The late Lewis C. Dowdy was inaugurated on April 10, 1964 as the college’s sixth president and reappointed chancellor in July 1972, thus making him the first chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University. A native of Eastover, South Carolina, Dr. Dowdy graduated cum laude from Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, earned a master’s degree from Indiana State College and a doctorate of education degree from Indiana University. In 1951, he joined the A&T family as an instructor of education and director of student teaching.
Dr. Dowdy - before he became president - served as an assistant professor of education, dean of instruction and acting president in the absence of President Proctor. Under Dr. Dowdy’s leadership, the university experienced its greatest period of growth with many of its schools achieving national recognition and accreditation. He reorganized instruction, creating the Schools of Education, Business and Economics and the College of Arts and Sciences. Not only was there an expansion of four academic buildings, new gymnasium, new football stadium but other service buildings were realized under him. Dr. Dowdy led the university through the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. He accomplished all this with his beautiful wife, Mrs. Dowdy, by his side.
Dr. and Mrs. Dowdy were joined in marriage on June 26, 1943 in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she was a native. She entered Indiana State University at the age of 15. Graduating at the age of 19, she traveled to Goldsboro, NC for her first teaching position. Mrs. Dowdy also earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees. A great educator in her own rights, she gave a total of 37 years between NC and SC. Mrs. Dowdy appreciated and treasured her roots and heritage. She served the university community, university visitors and the community-at-large with a genuine concern for others. Fervently supporting her husband and his efforts, she was a mainstay and dedicated supporter of the university. After serving the university for over twenty-one years, Dr. Dowdy resigned his position as chancellor on October 31, 1980. The administration building was named for him on May 1, 1981.