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Date: Aug 23, 2007
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY MOURNS THE LOSS OF DR. FRANK BOWE, LONGTIME PROFESSOR AND RENOWNED CHAMPION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIESHofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Frank Bowe, Ph.D, LL.D, a professor of counseling, research, special education and rehabilitation (CRSR) in Hofstra University’s School of Education and Allied Human Services, passed away on August 21, 2007. He was 60 years old. He had served on the faculty since 1989 and held the Dr. Mervin Livingston Schloss Distinguished Professorship for the Study of Disabilities. In 2005, 2006 and during the spring of 2007, he served as acting chair of Hofstra’s CRSR Department.
Dr. Bowe was a nationally recognized champion for the rights of people with disabilities and a highly regarded and prolific researcher in this area. On the Hofstra campus he was celebrated for his excellent teaching skills and for being a professor who brought warmth, humor and unwavering dedication to the classroom.
“Dr. Bowe was a prominent scholar and advocate for Americans with disabilities, as well as a caring and outstanding teacher,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “There are many Hofstra alumni and current students who credit Dr. Bowe with opening their eyes to the rewards of teaching and of working with special needs students. In 1996 he won the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor based on the recommendation of graduating seniors who regarded the opportunity to study with Dr. Bowe as a transforming experience.”
“Frank Bowe will be missed very much – by his students, our alumni and his colleagues. He set an example of compassion and excellence to which we should all aspire.”
Dr. Bowe received a Ph.D. in 1976 from New York University; an M.A. in 1971 from Gallaudet University; and a B.A. in 1969 from Western Maryland College. Before joining the faculty at Hofstra, Dr. Bowe served as a regional commissioner of the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration. From 1984 to 1986 he was the chairman of the U.S. Congress Commission on Education of the Deaf.
Dr. Bowe is perhaps best known for his leadership as executive director of the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities from 1976 to 1981. He was the organization’s first executive officer, and provided crucial direction during the nationwide sit-in regarding Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in 1977, the world’s first civil-rights provision for persons with disabilities, which eventually led to the American Disabilities Act, passed in 1990.
In 1980 Dr. Bowe, who was deaf, became the first person with a disability to represent any nation in the planning of the United Nations International Year of Disabled Persons. For more than two decades Dr. Bowe had been a consultant to the U.S. Congress on a variety of issues. In 1992 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the President for his lifetime achievement. In 1994 he was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for People with Disabilities. He is also credited as one of the architects of provisions in the 1996 Telecommunications Act that have greatly enhanced the quality of life for Americans with disabilities.
Dr. Bowe’s teaching at Hofstra focused on inclusion, technology in education and meeting K-12 special needs students. Outside the classroom, he tirelessly researched how all of society – not just schools – can better accommodate people with disabilities.
His latest study, released in September 2006, revealed that Americans with disabilities – the nation’s third largest minority – are the least likely of any population within the country to achieve the American dream. Dr. Bowe reported that more than a quarter of this demographic live in poverty (75% earn less than $20,000 annually) and fewer than half have private health insurance. His research found that many adults with disabilities subsist on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and although the monthly funds received from those programs provide barely livable wages, the benefit of Medicare and/or Medicaid is something this population cannot do without.
Dr. Bowe also examined education in this study and found that despite measures to level the playing field, educational opportunity for students with disabilities and those without is not parallel. While the typical 9-year-old would be in the 4th grade, a 9-year-old student with disabilities is more than half likely (61%) to be in the third grade. Among high school students, the vast majority of 15-year-old students with disabilities are not with their same age peers in the 10th grade but in 9th or 8th grades.
Dr. Bowe authored another paper that was released in 2005 by Rep. Fred Upton (R, MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Energy and Commerce Committee, U.S. House of Representatives. The paper, titled Two-Way Technologies: A History of the Struggle to Communicate, explored how people who are deaf, who are blind, who have cerebral palsy, or who have mental retardation have communicated over the past 40 years and how public policy (federal laws, orders of the Federal Communication Commission, etc.) has alternately led and lagged technology.
Dr. Bowe had a deep impact on his students and maintained close ties with many of them after graduation. He was truly an inspiration to students, fellow faculty and public officials. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, and daughters Doran and Whitney.
Remembering Frank Bowe
Dr. Bowe was pretty much my mentor. I credit him with some of the success I have experienced in the field of special education. I remember that I first wanted to combine that with Elementary Education. Dr. Bowe said that everyone wants to work with the little ones. I chose Secondary English Education. And, you know, prefer the older grades.
Thanks Dr. Bowe! You will be missed.
-Elysse Power, Former Student
He was an inspiration to many, and will be truly missed. Rest in peace.
-Courtney Tomaini, Student
I had the honor and privilege of being one of Dr. Frank Bowe's students in a graduate course at Hofstra University in 2000. While listening to Dr. Bowe speak in the classroom, something alighted in my brain and became the basis for my teaching philosophy and practices. His continued support, knowledge, and advice have helped me many times over the last seven years of our acquaintance. He made me laugh all of the time - in fact I was very recently recounting stories about his biting wit and humor. His influence in my professional life and growth still continues and therefore remains to be measured. I am so very saddened and empty upon losing this friend, colleague, and mentor. May his family find peace in the knowledge that so many people loved him and that our thoughts and prayers are with them during this devastating time.
-Professor Kim Flugmacher Ballerini, Former Student
I am a graduate student majoring in inclusive elementary education as of summer 2005. Dr. Bowe was my first instructor for SPED 204 and 277. I loved both of the classes. He inspired me to be evaluated by Hofstra University and I did. The assessment has helped me and his inspiration to see me through the process was profound. I can attribute my continuation of my program to Dr. Bowe because I have been challenged with many different tests during the course of my study. Being a student with special needs and looking forward to graduating May 2008 is wonderful, but my mentor Dr. Bowe will not be there to see me walk. I send my condolences to his family and everyone at Hofstra University. He will be greatly missed because he was the living encyclopedia of knowledge. In memory of him I really hope that a building will be named in respect of his contribution of work.
-Melinda T Clare, Student
He helped me so much when I was transferring from Hunter College. I was fortunate to take two of his classes this summer. Throughout his illness, he always found time to respond to my e-mails. He was a wonderful man.
-Jennifer Kolb, Student
Dr. Bowe was an absolutely, positively, wonderful human being who was [more than] committed to his craft and his pupils. Dr. Bowe was a master at routinely bringing out the very best in his students. I learned a great deal from him. His lessons, both academic and non, will remain with me for a lifetime. He will be missed.
- Sydney Joshua, Former Student
Frank was one of the pre-ADA leaders committed to working across disability. Being hard of hearing, I am personally and professionally appreciative of his lifetime work in communications access. Frank was a formidable leader in the march for justice for all people. He will be missed by the young who benefited from his teaching and by all of us who benefited from his leadership.
- Kate Seelman, Colleague
Frank Bowe was a good man, a good colleague, and a good friend. He made his mark on this world as few have been able to. We will miss him. I will miss him.
- Alan Singer, Colleague
The Deaf community has lost a major force for change. Those with significant disabilities, sometimes called "low functioning," have lost an advocate and many of us have lost a talented colleague. He will be missed.
- Peg Harmon, Colleague
Before I ever came to Hofstra and met Dr. Bowe, I heard of him through his students. A friend of mine and I had started a social group for Deaf and hearing signers. Dr. Bowe advised his students to come to our meetings to experience true Deaf culture. My friend and I were thrilled and very honored.
My first position here at Hofstra was working in the same office as his secretary and I had an opportunity to thank him for sending his students to our group and to see him in action, always typing at his computer, e-mailing or writing. I'm very grateful to have met him and to have been inspired by his example of overcoming his physical bounds. Hofstra will surely miss him but our society at large will be the worse off for not having his caring and legislative watch-dog protectiveness in force as before.
- Vicky Aspinwall, Colleague
Frank, you were one of my biggest supporters when I first came to D.C., and so much fun to work with. I am forever grateful for your sharing your wonderful sense of humor, thoughtfulness, and support. You are very much missed.
- Paula Holbrook, Colleague
As a new faculty member at Hofstra, Frank often ensured that I was doing well and finding balance. He would walk by my office to see if I was smiling - and if I wasn't... a probe into why followed. He was a wonderful mentor and will be missed by many.
- Genevieve Weber, Colleague
I first met Frank in the 1970s during the early years of America's independent living movement. He was a key player and leader in that effort, not just for citizens with hearing loss but for Americans with all types of disabilities. He fought for inclusion -- not exclusion -- for us all. He further grasped that the "separate but equal" concept would never be successful in our society.
While Frank and I did not always agree on strategies and methods, he patiently taught me innumerable lessons that guide my life even today. I valued him as a friend and colleague -- I respected him as a THINKER. I am certain we all wish our world could clone him.
- D. Ray Fuller, Jr., J.D., Colleague
I am an incoming Graduate student for Fall 07 (Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling). During my research of whether or not to attend Hofstra, I came across an article on Dr. Bowe. It detailed his research on people with disabilities and his effortless work throughout the years. I was deeply touched because I, myself, am a person with a mobile impairment. Reading what Dr. Bowe worked so diligently on gave me an extra push to pursue my Masters at Hofstra...and to enter a field that will allow me to extend my skills and assistance to others with disabilities. I am sad to hear of his passing. I intended to meet Dr. Bowe once I arrived at Hofstra. Now unfortunately, I have missed that chance to just thank him for paying attention the critical issues that have an impact on millions of people in this country that are usually looked over. Rest in Peace.
- Trichele Reese, Student
My wife, Caroline, and I send our deepest condolences to Frank's family. He was an amazing individual and did so much for all of us in the deaf and hard of hearing community. May he rest in peace.
- Herbert W. Larson, Colleague
Here goes our warrior. Thanks for all the work for all of us.
- Dominick Bonura, Colleague
Frank was a great inspiration for many of us working in state Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies. He was an outstanding role model and will be greatly missed.
- Robert E Griffith, Colleague
I met Frank here in Washington, D.C. in 1990, I believe, when he was visiting some people at the U.S. Department of Education. I worked in the Deafness and Communicative Disorders Branch Services with David Myers and Charlotte Coffield after Boyce Williams had retired. I had moved here from Portland, Oregon, and really was a bit ignorant about the who is who in the Deaf Community, being as I was all about those people with hearing loss who were not ASL Deaf individuals. I had the pleasure of a short conversation with Frank after a meeting here, and he was such an interesting and friendly man. It didn't take long for me to learn that he was a highly respected man in the Deaf community as well as the general disability rehabilitation field. Our paths have crossed a few times over the years, but I always felt like I had been near him over the years. I'm so sorry he is not with us now physically, but I know that he will be with so many spiritually. May God bless you and all who loved him as a spouse, child, family member and friend.
- George Kosovich, Colleague
We have lost a champion. Frank was relentless in his advocacy and anticipated both the needs and the opportunities the future holds. He was articulate and unrelenting in his efforts on behalf of so many.
- Dr. Mark Prowatzke, Colleague
Dr.Bowe was an amazing professor who truly inspired me. He will be missed.
- Nicole Seltzer, Former Student
In the summer of 1987, while attending a national conference of coordinators of services for students with disabilities, I was captivated by the energy and passion of the man who gave the keynote address: Dr. Frank Bowe. I had read about his extraordinary accomplishments in promoting the rights and abilities of individuals with disabilities and was thrilled to meet him in person and secure his autograph on his most recent book: Changing the Rules. How much more delighted I was two years later, when I learned that he had joined us at Hofstra, where I had the pleasure of being both his student and his colleague.
His classes were dynamic, and his vision for the future of individuals with disabilities was unbounded. He was a brilliant teacher with a wonderful sense of humor, a compassionate and caring colleague, an innovative thinker, a fiercely determined advocate and a good friend. We thank his family for sharing him with the rest of the world for these very short 60 years. He will be truly missed.
- Karin Spencer, Colleague
Dr. Bowe was one of my favorite professors at Hofstra. He was so devoted to each and every one of his students and went out of his way for all of us. He was truly an inspiration, and I am so upset to hear about this loss. Rest in Peace. You will be missed!
- Jade DiIonno, Former Student
I had the honor of working with Frank in the early heady days of the international disability rights movement, given such impetus by the 1981 International Year of Disabled Persons. Frank was one of only a few disabled participants representing their countries instead of allied non-governmental organizations. After hearing him present his philosophy and make his points at the UN, other country delegations were inspired to go home and search out their own disabled leaders to involve in the process. Good times!
- Barbara Duncan, Colleague
Frank was a brilliant, funny, energetic and thoughtful man. I learned much from him during the early days of disability advocacy at ACCD in the late 70s early 80s. His writings will live for many years as he was a futuristic thinker. I miss Frank already! What a gift he gave to us all.
- Pat Pound , Colleague
As a student with a disability in Canada, Dr. Bowe's work was like a beacon in the wilderness when I first began my studies in disability issues. He was a true pioneer. He will be missed.
- Dr. Nancy E. Hansen
I had the pleasure of having Dr. Bowe as an instructor while preparing to become a teacher. He was amazing in his knowledge and approach to teaching and really opened my eyes on teaching students with disabilities. He was also so instrumental in advancing legislation to protect the needs of these students - what an asset to Hofstra for having first-hand involvement in this! Additionally, he was caring - I remember one snowy, wintery eve after class when my car wouldn't start in the Hagedorn parking lot. He came over to lend a hand and make sure I was okay given how bad the weather was! I'm sad to hear of his passing - he will be missed! I wish to send my condolences to his friends and family.
- Ilene Schuss, Former Student
Dr. Frank Bowe was a mentor, a colleague and a friend. I will miss his humor, his advice and his support. My condolences to those individuals with disabilities who have lost an important and outspoken advocate. My condolences to the Hofstra community for the loss of an outstanding professor and colleague. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Phyllis, and family who have suffered the greatest loss of all.
- Stefanie Lewis, Colleague
I met Frank for the first time at an ACCD meeting ... from that point on I considered myself lucky and fortunate to be in his presence. What I learned from him is not measurable. I give full credit to him of the work I have accomplished in the disability rights area. Onward and upward to a more accessible world! Thanks for the privilege, Frank!
- Margaret Staton, Colleague
I genuinely enjoyed attending Dr. Bowe's classes, which were a unique combination of learning and laughter. He got to know each student and he drew on our individual strengths to enrich and enhance our collective experience. He had so much knowledge about resources available for individuals with disabilities, but the amazing aspect of his teaching was that he made us research, consider, reflect, and ultimately understand those elements for ourselves. He opened my eyes up to a whole world of possibilities in special education that I never knew existed, and all of my students (those with and without disabilities) have him to thank for what I now have to offer.
Dr. Bowe, you always used to call me "Purple" because it is my favorite color. I hope you are in a very peaceful, purple place now and forevermore.
- Denise Javaherforoush, Former Student
Frank Bowe was one of the first keynote speakers that Marc Hull and I invited to speak at our annual conference in Texas. He was ahead of his time and an inspiration to many as we learned the art and science of advocacy. Rest in Peace.
- Linda H. Parrish, Colleague
After giving a speech to a SHHH group (now Hearing Loss Association of America), about my first undergraduate year at Hofstra, someone in the audience asked if I had ever met Dr. Bowe, a deaf professor at Hofstra. I contacted his office, and set up an appointment. From the first time I met Dr. Bowe (Summer 1996), he took me under his wing by offering me my first job as his undergraduate assistant that very same day. I readily accepted it. In fact, he almost seemed to have anticipated my arrival, and asked me, "What took you so long?" Both of us being deaf, we shared an instant bond. We also shared a similar sense of humor, understanding, and work ethic. It was the first time, I really felt at home at Hofstra, and so always looked forward to coming in to work. Throughout my years as a student (and from 2000 on as a Hofstra administrator for the Business Development Center, Computer Center and Library), I continued to work alongside Dr. Bowe on many of his Hofstra and outside projects. This ranged from helping him with computer troubles and tips, building/maintaining Web sites (or teaching him how to build and maintain a Web site). It also included reviewing/contributing ideas for articles, books, and reports he was involved with including the "Within Our Reach" report for the National Task Force on Technology and Disability, "Two Way Technologies", "E-Access at Hofstra," etc. Many of these reports and papers will (or have already made) such a difference in people's lives!
It was such an honor to work with him on each of these projects. I always looked forward to the next. I loved our daily e-mails and instant messages (even on the weekends because Saturday and Sunday mornings were for work too!). Many times we would just check in with each other either electronically via e-mail, instant messaging or in person. It was a great learning experience, and he always made things such fun. Equally important to Dr. Bowe were his classes and his students. Assisting him with teaching the SPED277 technology classes for a number of semesters will never be forgotten. I have never seen a professor more admired by his students, nor a professor more outgoing and lively than Dr. Bowe. Through these classes, Dr. Bowe also showed me that I had a gift for explaining complicated tasks in an easy to learn and understandable manner. Dr. Bowe was ALWAYS so supportive of me and ALWAYS available to me for advice, help, or just a friendly chat.
He was so many things to me over the course of these 10 short years with him. He was and is a role model, a supervisor, a mentor, a best friend, a colleague, a second father, and a guardian angel. I miss him so much, but will always carry a part of him with me, and know that he is watching and doing what he can from above. I'm sure that if anything needs to be improved upon in heaven, he's already getting to work on it.
- Joshua Liebman, Colleague
Deaf and hard of hearing people and people with disabilities for many future generations will benefit from Frank's tireless efforts to level the playing field. Like me, he inspired countless other professionals who entered this fairly unglamorous field to be an advocate or a teacher who has passion and commitment for our work and compassion for all humankind. Working with him in the early years of my career in the 1980s changed my life forever. I will never forget the soft spoken man with the "Swedish" accent (as he called it) who - with humor and intelligence - convinced Congress that captioning in televisions, enhanced telecommunications, assistive technology and the ADA was "a good thing."
Thank you Frank, my friend, mentor and colleague, for sharing so much more than just your hot fudge brownie sundaes with me!
- Denise Gagnon Perdue, Colleague
Frank was a champion for the inclusion of all people, especially those with visible disabilities, in nurtural educational opportunities. During my tenure at Hofstra, he was supportive of my work with all students in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Since he knew that I was associated with NTID/RIT (National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York), we were always very glad to see each other in the hallways of Hagedorn Hall (School of Education and Allied Human Services at Hofstra). May his homegoing be blessed. May his soul rest in peace. Amen.
- Dr. Mike Ayewoh, Colleague
We are saddened by this untimely passing of Dr. Bowe. We will forever miss his friendship, collegiality, and wisdom. Thank you, Dr. Bowe, for your immeasurable contribution to millions of people with disabilities around the world.
- Daniel W Wong & Lucy Wong Hernandez, Colleagues
With deep sympathy and condolences to the Bowe family and to the Hofstra community. I met Frank a few times during conferences and found him to be enlightning.
- Dorothy Steele, Colleague
Frank was one of the first national disability rights leaders I met in the early 1980s. He was a gracious man, who certainly inspired me by his leadership, advocacy and way of being in the world. Frank's Handicapping America was the first disability rights book I ever read. It was one of the few things I could find in the card catalog (for those who remember those) in Norman, OK, where I lived at the time. Frank joined the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal as a Distinguished Fellow from the very beginning of its journey. He will be missed.
- Steve Brown, Colleague
My condolences to the Bowe family. I have known Frank for 27 years, since he was at NYU. Initially he began as my teacher but later as I moved into my career we became colleagues. I have many wonderful memories of him that I would love to share with his family. In 1989, the national ADARA conference was in New York City. Frank was the keynote speaker. At the closing brunch, which was held in the World Trade Center, Frank had told me he loved chocolate ice cream. So at the end of his presentation, I had a waiter walk a large bowl up to him on the podium, and I have a great picture of that. He gave amazing presentations and was a prolific author, always ahead of the pack! In addition to his leadership what I will miss most is his wicked sense of humour and his energy! I will miss him very much!
- Nancy Carr, Colleague
Frank Bowe was a pioneer and unique in the world of disability rights. In the late 1970s he was one of the few individuals from Deaf Culture who became involved in cross disability work and had a deep understanding of the importance of civil rights as it related to disability. I met Frank in the mid 1980s in Washington, DC. He stood out as a stellar proponent of policy because he argued with gentle grace.
Frank Bowe was a rare, historic giant in the disability movement. He leaves an important body of work. However his gracious and understated presence seems like a lost art. I miss him.
- Janine Bertram Kemp (widow of Evan Kemp), Colleague
Dr Bowe was one of the most inspiring and motivating professors I have had in my graduate school career. He was my adviser and a wealth of information on people with disabilities. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be sorely missed.
- Debbie Rubin, Student
It is wonderful to read all of your comments about my brother. He loved working with you and he loved teaching. I think Hofstra was a perfect home for him. Thanks to all of you.
- Robin Bowe Schaffer
A GREAT loss for the deaf and hard of hearing community as Frank left us for his new home. I have known Frank since the 1970s and attended his interesting and challenging conferences at various places in this country. He had done a lot for the deaf and hard of hearing community in this country within a short span and will never be matched by any of us at all. My sympathy to his wonderful family on their loss of a dedicated husband and father. May he rest in peace.
- Carlton B. Strail, Colleague
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Frank Bowe. I had known and worked with him during my many years with the Deafness and Communicative Disorders Branch headed by Dr. Boyce Williams. The news of his death brought to mind a letter he once wrote me saying that he had just read an article about the need for people to take the time to communicate to each other the appreciation they feel. He went on to say that while reading it, he thought of me and of my "tireless efforts over the years" on his behalf and on behalf of deaf persons for longer than he could realize. He took the time to let me know how much he "appreciated and valued my services." The impact of that gesture, the importance of saying "Thank You," remains with me to this day. Frank was a very special person the likes of whom we will never see again. He will be missed by so many who admired and respected him.
- Charlotte Coffield, Colleague
Frank's writings, insights and passion spread across the nation from his small ACCD office in Washingon and inspired those of us at the CIL in Berkeley as we planned our successful 1977 "504 Sit-In" in the HEW Building in UN Plaza in San Francisco. It was such a joy to meet him in person after my arrival here in Washington DC in 1979. One of the most meaningful compliments I received in those early days was from Frank when he said he found my writing about the disability movement illuminating and provocative. I have carried that encouragement throughout a life of challenges. I will never forget his kindness and encouragement. He will always be a powerful force within our community and his name and gifts must never be forgotten.
- Mary Jane Owen, Colleague
Dr. Bowe was like a role model for me. When I first met him, I was a social work student at RIT/NTID and the same for the likes of Dr. Steven Chung and some others from the University of Arkansas with a big deafness research program. Back at the time, we're talking about the early 80s, we were ripe for legislation via advocacy of communication and information access for those who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Frank was a leader among those leaders heading in the right direction. First and foremost, he had the working knowledge and research backing him up to spearhead much needed changes. Plus there were supporters of people who were new to deafness and were either his friends or colleagues and trusted Frank's guidance and insights.
Dr. Bowe will be missed and I thank him for his untiring and unwavering focus as documented through many eyes and ears.
As a 'student,' Dr. Bowe gave me a lot of insights into my own rights and abilities to self-advocate. Back then, I was new to deafness and began to explore my new found identity combined with newly acquired ASL skills. Frank saw into that and he was a role model for me to be myself!
My best to his family and close friends, colleagues and advocates at this sad time. I'm sorry for such a loss of a great man!
- Suzann Bedrosian, Colleague
Frank Bowe was an inspiration to us all.
- Dr. Starr Cline, Colleague
Dr. Bowe was my teacher.
I was frankly afraid of the subject "people who were different, God help us!" but the class was required.
That first evening was quite a surprise. He sat off a little to the side as we all filed in, stood up in front of us and opened his mouth to speak. His voice, I thought, would take some getting used to.
It didn't. He was, as I would soon discover, an amazing communicator. He made sure we understood the material, and he also made sure we understood why we had to know it: because as teachers, whether we liked it or not, we would all sooner or later be confronted with issues relating to disability. This was not a student-centered class, but neither was it teacher-centered. Dr. Bowe never shied away from talking about himself, and he could move the listener to every sort of passion, not the least of which was regular helpings of helpless laughter; but his was, emphatically, a syllabus-centered class.
Now that sounds pretty dull, of course, yet somehow, in these classes, I learned a whole lot more than just the facts. He taught me that, for all our differences, we are also all the same. We all have aspirations, we all have disappointments, and most importantly, we are all in this together. Dr. Bowe instilled in me a sensitivity that did not exist before. I am an English teacher, but I am deeply committed to making inclusion work. All students, all teachers, have everything to gain from differentiated approaches that reach out to students with disabilities.
Dr. Bowe was not just a great talker but a great listener as well. That spring of 2005, when I was taking his class, my teenage daughter had some problems that were becoming a distraction for me. I asked Dr. Bowe for more time to complete certain projects and found myself sharing with him, as I had done with no one else, the nature of her problems. His attention, his compassion, were a very great help to me.
After finishing that semester, I knew I wanted to work as a volunteer in a special education setting over the summer, and I was setting up interviews in my usual leisurely manner, when I discovered that my daughter - whom I had thought by then was reasonably stabilized - was, in fact, in something of a downward spiral. I called Dr. Bowe (or more properly, e-mailed him) to ask if he knew of a situation in which both I and my daughter could be volunteers together, that I might get her out of the house and away from her demons. He referred me to a connection he had with the Children's Learning Center of United Cerebral Palsy of Nassau. Within a week, my daughter and I were in neighboring classrooms and sharing with each other the pain and joy of working with disabled children.
This was the beginning of a new direction in her life. We repeated the experience the next summer; by then, she had decided to become a teacher. This past summer she was paid for her work, and she is about to start college - anxiously, but with a strong sense of self - and she plans, for now, to pursue a career in early childhood special education.
Unfortunately, she never met Dr. Bowe, but I like to think he was her teacher too!
- Fred Jacobs, Former Student
Frank was always my source when I needed any information in regard to my students. When I first began on Long Island as a special education teacher, I wrote to him as I was unsure of my teaching abilities. His advice to me was: "Hey - take a nap. Afterwards, you will remember what makes you so unique and wonderful. You're an asset to CSH, even if they don't know it yet (only a week into the school year - they'll learn!). Chin up." (I used to take naps when I taught kids, and I was young in those days! Naps - ah, sweet luxury!)"
Dr. Frank Bowe was surely a unique and wonderful person. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched. I will miss him terribly.
- Cathleen Witowski, Former Student
I have known Frank Bowe since the 1980s. He was a talented, dedicated and gifted man with a vision for the deaf and disabled community. He will be sorely missed by many of us who remembered him as an educator, advocate and friend.
- Deborah Mayer, Colleague
I really don't know what to say except he will be greatly missed. I feel honored to have been able to take classes with such a great man!
- Abby Weinberg, Student
The world is a far better place because of Dr. Bowe. Let us continue the justice and advocacy avenues Dr. Bowe initiated and traveled upon. That is the best memorial of all!!
- Audrey Bagnowski, Colleague
Frank was one the first in our disability community to understand and advocate for accessibility and usability of phone services, no matter what technology was involved. His voice and presence is sorely missed, especially by me!
- Jenifer Simpson, Colleague
Dr. Bowe was the finest doctoral student I ever had. His loss to the diabled community is irreplaceable, and the loss to his wife, Phyllis, and two daughters is inconsolable.
- Jerome D. Schein, Colleague
Dr. Bowe was truly inspiring. I always enjoyed the passion he would bring to the classroom, as well as the hint of humor used to make the work that much more entertaining. I am glad I was able to have known him.
- Daniel Smith, Former Student
Dr. Bowe was a truly gifted and brilliant professor. I learned so much from him: not just the technology part, but that anyone - regardless of their disability - can achieve. He will be sorely missed.
- Joanne Gallipoli, Former Student
My name is Aiko, I am a current student from the School of Education and Allied Human Services.
I have never taken his classes, but I know he is very well known in his academic contributions in Japan.
Since I am Japanese, I feel close to him.
He came to our office often to chat with us while I was a student aid in my department.
His office is close to our office.
He always gave us interesting jokes and made us laugh.
He is a funny and intelligent professor.
I will definitely miss him.
- Aiko Miyatake, Student
Through his humor, knowledge and compassion, Dr. Bowe taught me more about raising a deaf child than anyone else in the educational and medical fields. Losing him too soon is devastating.
- Dorothy Earle
Dr. Bowe was a professor of mine while I was taking graduate classes for my degree in special education. He was a remarkable teacher and a true inspiration. When asked about a person who has made a difference in my life, my response has always been "Dr. Bowe." He will be truly missed by all.
- Sheri Snow, Former Student
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories of Dr. Frank Bowe. This is an individual whom I would loved to have known; I share his dream of making the world better for all, including persons with disabilities. I can feel the sadness and loss at his death, even in the e-mails. Please share my thoughts and prayers with his family, friends, and colleagues.
- JP Rowe
I am honored to have been a student of Dr. Bowe. He was humble, funny and a great educator. Honestly, I can not believe it. I hope the best for his family. May God Bless him. Peace and Love.
- Ady Pina, Former Student
R.I.P., Dr. Bowe, you were a great teacher at Hofstra. So sad to see you go.
- Annemarie Goldberg, Former Student
Dr. Bowe was an exceptional man. He was one of the most supportive and influential professors that I had throughout my graduate program. Dr. Bowe cared so much for all of his students. It meant so much to know that he took the time to get to know everyone individually. He was even there to offer advice after I graduated. He was an amazing man who will truly be missed by all.
- Carli Falkowitz, Former Student
I had the pleasure of having Dr. Bowe for three classes. I always looked forward to going to his classes. Each and every class was always interesting where he brought the curriculum to life. He would model through his teaching, how to modify lessons. Now I know how to modify lessons for my students, which has made me a more successful teacher. I enjoyed seeing his smiling face as he enjoyed teaching. He was a kind and compassionate person. He also looked at his students as people which showed how caring he was. He always asked all of his students how they were and wanted to know more about them. It was such a pleasure to have a great professor that has made an impact in my life.
- Andrew Bockstein, Former Student
As I read through the e-mails sent by students and colleagues, I could only think how much I would have wanted to work with and know this wonderful man. For the past 22 years I've had the opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities and it has brought me the greatest pleasure to enjoy their successes. Dr. Bowe and I share the same dreams for these wonderful people. He can continue his work in Heaven while I continue here on earth. My daughter will be a freshman at Hofstra this year. I'm so sorry she missed out on learning from such a gifted educator. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
- Kate Redzinak
After going back to school to get my Masters Degree in Special Education, I was so fortunate to have him as my professor. He was truly inspiring and he taught me so much about education and myself as a teacher. He will be truly missed by all. I send my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
- Laurie Kaminsky, Former Student
I was so fortunate to have Dr. Bowe as my professor while going for my Masters Degree in Literacy. He definitely made an impact on me, and his lessons are truly valuable. He was extremely dedicated to his students, and he will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Rest in peace.
- Jennifer Kaminsky, Former Student
Dr. Bowe was a true inspiration to us all; proof of the power of the human spirit. I am proud to have been one of his students. His legacy will live on in all of us.
- Amanda Gosselin, Former Student
Dr. Bowe was a great man and one of the best teachers that I ever had. He truly cared about his students and teaching them everything he thought they should know. He was definitely an inspiration to me, and I'm glad that I was able to have the chance to know him. Dr. Bowe will be greatly missed.
- Sondra Stark, Former Student
I am very sad to hear of the passing of Dr. Bowe. I am a former student of his and will miss him greatly. He was a really amazing professor - extremely caring and helpful to his students. I learned a great deal from him and will never forget him.
- Jamie Wood, Former Student
Frank was a giant and pioneer in the field of disability law and policy. He will be greatly missed, but his work will be long remembered.
- Peter Blanck, Colleague
I used to work for Dr. Bowe as a student aide. I used to say to myself all the time, "what an amazing man!" There are no bad words that can be said about him, and it is upsetting to know that I won't have to chance to work and learn from him again. Truly an exceptional character in Hofstra that will extremely missed.
- Christina Makrakis, Student
Dr. Bowe was a very intelligent and funny man. I only had him for a half a semester, but I did enjoy him. He was quite the man and was very brave to become a teacher!!
My thoughts are with Dr. Bowe and his family.
- Jeannine Sturm, Former Student
Dr. Bowe was an amazing teacher and a wonderful adviser. He was the first teacher I spoke to when I came to Hofstra, and he guided me through my masters. He was a truly unbelievable mentor. I learned a great deal in his classes which were both funny and challenging. He will be greatly missed and my condolences go to Dr. Bowe's family and friends.
- Danielle Klein, Student
Dr. Bowe defines the term leader in every sense of the word because he lived what he taught. He led through example and action, not through mere words. He had an infectious sense of humor that made everyone laugh. I will always remember him.
- Jeffrey Fowler, Former Student
I never met Dr. Bowe. I am a caregiver support coordinator at our tribe. I just wanted the family to know that anyone who goes above and beyond themselves to help others has a legacy of their own without any other title. God bless you and your family at this time.
- Paula Henry
People should look at this man's life and use it as an example to never sell yourself short, never give up and never let anyone tell you that you can't do it. Always believe in yourself and believe in the "power" of hard work and education. RIP, God Bless.
- Damian Martorella, Former Student
No one listened to his students like Frank Bowe! He knew his students, inspired them, challenged them and kidded them with his infectious sense of humor. He was singular in his commitment to enlarge the world for all people but especially for the disabled community. Deepest sympathy to Phyllis, Dorry and Whitney. "His likes will not be seen again."
- Maureen Murphy, Colleague
Dr. Bowe was an inspirational professor who taught from the heart. He opened my eyes with thorough explanations with regards to children with disabilities. Although I'm not a special education teacher, I have been teaching for 10 years and can only remember two professors from Hofstra who had a profound affect on me. Obviously, Dr. Bowe was one of the two professors. God Bless!
- Stacy Jackson, Former Student
Dr. Bowe was truly an inspiration and an example of what can be achieved with perseverance and determination. A true example of not letting obstacles prevent you from achieving your goals. Dr. Bowe taught me how to use humor in any situation and laugh at difficulties. Thanks for your wisdom, understanding, and patience. You will be missed and long remembered.
- Jacqueline Bottenbley, Former Student
Dr. Bowe has impacted the lives of many students over the years, including mine. He was an inspiration and proved that achievements of one's life can be infinite. Thank you Dr. Bowe. You will be missed. I will have a "Chocolate Thunder from Down Under" in memory of you.
- Andrew Sciulara, Former Student
Frank's unique leadership style helped me to become acclimated to the CRSR department at Hofstra University as an adjunct professor. Since, the fall of 2005, students in my classes indicated that Dr. Bowe set the standards of excellence for the CRSR department, and they often spoke of him fondly. On a personal level, Frank reached out to me and took an interest in the Hofstra - Amityville clinic activities. He touched the lives of many people in the Hofstra community.
- Beth Cunningham, Colleague
"Colleague" is not quite the right term, for I knew Frank Bowe only indirectly as a remarkable teacher and scholar, but mostly as the proud, caring father of the two marvelous girls I was blessed to teach for five consecutive years at Lawrence High School (because Doran & Whitney were involved in the Westinghouse/Intel research program, their tenures overlapped.). I was always impressed at how supportive and unobtrusive this famous father was when it came to his talented daughters' own fledgling careers. They never had to climb out of his lengthy shadow because he never got in their way as so many famous dads do. He was quiet. He was strong. He let them develop their own considerable abilities - in theater, in the social and biological sciences, etc. Certainly, Hofstra and the American Disabled community has lost a great champion. But Phyllis, Doran, and Whitney have lost a fine husband,a loving father, and a good man. Rest in Peace, Frank.
- Stephen Sullivan, Colleague
I grew up with Frank, as he lived across the street from my home in Lewisburg, Pa. We were both instructed in tennis by his father, a patient but demanding task master. As there were no other young players in our community, I reaped the benefit of great instruction from a superb player, and also served as Frank's "practice partner" for several years. We would play for hours, without speaking; Frank could not hear me, as he usually removed his chest-box aide previous to play. I would be aware that he disagreed with my out call only when a bell would whizz by my head at full velocity. No conversation required.
I went away for two years, following my military career father to Germany. When returning to Lewisburg, Frank and I continued to be neighbors, but we were not as close as during those less complicated years from 8 to 14. I clearly recall the first "TTY" either he or I had ever seen when Frank Senior returned with it from New York and proudly set it up near the dining room; it was HUGE and looked like an old ticker-tape machine. To Frank, it was the first "connection" beyond the confines of Brown Street and Lewisburg, for in that environ, he was "it", the only Deaf kid in the world, as far as he was aware.
When Frank began his undergraduate work, I "delivered" him to campus. When he began his work at NYU, I again served the role of mover. I recall my feelings of doubt for his chances for success, especially in New York. While I did know, from years spent with him, that Frank was one of the most intelligent folks I had ever known, I most definitely did not, at that time, grasp his PASSION. Time passed, Frank and I saw each other infrequently; I honestly cannot recall when we last spoke, perhaps at an AHEAD gathering...?? We did, however e-mail once in awhile. Certainly Frank's professional life and numerous accomplishments are known to all readers in this forum. I just wanted to share a bit of the"Deaf Kid from Brown Street" that was the Frank whom I knew as a child. My thoughts for his family.
- Peter Walters, Colleague
Frank Bowe's unexpected passing shocked and saddened me and many deaf Americans. His deep compassion was for those who are disabled Americans but his convictions have impacted and strengthened deaf and hard of hearing Americans a great deal. I believe that he was the key person for our current Section 504 regulations under the 1973 Vocational Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Dr. Larry Forestal, Colleague
While I was president of the National Association of the Deaf (l986-90) I came in touch with Dr. Bowe and read of his efforts to open doors for people with disabilities. I was much impressed by his brilliance and knowledge of issues at stake.
- Lawrence Newman
Frank Bowe was my long time friend and colleague and it is with much sadness that I acknowledge his passing. My association with Frank goes back to the late 70s when I served on the ACCD board. I had the good fortune of working closely with him in the 80s when I was a member of the Access Board and he was the Board's Communications Access Specialist. Then we kept in touch over the years. His contributions to the disability rights movement and to the area of deafness/hearing loss were enormous. It is a disappointment that I hever had the opportunity to meet his wife and two daughters because when Frank and I got together he always brought me up to date on his family--he was so proud of them. My condolences to Phyllis, Doran and Whitney. So long, Frank.
- David Myers, Colleague
Frank and I were fraternity brothers at Western Maryland College. Frank began his journey into sign language and deaf culture during his college years. He sure traveled far and helped so many. We then worked together at NYU while he earned his PhD. His record of accomplishments and public service are impressive and his love of family very strong. Frank's passing is a great loss. My condolences to his family.
- Keith Muller, Colleague
I had the honor of working with Dr. Bowe while he was Superintendent at the Lexington School for the daef 2003-04. Although Dr.Bowe was there briefly, he had a great impact and influence on me.
He came to know the children in my class,unlike other administrators that I have experienced. More importantly,he let me know that he appreciated my commitment to excellence in teaching. This is the pat on the back that every teacher hopes to get but is often overlooked by administrators, as teachers are most often taken for granted. Dr.Bowe told me this verbally as well as in a hand written note, which I value. He appreciated that we shared the same views and would visit my classroom daily to see his beliefs put into action. He validated the very reasons why I was still teaching after 26 years ,at that time.
My daughter came home last spring all excited because she had Dr.Bowe as a professor. In an email to her in May, he was concerned about how I was doing in my struggles with breast cancer but unfortunately did not inform us of his own struggle. He was able to impart some wisdom to her in that email. Unfortunately she will not be able to continue her studies in Special Ed as well as she could have,without Dr.Bowe to continue to teach and guide her. That is a great loss to all those who were learning from him and all those who will not get to experience his knowledge and wisdom.
I am grateful that I had the experience of knowing Dr.Bowe and that my daughter did for a brief time as well.
- Joyce Scotti, Colleague
Dr. Frank Bowe was a man for all seasons as an advocate and spokesperson for People with Disabilities. He devoted his personal and professional efforts throughout his remarkable lifetime to championing the rights of PWD and serving as a leader in the national effort to create new opportunities for all segments of the disability community. He was not only a leader and strong advocate for people who were deaf and hard of hearing like himself, but he reached out to all groups and embraced their causes as his own in his untiring efforts to create civil rights legislation for all people with disabilities. Just as we mourned the passing of Justin Dart, we now mourn one of Justin's comrades-in-arms. America joins the community of people with disabilities in paying homage to the passing of another Great American. It was my good fortune and personal pleasure to have been a friend of Frank for many years and to have interacted and worked with him on a number of projects designed to make life better for people like ourselves. We will miss him!
- Robert R. Davila, President, Gallaudet University
I was so sad to learn of Dr. Bowe's passing. As a preschool teacher who works with students with various disabilities, I often recall how Dr. Bowe emphasized the rights of all students, those with disabilities and those without. He was a special, unforgettable presence at Hofstra and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to learn from him during my graduate studies. My thoughts go out to his family.
- Nancy Gross, Former Student
My wife, Donna, and I send our deepest sympathy to Dr. Bowe's wife and daughters. It was a privilege for me take my first course at Hofstra with Dr. Bowe in the fall of 1993. Throughout all of these years, Dr. Bowe continued to be an incredible adviser who always had time for his former students.
In addition to all of the major changes that he worked so hard to help achieve for people who have disabilities that have already been written about, I appreciate some other ways that Dr. Bowe worked to improve the day-to day lives of individuals with disabilities well. For example, I know that because of Dr. Bowe's teachings, there are thousands of people in the field of education throughout the country who will never use the word "handicapped" to describe a person who happens to have a disability. In addition, because of him, many of us feel it is our personal responsibility to make sure that no one ever parks illegally in a parking spot that is reserved for individuals who truly have a physical disability that warrants the use of one. It is for these, and so many other reasons, that all of us will miss Dr. Bowe so deeply.
- Gary and Donna Gualberti, Former Student
I am hearing. I'm in an interpreter program at a community college. I was losing my motivation to become an interpreter and then I read Dr. Bowe's book, "Changing the Rules." It inspired and motivated me. I emailed Dr. Bowe and told him that. He replied and told me not to quit, to hang in there! I truly admire Mr. Bowe and everything he accomplished.
- Julie Ayers, Student
He will be missed very much. He was a great professor and a truly wonderful person.
- Jennifer Ruestow, Former Student
I miss Dr. Frank Bowe very much. Our Japanese Deaf people were given big power from his great activities and works. We will remember him whenever we think of PWD movements in the U.S. and around the world.
- Soya Mori, Colleague
Dr. Frank Bowe was a friend of my parents from Gallaudet University and other organizations. My father introduced me to Frank when I was a freshman at Hofstra. Anytime I saw him on campus he always engaged me in conversation. He let me keep a little bit of my deaf culture while at Hofstra and I appreciated that. Although I never took a class with him, I know many who did. He will be missed. My sympathy to his wife and family.
- Iris Schwarz, Former Student
Frank made such significant scholarly contributions in special education, rehabilitation, and communication technology with deaf people! His credibility and collaborations on the Hill helped make legislative history. Our hearts go out to Phyllis, Doran, and Whitney.
- Bill McCrone, Colleague
I first met Frank when we were graduate students at New York University's Deafness Research and Training Center program. What I recall most about him was his humor. He was fun to be with and had a way with people, drawing them into his ever enlarging circle of friends and admirers. While our paths divulged over the years, I thought of him often and read his work. His work in lobbying to implement the Section 504 regulations was critical, and I was one of the beneficiaries of his work because I was later hired by the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare to help provide technical assistance to implement the regulations. I feel I owe a lot to his effort ... and I thank you, Frank!!!!!!!!!!
- Alan Zamochnick, Colleague
I was studying for my Master's Degree at NYU's Deafness Research and Training Center back in 1975 when Frank was preparing for his Ph.D. That was the first time I heard him speak. We met again many, many years later when our colleague, Nancy Carr, invited Frank to present at Bergen Community College to speak on Universal Design. I was coordinating services for Deaf/HOH students at Bergen at the time. I spoke with Frank about our shared NYU days. He didn't really remember me, but I certainly remembered him. His work was an inspiration to me and his legacy will continue on, far beyond what we can imagine. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. This is a great loss.
- Beth Pincus, Colleague