Former Tulane first lady Marjorie Cowen expires

MARJORIE FELDMAN.COWEN, the First Lady Emerita of Tulane University and a longtime university administrator at Case Western Reserve University, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Originally from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, she settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where she pursued her education, receiving an undergraduate degree from Ursuline College and, later, an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. It was at Case Western that she began a successful 16-year career as an administrator and a development officer there. She also met her second husband and the love of her life, Scott S. Cowen, who was head of the Weatherhead School of Business.

The Cowens moved to New Orleans when Scott was named president of Tulane University in 1998.

She embraced her new role as senior adviser for external affairs and made sure to frequently open the President’s House for her popular “salons” that showcased Tulane faculty and to host students and other Tulanians as well as members of the broader New Orleans community. She was given the title of First Lady Emerita of Tulane University upon her retirement in 2014.

Marjorie and Scott Cowen were co-recipients of the Hannah G. Solomon Award presented to them by the Greater New Orleans Section of the National Council of Jewish Women in February of 2014 for their outstanding civic service. The Cowens were members of Touro Synagogue.

Known for her graciousness, her sparkle and joie de vivre and for her caring and unwavering friendship, Cowen was a.determined and brave woman who faced the highs and lows of life with her unmistakable humor, honesty, and spirit. She was a mentor and role model to many and will be remembered for her wisdom and warmth alike. She loved her family with all her heart and was an extraordinary wife, mother, and grandmother.

She is survived by her devoted husband of 30 years, Scott S. Cowen; her children, Lisa Feldman, Tommy (Ali) Feldman, Karen (Niklaus) Feldman, and Amanda (David) Cowen Russell; her brother, Jim (Judy) Silbermann, and five grandchildren.

Burial in East Hampton, New York, was private. Arrangements are being made for memorial services in early 2020 in both New Orleans and Cleveland, the two cities she regarded as home.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Dance for Parkinson’s program at the New Orleans Jewish Community Center, the Lighthouse for the Blind or the Marjorie F. Cowen Fund at Tulane University.

Share Button