▲ Cowan, in the college’s Burlington campus at the Francis Wyman School. “Everyone made the best of it. You can look back fondly now, but back then, we couldn’t always see the light at the other end of the tunnel – we had to teach in less-than ideal conditions,” she said. “But the faculty was strong and we persevered. We always had the welfare of our students in focus.” Apparently Cowan’s teaching style resonated with the students in her business classes. Unbeknownst to her, Cowan was named Professor of the Year by students at the end of her first year at MCC. Not only did Cowan not know she was in the running for the honor, she missed the award ceremony altogether. After three years among the faculty ranks, Cowan took the lead in orchestrating the massive student-based, letter-writing campaign to rally for more state funding. She saw the campaign as a good way to get civic-minded students engaged in their own futures. When the 1980s began, and against the counsel of others on campus, Cowan, who by then had been promoted to Dean of the Business Division, agreed to move her entire division to the Frances Wyman School in Burlington. She saw it as an opportunity to spread her reach and grow her Business program in a facility that would provide adequate space. The expansion would allow Cowan’s department to flourish, and as a result, bring her to greater prominence during the tenures of presidents Houlihan and Dobelle. Under Dobelle’s leadership, Cowan would be asked to take over the college’s administration and finance oversight, another move that would allow her direct access to the college’s critical strategic advancements. Even when it came time for a new president to succeed Dobelle, Cowan was not convinced she would be the choice. She believed the choice might again come from outside the ranks of MCC. 61