On Friday, September 18, 2015, the Towson family gathered to remember Dr. Maravene Loeschke ’69/’71. During a memorial largely planned by the president emerita as her final farewell to her beloved alma mater, Bruce Nelson ’89 read aloud a letter Dr. Loeschke had written to the university community:
This is not what I would have chosen. I still have much more to give to my friends, my family, students, my community and Towson University – one of my life’s loves.
I have been one of the most fortunate people on earth. There was no, “Woe is me, why me?” attached to this challenge. I accept that I have been dealt a nasty scenario, but it is no different a challenge than millions of others have faced courageously. It was my intention to use this example and try to do the same.
I cannot imagine what a more rewarding career and life would have been like. I have had the opportunity to have a career doing the work I love – theater, writing, teaching, acting, and motivating students to be the best they can be. Over my 45-year career in higher education, there was rarely a morning [when I didn’t feel that] I could not wait to get to work. This was especially true when the work was connected to my 33 years at Towson.
I have had the opportunity to spend my life with gifted students, brilliant faculty and actors and directors, and excellent colleagues. My family and friends are golden. Most importantly, I have spent 45 years with the love and soul mate of my life – the most beautiful man I have ever known.
As I pass to the next adventure, I hold my life’s journey with deepest gratitude and respect for the responsibilities in my care. I asked the students every chance I got (and I ask you now), “How will the world be better because you have been given a college education? How will you make your life one of service to others and the world condition? Students, what will be better because of you?” Please keep asking our students and each other these questions.
Thank you for allowing me in your lives. I have learned so much about love from you. It is with love and gratitude that I say goodbye.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to any of three funds in the Towson University Foundation.
MEMORIAL SERVICE VIDEO
A video of the memorial service will be posted here soon. Please check back.
Tributes to Dr. Loeschke
“Maravene was one of a kind. She was revered by all who knew her and was as welcome as a breath of fresh air everywhere she went. With the savvy and grace that she learned on the stage, she moved her way up through the levels of higher education and made an everlasting mark on Towson University. Throughout her tenure at Towson University, I marveled at Maravene’s tireless advocacy for every student at TU. She was never afraid to make a tough decision when she new it was the right decision. It was truly her goal to bring Towson to the forefront nationwide. I join you in mourning the loss of this great and remarkable lady.”
–U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Towson University President Emerita Maravene Loeschke. Her passion and enthusiasm for higher education – and life – were contagious. My thoughts and prayers are with the Towson University Administration, Students, Alumni and Faculty, as we all mourn the loss of this great leader.”
— U.S. Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, MD, 2nd Congressional District
“It is with great sadness that I extend my heartfelt condolences on the passing of Maravene Loeschke, a woman whose passion for the arts and education not only transformed the lives of students during her tenure at Towson University, but one who whose legacy continues to inspire graduates to look beyond the classroom and seek positive change. Maravene dedicated her life to strengthening education and inspiring students to focus their leadership, passion, vision and commitment on building a better world. I know Maravene’s indomitable spirit and ardor for higher education will live on in the countless students who embody her call for leadership and change. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Towson University community.”
–U.S. Congressman John P. Sarbanes, MD-3rd Congressional District
“It was my distinct honor and pleasure to get to know President Emerita Maravene S. Loeschke, a fellow alumna of Towson University. She was not only one of the smartest people I have encountered, but she focused such positive energy on everything she undertook that everyone involved benefited. Her natural warmth, her interest in others, and her genuine love of teaching combined to make her as effective as she was engaging. Her accomplishments at Towson and beyond are characterized by intellectual rigor and curiosity, collaborative processes, and dedication to teaching and to nurturing the whole human. Dr. Loeschke inspired a generation of students to find their passion, vision and commitment…and who, in doing so, will be her legacy.”
— The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals
“Dr. Maravene Loeschke was a remarkable woman who began as a student at Towson University and rose to be the president. She was an outstanding advocate for Towson University and the advantages of higher education. I join the rest of my colleagues in the Maryland House of Delegates in expressing my sincerest sympathies to her family and the entire Towson University community.”
— Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch, Legislative District 30A
“I was so sad to hear of the passing of my friend, Dr. Maravene Loeschke. This is such a great loss to all who knew her and had the opportunity to work with her at Towson University and in the Baltimore community. Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our beautiful friend. I send heart-filled condolences to Maravene’s family and the Towson University family. To quote Helen Keller, “What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love dearly becomes part of us.” The memory of Maravene will live on in our hearts, and the work she did at Towson University will be her testimony that will live forever.”
— Maryland Speaker Pro Tem Delegate Adrienne Jones, Legislative District 10
“I’ll remember Maravene’s Loeschke’s life as being one that was filled with grace and dignity. Not long ago we were having lunch, and I was telling her about a professor I had at The University of Maryland who had changed my life. Maravene asked me if I had ever called him and thanked him. I hadn’t. She made me promise her that I would call him and tell him how grateful I was. Three weeks later I did just that. Maravene understood what was important in life and she did everything she could to share it with others. I’ll miss her always, and I, along with the rest of the Towson University community, honor her life and mourn her passing.”
— Maryland State Senator Jim Brochin, Legislative District 42
“I always looked forward to having President Loeschke stop by my office in Annapolis. Her warm smile made me feel special and would make my day. Towson University was blessed to have her as a teacher and president.”
— Maryland State Senator Katherine Klausmeier, Legislative District 8
“I was immediately saddened to hear of Maravene’s death. Her commitment to Towson, her willingness to be engaged in the community and in helping students thrive are part of her legacy. She showed determination and a smile. I was honored to know and work with her during her all-too-short-time as President. I know that she will have an enduring impact on the University, and I am glad I had the opportunity to know this unique and wonderful woman.”
— Maryland Delegate Steve Lafferty, Legislative District 42A
“Dr. Maravene Loeschke was a visionary in her leadership as president of Towson University. She truly loved her school and the students and led with a feminine strength that was compassionate, approachable and reasonable. She will be missed and remembered as a lady whose grace, love, commitment and passion led Towson University to be one of the best schools in Maryland. Her warmth and smile radiated as she talked about her beloved Towson University and the students’ success. Dr. Loeschke was a gift whose image of delight will shine in our memories.”
–Maryland Delegate Susan Aumann, Legislative District 42A
“I was very sad to learn about Dr. Loeschke’s passing the other day. From the moment we met upon her return to Towson University, it was clear that she was thrilled to be coming home, and that passion came through in everything she did. Although her time as president was far too brief, her legacy will endure. My thoughts and prayers are with her immediate and her extended family during this difficult time.”
–Kevin Kamenetz, County Executive Baltimore County
“Dr. Loeschke was many things – a beloved wife, an outstanding college administrator, and a friend to our Baltimore County community. But first and foremost, to so many people, she was an educator. So many of her former classmates have told me how much she meant to them. She had the gift of inspiration, and she spread the beauty of our classics, arts and theatre to younger generations. In remembering Dr. Loeschke, it seems fitting to me not to quote from some classical artist, but to a contemporary poet beloved by younger generations, including mine. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
— Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, District 5
“I am saddened by the passing of this great woman. She was a mentor to my daughter and did a great job during her all-too-short time as president of Towson. I will be praying for her family and the Towson University family in this season of their loss and grief.”
— Dr. Frank M. Reid III, University System of Maryland Board of Regents
“It is hard to believe that Maravene is gone. She has been part of Towson University (TU) for all of our history with the university. TU is a very special place. It is special because of the faculty, staff, and students who walk its halls. It is special because of the living and learning environment we have created. Maravene reflected what so many of us find most valued about the TU experience: a true love of the university and what the university has meant and will mean to so many people. She was a professional colleague of ours and a personal friend. She will be missed and most fondly remembered.”
— Bob Caret & Liz Zoltan, University System of Maryland Chancellor-Designate and wife
“In her all-too-brief tenure as president of Towson University, Maravene Loeschke led the institution with purpose, dignity and compassion. Her focus on enhancing opportunities and experiences for students will be her lasting legacy and indelible mark. We applaud her for being such a valuable member of our community, and we will miss her greatly.”
— William “Brit” Kirwan, University System of Maryland Chancellor (retired)
“I have known Maravene Loeschke as a student, faculty member, administrator and college president. In each role, she was outstanding — good, committed, enlightened and a dear friend. Forever, her presence will be indelible.”
— James L. Fisher, President Emeritus of Towson University
“Our hearts are broken. Perhaps her greatest gifts to Towson were her warmth and her generosity. Among the many things we will never forget is her devotion to each and every student and her pride and great joy in concluding her career, albeit prematurely, at her alma mater, a place to which she dedicated more than thirty years. In so many ways she was Towson.”
— Timothy J.L. Chandler, Interim Towson University President
“Maravene was a great colleague and friend. Her spirit was contagious, and she loved her students. The Morgan State University family extends its thoughts and prayers to her entire family we mourn this great loss.”
— David Wilson, Morgan State University President
“I was so saddened to learn of Maravene’s death, despite the fact that for so long we’ve known it was coming. She and I connected immediately, and I so admired her! I was so thrilled when she was hired and when I intuited what close colleagues and friends we’d become.”
— Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Salisbury University President
“The UMBC community sends its sincere condolences. Maravene was a wonderful colleague and friend. We learned so much from her, and we will remember her elevating spirit. I recall thinking at her installation that it was a fine moment in Towson’s history. There she was, a Towson alumna, having returned home. We all celebrated and will remember that wonderful moment — that wonderful smile — that wonderful spirit.”
— Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, University of Maryland Baltimore County President
“When Ben and I went to visit her early in May, she told us that she had talked with [Blakehurst] aides to find out where they were from and ordered online the flags of their countries. The flags were used as centerpieces in the dining room. She thought it would promote understanding and respect and make the aides feel more comfortable. I am so grateful that she asked me to be vice chair and then chair because that’s really how I got to know her and to see TU through her eyes.”
— Myrna Cardin, Towson University Board of Visitors Chair.
“Maryland has lost a great leader, mentor, and friend. However, Maravene leaves a caring and accomplished legacy as a result of her personal investment in the common good and benevolent leadership. We are all better because Maravene graced our lives.”
— Lillian M. Lowery, Ed.D., Maryland State Superintendent of Schools
“I was never more proud of Towson University than when Maravene Loeschke was president. Her energy and common sense approach helped to focus and inspire both the campus and the alumni. She was a wonderful listener and a kind soul. I feel very fortunate to have known such a distinguished lady.”
— Bill Owens, Mass Comm ’88 and Honorary Doctor of Human Letters ‘12, Executive Editor, CBS’ 60 Minutes