In Memoriam: Dr. Pamela Turner Washington
Liberal Arts News and Events
January 3, 2022
The Liberal Arts community mourns the passing, on December 28, 2021, of Dr. Pamela Turner Washington, the fourth dean (2004-2012) of the College of Liberal Arts.
Dr. Washington, who joined the UCO faculty in 1989, served with distinction as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor of English; as Director of Composition in the Department of English; as Assistant Dean and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; and as Interim Dean and Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design.
Dr. Stephen Garrison, Professor of English, recalls, “no one I have ever known on this campus approached a new task—any new task—with such energy and confidence and, even, delight. Pam loved a challenge, . . . and to this day, when I think of Pam, I feel something of the lift that her vitality, her wit, and a certain down-deep sweetness of character always brought to a department or committee meeting.”
“If you knew Pam,” Liberal Arts Business Manager Janie Leftwich reflects, “you knew that she jumped 100% into whatever she was doing, whether it was as a dean, a professor, or a friend. Her creative mind was always thinking of ways to expand the potential of the college. She was a champion for the college and was at the forefront of many ideas that were later adopted by other colleges and are ongoing, both in Liberal Arts and elsewhere.”
Dr. Gary Steward, Senior Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Dr. Washington’s successor as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, notes that, “Dean Pamela Washington was the face of the College of Liberal Arts for many years. She served the college in nearly every administrative role, from director of the college’s assessment committee to dean. She was creative, bold, and generously gave her time and financial resources to the college and the university. Many of her initiatives have endured the test of time and continue to help students, staff, and faculty. She was ‘ground zero’ for the expansion of the Liberal Arts building and the creation of Student Success Advisor positions for the college. Pam was always available to faculty and staff; her pleasant demeanor was contagious, and she will be missed by her UCO family.”
The College of Liberal Arts’ current Interim Dean, Dr. J. David Macey, observes, “it would be impossible to overstate the scope and the importance of Dean Washington’s legacy to the college and to the university. Dean Washington instilled in our students, faculty, and staff the vision—and the sense of opportunity and excitement—that continues to guide us in shaping the Liberal Arts experience in the twenty-first century,”
Dr. Washington’s family has indicated that donations in Dr. Washington’s memory may be made to the Pamela Washington Endowed Scholarship for Fine Arts and Design (www.centralconnection.org/washington).