Sam Lowther Jr. (Contributed)
Auburn recently lost a family member with the death of Sam Lowther, alumnus and senior analyst in Auburn’s Office of Institutional Research and Assessment June 11. Lowther died suddenly while on vacation with his family in Florida.
Sam is survived by his wife, two stepsons and their three children.
“He was exactly where he wanted to be when it happened,” said Janis Lowther, Sam’s wife. “We were with my son, his wife and his little son who’s 5. (Sam) had played with him all morning in the water.”
A 1974 graduate and a full-time employee of Auburn since 1978, Sam spent the majority of his adult life serving the University.
“He loved Auburn through and through. He loved his job,” Janis said. “I’d been trying to get him to retire because he’d been there for 33 years, but he would say, ‘As long as they’re good to me, I like my work, and I’d rather just stay for a while.’
“I think he will be missed over there because he did love it, and he did his best and wasn’t ready to leave,” Janis said.
According to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, Sam was a trusted source of factual information about Auburn and its operating environment.
“I remember when I first met him people telling me if I ever needed to know anything to ask Sam Lowther,” Janis said. “And I learned over the years that they were right.”
Sam’s achievements don’t end with him being a wealth of knowledge within his profession. He was a founding member of the Alabama Association for Institutional Research and was elected by his peers as president of both this association and the Southern Association for Institutional Research.
For more than 15 years, Sam served each of these organizations and in 2000 was awarded ALAIR’s Joseph T. Sutton Leadership Award for his years of service to the profession, according to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
Aside from his services to Auburn within the University, Sam was a devoted Tigers baseball fan.
“He loved Auburn baseball,” Janis said. “He always had season tickets and sat at a certain spot.”
The funeral for Sam was held Saturday, June 15 where loved ones filled the church to remember him.
“Our sanctuary is huge, and it was packed. But if you would have told him it was going to be that way he wouldn’t have believed it,” Janis said. “He’s so humble. He thought he was just another person over there. He never thought he was better than anybody else or knew something that somebody else knew.
As a husband, stepfather and grandfather, Tigers fan and loyal staff member at the University, Sam’s memory will live through the legacy he left at Auburn and within his family.
“He’ll always live with me,” Janis said.