Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Goodbye, Clyde

Posted By on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 4:13 PM

I always looked at Clyde Lowery as a father figure, even though it wasn't because he was kind or went out of his way to mentor anyone who walked through the doors of the UA Student Media department and the Arizona Daily Wildcat. Although he was both kind and a mentor, he was still a newspaperman, even when he worked as adviser for the Wildcat from 1973 to 1988.

During that time, Lowery's style was hands-off, but he had an open-door policy. When I worked at the Wildcat while I attended the UA, I'd see him every once in a while as he'd pop his head into the independent student newspaper office hidden in the bowels of the old UA Student Union basement. (Man, I actually miss that place.) He always wore his signature black-framed glasses, and a tie and jacket—although as the day progressed, the jacket came off, and his shirt sleeves were rolled up.

Lowery died on Sunday, April 11, and I imagine he's found himself a nice little newsroom to call his own. Before he joined the Wildcat as the student media's first adviser (this included the UA's yearbook, too), he was a veteran journalist who worked as managing editor of the Tucson Citizen. He helped the student-run newspaper move into the computer age. When I left for my first job in Los Angeles (Lowery provided a reference), I remember the Macs moving in and everyone learning the new phrase: "desk-top publishing." I understand he was also adviser when the Wildcat reached a record $1 million in revenue.

I recall my years at the Wildcat the best times of my college life. There was an amazing camaraderie between everyone on staff, and Lowery's hands-off reputation helped students write amazing, award-winning stories during his time as its adviser.

As those of us at the Wildcat left to start our careers, we knew we could put Lowery down as a reference, but we also sent him Christmas cards and clips during those early years. Perhaps we were not ready to completely let go.

Wildcat alumni are invited to post memories or thoughts about Lowery here.

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