In Memory of Sue Crowley

Sue Crowley outside her home in 2011

Sue Crowley stands outside her home in Columbia at a Department event in 2011

Marginal Correction returning Sue Crowley to the Department history

an editor corrects the Department's history by acknowledging Sue Crowley's foundational contributions.

A list of the first faculty members in religious studies, dating to 1983

A list of faculty in Religious Studies in 1983

Sue Crowley's scholarly presentations and publications in academic year 1989-90

Announcing the publication of Critical Essays on Walker Percey (Boston, 1989)


Sue Crowley at her home in 2011 We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved former colleague Sue Crowley, who passed away peacefully on February 20, 2021 at home at Friendship Village of Dublin, Ohio. A Funeral Mass will be held on March 12th in Ohio: Among the things for which Sue Mitchell Crowley, our beloved friend and colleague in religious studies, should be gratefully remembered are her intellectual ability, reflected in her scholarship and teaching, her administrative skill evidenced in her oversight for many years of the humanities sequence offered by the Honors College and her prominent role in organizing and administering what was originally called the T-Society, a monthly gathering during the school year of religious studies professors from several colleges in central Missouri, and later named The Mid-Missouri Colloquium on Religious Studies, and her collegiality as experienced in the Honors College, the English Department, and especially in the Religious Studies Department, of which she was a member from the first year it offered courses until she left Columbia and returned to Columbus, OH, her original home. One indication of Sue's thoroughness and care in doing her work is a comment she made to a colleague about reading what an author on whose work she was focused had read; she indicated she did this with the expectation it would help her better understand her author's work. In addition to the above, when remembering Sue Crowley, at least three things require special emphasis. First, Sue not only loved teaching, especially courses dealing with religion and literature, and was an excellent teacher, but also she loved her students and is gratefully and affectionately remembered by them. As one of her students' recently noted in a tribute, "Sue was a 'Teacher's Teacher'. She was an eloquent writer and speaker who deeply appreciated the power of words to inspire and motivate.... [She] made a profound impact in my life and the lives of thousands of students at Mizzou.... Sue never allowed anyone to feel overshadowed or diminished by her extraordinary example." Second, Sue Crowley's hospitality was amazing! Her home was the place where people wanted to gather, and where their presence was not just welcome but deeply appreciated. Great food, drink, and conversation were the norm at the Crowley's home and Sue was the overseer, as well as the chief cook and usually the person with the warmest smile. Oh, how she loved to welcome people into her husband's and her house and back patio and yard, and enjoyed helping them feel welcome and wanted. Finally, a colleague of Sue's in Religious Studies at Mizzou recalls a conversation he had with her in which she mentioned her love of beauty. "Beauty is what I deeply love, "she said. Recalling St. Augustine's thought that we become what we love, it is difficult to believe anyone could spend time with Sue Crowley and not realize she was a beautiful person; it is who she was both on the surface and deep down, in the invisible, animating core of her identity. In addition to the other things mentioned here, beauty is a basic component of Prof. Sue Crowley's legacy. A Catholic Mass will be offered for Sue Crowley at the Newman Center on April 29 at noon. Please invite anyone, faculty or student, who knew Sue to attend. Everyone, Catholic or not, will be welcome.
In honor of Sue's many accomplishments, we would like to collect memories, photographs, and messages from those who knew her. Please send anything you would like to say about Sue and share with the Department to Rabia Gregory (