John Dizikes Memorial

Image of John DizikesOur dear friend, teacher and colleague, John Dizikes, passed away in late December, leaving a space in our community that will be impossible to fill. John had an incomparable ability to connect with people, to make us feel at ease, to feel challenged and to feel included. We have been blessed with John’s presence in so many parts of our lives, and he was with us from the very beginning as a founding faculty at Cowell College. He was our Provost from 1979 to 1983, a founding member of the Board of American Studies and the person who established the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery at Cowell. He was the author of five delightful books, including Opera in America: A Cultural History, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism in 1993, and, most recently, Love Songs: The Lives, Loves, and Poetry of Nine American Women (2018). Many of us had the distinct privilege (for it feels especially as such now) of being with him in the classroom or at a talk, hearing him hit just the right pitch or phrase in conversation or lecture. While he was still with us, we had the pleasure of celebrating what he has meant to us through the John Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award in Humanities and through the John Dizikes Concert, held annually during Alumni Weekend. I was able to see him just a few days before he passed and while I know that he understood how much he was loved by all of us, I also felt how much generosity and love he had for this community. My fondest memory will be of seeing him speak to a gathering of alumni and friends at last year’s Alumni Weekend Dizikes Concert. John told us stories from Love Songs and read some of his favorite poems from the book. As I stood to the side holding pictures of his poets, I had the fortune of seeing the assembled group as John saw us. Everyone was rapt, transported into that enduring moment we carry within us of our times with John. I watched people who had known John for thirty, forty or fifty years and I felt that the entire room had become timeless. We were all young again, in a room with our favorite teacher and mentor, soaking in every second. It was magical.

I look forward to hearing all of your stories and memories of John.

--Alan Christy, Provost of Cowell College


A memorial celebration will take place on Saturday, February 9, from 2-5:00 p.m. in the Stevenson Event Center. Please help us prepare for the event by registering your intention to attend.  Please note that seating is first come, first served.


Guests are encouraged to park at the East Remote parking lot on Hagar Drive, free of charge. There will be a complimentary shuttle service running between the East Remote Lot and Stevenson College from 1:30—5:30pm.
There is very limited paid parking available in the lots adjacent to Stevenson College (lots 109, 110), as well as some ADA spaces in the vicinity (including lot 106). A campus parking map is available here. There will be attendants on-site from Transportation and Parking Services selling permits for $5 (cash and credit cards accepted), which are required to park in these lots. An ADA placard from the DMV must be accompanied by a campus parking permit to be valid in a medical permit or ADA spaces.

Video recording

The memorial service will be video-recorded but not live-streamed. If you are no longer able to attend, or know of anyone who is not able to join us, and would be interested in viewing the recording, please follow this link to submit a request.

Please email us if you have questions or need special accommodation.