This is an archived press release. Some links may no longer function. For assistance, please contact

Sep 13, 2002

DePaul’s 2002 Cortelyou-Lowery Award For Excellence Goes To Richard J. Meister, Executive VP For Academic Affairs

Former Dean of College of LA&S has Taught History at DePaul for 21 years

The winner of the DePaul University 20th Annual Cortelyou-Lowery Award for Excellence in Teaching is Richard J. Meister, professor of history and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. He will be honored, and deliver the customary distinguished faculty lecture for Cortelyou-Lowery winners, at a ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Schmitt Academic Center, 2320 N. Kenmore Ave., Room 154.

A reception following the awards ceremony will be held in Kelly Hall of the Richardson Library, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave.

Meister’s teaching contribution at DePaul began in 1981 when he joined the university as a professor of history and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LA&S). He was appointed executive vice president for Academic Affairs in 1993 and plans to retire from this post in Spring 2003. Meister taught well-regarded urban history courses in the History Department and the Master’s in Liberal Studies program, while charting an innovative and expansive course for LA&S. His contribution to student learning has extended far beyond his own classroom. He was the prime mover behind the construction of Richardson Library, the establishment of the university Art Gallery and the funding for visiting scholars and campus-wide symposia.

Under his leadership, services for LA&S students were greatly expanded, and class schedules were extended to increase students’ presence on campus. Enrollment growth during his tenure resulted in an infusion of new faculty and the broadening of curricular opportunities for students, including 10 study abroad programs on three continents, the LA&S Honors Program, the First-Year Student Program and several new, interdisciplinary degree programs.

“By reducing the teaching loads of those faculty with active scholarly agendas, establishing a competitive summer research grant program, initiating the university’s Competitive Research Leave program, establishing numerous research centers and creating the Cortelyou-Lowery Award to honor distinguished faculty, Dick Meister created an environment where faculty could do their best work in their chosen field and be recognized for that work,” said Michael L. Mezey, the current dean of DePaul’s College of LA&S and professor of political science. “He enhanced the environment immensely for faculty and, at the same time, continued to give his best in the classroom.”

As an urban historian, Meister has authored numerous articles and books, among the latter are: “Race and Ethnicity in Modern America” (1972), “Black Ghetto: Promised Land or Colony?” (1972) and “Cities in Transition: Social Changes and Institutional Responses to Urban Development” (1979), which he co-authored with Peter Gluck.

The award is named for the late Rev. William T. Cortelyou, a former dean of the College of LA&S graduate school, and the late Martin J. Lowery, a former chair of DePaul’s history department at DePaul and an associate dean of LA&S.

For more information about this year’s Cortelyou-Lowery Award ceremony, please contact Katie Kutina, at 773/325-1857.