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Topic:  RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl

Topic:  RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
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GroverBall
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Member Since: 12/3/2012
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 1,244

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  Message Not Read  RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/23/2024 9:24:06 PM 
Hello BA. My father passed on Father's Day. He was an avid BA reader but never a poster. He was a passionate Bobcat fan for 50+ years and very rarely missed games in the Convo or Peden over that period. Some of you may have known him as an English (Shakespeare) professor, or as Dean of University College in the 80s and 90s under Ping. He was a great one who will be missed.

Samuel Renninger Crowl

Samuel Crowl, Shakespeare professor to generations of students at Ohio University, innovative administrator, architect of programs across the university for more than half a century, died on June 16 at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, where he was taken after a fall at his home on June 7. His career at OU began in 1970, when he arrived as a fledgling PhD from Indiana University, just in time to have missed the crisis of the Vietnam War protests which had closed the university the preceding spring, but in time to join hands with survivors to recoup. “Sweet are the uses of adversity” was a fitting Shakespeare line for those days, and so it proved for Sam’s active and immersive career to follow.

His teaching and scholarly area centered on Shakespeare on Film, a specialization that he helped to launch globally and to disseminate. He was the author of seven books, the latest published in 2024, titled "Shakespeare and Baseball." Equal parts joyous family memoir, documentary of his lifelong romance with the Detroit Tigers, and inclusive narrative of the art and scope of his remarkable life, "Shakespeare and Baseball" is a fitting monument to the broad embrace of Sam’s life and to his celebratory character. Sam was an avid sportsman who annually made pilgrimages to Detroit for Tigers games, including the 1984 World Series, and who took immense pleasure rooting on his grandchildren on fields, courts, and on stages. He was a passionate Bobcat fan who rarely missed games in Peden Stadium and the Convocation Center, and who traveled across the country with family and friends to take in games.

Sam’s career at OU was as wide ranging as his life. He was Dean of University College 1981-92, during which time he co-built the university-wide General Education requirement, consulted on similar programs across the country, and was an accessible and hands-on dean at home. Sam’s pre-College address to incoming students and their parents drew on the language and principles of the post-Revolutionary War founders of the university, bringing their philosophy and rhetoric forward into the present moment and Athenian setting. The address was a powerful initiation for its listeners. His family have known him to be accosted by strangers in faraway places—students and parents, especially parents—who had been in his audience and remembered that speech. Sam’s dedication to the university and its traditions was steadily manifested throughout his career. His close collaboration with President Charles Ping was particularly fruitful. The Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities was founded in 1993 and its long arm of support continues to reach out to every level of education both locally and regionally. A capstone moment of Sam’s life and career was the conferral of the degree Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Ohio University’s 200th Commencement.

Sam was a man of many travels. He designed and directed the London Stage program, which took advantage of the long break between quarters back in pre-semester days, over the decade ’75-’86. These trips to the Shakespearean home office, as Sam liked to put it, were deep Bobcat dives into museums, galleries, and pubs as well as theaters, transformative as well as festive dives.
Sam took Bobcats to London, and he brought them home to Athens too. His initiation of summertime Alumni Colleges 1977-98 united alums of varied backgrounds and vocations with each other and with professors across the disciplines. Sam was at home in the media world as well as in the classroom and behind the podium. Almanac, his weekly TV interview program with distinguished visiting lecturers 1976-78, gave local audiences closeup time with Mike Wallace, Stokely Carmichael, Alex Haley, James Earl Jones, Stan Musial, and a host of others.

Sam was a native Ohioan. Born October 9, 1940, he grew up in Waterville, near Toledo. His undergraduate degree was from Hamilton College, NY, and his PhD was from Indiana University, where he and his wife Susan met in a Shakespeare class taught by C.L. Barber, Sam’s lifelong mentor.

His survivors include his wife Susan, retired professor of English at OU; son Samuel (Theresa Kelleher), of Athens; daughter Miranda Pistner (William), of Bloomfield Hills MI; grandchildren Charlie Pistner, Washington, D.C.; Aidan Crowl, Washington D.C.; Theo Pistner, Washington, D.C.; Audrey Crowl, Athens; Miles Pistner, Bloomfield Hills; Emerson Crowl, Athens. Sam was an ever-caring and ever-festive presence to all his darlings. His company is dearly missed by them all.

A Memorial and Celebration of Life is planned for September. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the following Department of English endowment fund: Samuel and Susan Crowl Professorship
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Jeff McKinney
Moderator

Member Since: 11/12/2004
Post Count: 6,084

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  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/23/2024 11:36:37 PM 
Thanks for posting this about your father. I saw him at so many Bobcat athletic events over the years. Condolences to you and your family during this difficult time.
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SBH
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Member Since: 12/20/2004
Post Count: 3,801

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  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/24/2024 8:18:26 AM 
A legend and one of many people who have made Ohio so special. Wonderful obit. Didn't know he was a Hamilton grad. My family has had many and grandfather was an administrator there. Both parents are buried in Clinton.

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BillyTheCat
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Member Since: 10/6/2012
Post Count: 9,616

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  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/24/2024 12:11:20 PM 
Sorry for your loss! He was a good man
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Alan Swank
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Member Since: 12/11/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 7,060

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  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/24/2024 1:16:39 PM 
When you're THE faculty member chosen to give annual welcome address to pre-college students and their parents, you're in very select company and a truly special person. I got to hear more than one of his addresses and they were mesmerizing.
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J.B.Hoy
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Member Since: 10/25/2005
Location: Portland, OR
Post Count: 101

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  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/24/2024 5:07:45 PM 
What an incredible body of work and dedication to Ohio University. My condolences and compliments to a great human.
Peace to you and your family.
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giacomo
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Member Since: 11/20/2007
Post Count: 2,683

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  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/25/2024 9:42:40 PM 
I met him back in the day and sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing.
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mf279801
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Member Since: 8/6/2010
Location: Newark, DE
Post Count: 2,459

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 6/25/2024 10:55:05 PM 
I'm very sorry for your loss. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing your father, but it sounds like he lead an interesting, wonderful life.
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Maddog13
General User

Member Since: 12/21/2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Post Count: 610

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: RIP OU Prof and Dean Samuel R. Crowl
   Posted: 7/1/2024 5:42:20 AM 
My thoughts, prayers, and condolences. Your father was my professor in college over 40 years ago. He was a brilliant man. He was also extremely kind. Hugs to you and your loved ones, brother. Your Dad will certainly be missed.
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