned 35 years. Together they traveled to Europe and through the U.S. He retired in Arizona.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2005

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