Described by those who knew him well as intelligent and kind, Mickey Cowan made an impact at Oklahoma Christian University.
After more than 40 years in the classroom, business and accounting professor Cowan died Saturday, Oct. 5, after battling pancreatic cancer. Cowan arrived at Oklahoma Christian in August 2000 and taught classes all the way up to last spring semester.
Junior Andrew Assaleh took three classes with Cowan during his time at Oklahoma Christian University. He describes Cowan as one of the nicest guys a person could meet.
“I would consider him one of my better ‘friend-professors’ on campus,” Assaleh said. “He was just so kind. If you ever had questions before class, during class or even during a test one time, he would help me out. He wanted you to succeed.”
While Assaleh said he did not expect the quick downturn of Cowan’s health, he believes Cowan truly cared for everyone and exemplifies what a Christian professor should aspire to become.
“The most distinct memory of him is before the end of class, he would say, ‘OK friends, it’s time to go,’” Assaleh said. “It was always kind of funny the way he said it, but also just the person he was, I wish I could’ve gotten to see him one more time and thank him. Someone like him, you don’t get to encounter many people in life that mean that much to you.”
Mickey did not only work with college students at Oklahoma Christian. He also had a connection to Ada High School athletics and was known as the “Voice of the Ada Cougars” as an announcer for many years.
Associate Dean of the College of Business Elaine Kelly met Mickey 45 years ago during her undergraduate studies at East Central University in Ada, OK. While she worked as a secretary in the College of Business, Cowan was hired as a new professor.
After working at East Central for over 15 years and becoming a member of the Churches of Christ, Kelly inquired about Cowan working at Oklahoma Christian.
“When we had an opening here, I called him and he came up for an interview,” Kelly said. “[He] really liked it, really enjoyed it and decided he wanted to work here. He has taught primarily the intermediate accounting courses for [over 15] years.”
Kelly describes Cowan as one of the most intelligent and kindest people she has ever met. He would “just give the shirt off his back to help you.” Through the years, Kelly said students loved Cowan because he loved more than the things they did or their grades in his class.
“Everybody loved Mickey,” Kelly said. “I don’t know anyone who didn’t love Mickey. Mickey had not been in the best of health for the last five to six years, and I would ask if he thought about retiring and traveling. He would say, ‘No, I just want to continue teaching.’ I’d say, ‘So you don’t want to go retire and take it easy?’ He would say, ‘No, I really feel like if I wasn’t teaching I would die.’”
Despite his health, Cowan wanted to teach right up until the end of the semester in April and through an intersession class this past summer. According to Kelly, his health started declining more rapidly in August.
“He basically continued to teach,” Kelly said. “That’s what he wanted to do, that’s what he loved doing. He loved being around students and being around us. He loved all the faculty here. He did what he wanted to do. “
Kelly said she wishes he had a little longer to say goodbye to everybody in his last few months.
“That’s the thing that hurts,” Kelly said. “He did not feel well, and we had such a short, short time. We made a care box for him, and he didn’t get to get it. We wrote some cards and notes from students and us, and he didn’t live long enough to see it. That’s tough on us. I just wish we had a little longer. But then again, I just know he’s not in any pain any longer, and that’s the good thing.”