School of Applied Sciences

The University of Mississippi

Former Applied Sciences Dean Thomas A. Crowe Remembered as Devoted Teacher, Leader

Posted on September 8th, 2015 by staff

Professor and chair emeritus of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders died Sept. 2

OXFORD, Miss. – Thomas A. Crowe, professor emeritus of communication sciences and disorders and the first dean of the School of Applied Sciences at the University of Mississippi, died Wednesday (Sept. 2) at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. He was 68.

Visitation is set for 4 to 6 p.m. Friday (Sept. 4) at Waller Funeral Home. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

Crowe joined the UM faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor. He became acting department chair in 1986. Under his leadership, the department was able to replace faculty members lost to attrition and budget cutbacks. It also relocated to a new academic home in 2001, leaving the College of Liberal Arts and moving to the newly created School of Applied Sciences.

As interim dean of the new school, Crowe presided over its first graduation ceremony in May 2002.

After 25 years of service, Crowe retired with professor emeritus status in 2002. He retired again in 2005 as dean emeritus of the School of Applied Sciences. A prolific scholar and educator, Crowe was a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award in the university’s communicative disorders department.

The School of Applied Sciences created the Thomas A. Crowe Outstanding Faculty Award in his honor in 2004.

Crowe was fondly remembered by former colleagues and students for his teaching excellence, visionary leadership and compassionate service to the university.

“Dr. Crowe was an extraordinary and beloved teacher and mentor to his many students in speech language pathology,” said Gloria Kellum, vice chancellor emeritus of university relations and a longtime colleague and friend of Crowe. “He was a respected faculty member and devoted administrator at the University of Mississippi.”

UM alumni Thomas “Tommie” L. Robinson Jr. and Sue Hale, both of whom served as president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, shared similar memories of their beloved mentor.

“Dr. Crowe leaves a legacy of outstanding students he pushed beyond what they could ever have dreamed for themselves,” said Robinson, chief of the Division of Hearing and Speech at Children’s National Health Systems in Washington, D.C. “He pushed me to get my Ph.D. at Howard University and directed my master’s thesis. My career is what it is today because of him.”

Robinson called Crowe his “surrogate father” and said he was “a great dad and a great friend. He and Sandra (Crowe’s wife) will always have a special place in my heart.”

“He was a leader of our department during a time of extraordinary growth,” said Hale, director of the master’s program and associate professor of speech pathology at Vanderbilt University. “I always appreciated his thoughtful approach to decision-making using the simultaneous viewpoints of both scientists and humanists. Faculty, students and staff benefited from his leadership and guidance.”

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Crowe earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama and his doctorate from Louisiana State University. He worked as a photographic specialist with top secret clearance as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. After his service ended, he worked as a speech pathologist in the pediatrics department of Earl K. Long Memorial Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before joining the Ole Miss faculty.

During his Ole Miss tenure, Crowe also worked for the Mississippi Department of Corrections at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Crowe’s professional memberships included the Academy for Forensic Application of the Communication Sciences, American Council on Rural Special Education, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Mississippi Speech and Hearing Association, National Association of Voice Disorders and National Stuttering Project. He wrote numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and reviews and presented papers at several professional meetings over his distinguished academic career.

Crowe is survived by his wife, Sandra Cross Crowe of Oxford; two sons, Mark Alden Crowe and his wife, Aubrey, of Jacksonville, Florida, and Bradley Thomas Crowe and his wife, Mary Martha, of Oxford; and eight grandchildren: Madeline, Emerson, Miriam, Darden, Thomas, Will, Ashley and Chloe.

Memorial contributions can be made to the University of Mississippi Foundation (note in memory of Dr. Thomas Crowe on check), 406 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655, or the American Diabetes Association, 4425 W. Airport Hwy., Suite 130, Irving, TX 75062.

In honor of his service, the flag of the United States Air Force will be flown at Waller Funeral Home.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit or call 662-234-7971.