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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2009 > Memorial service for Wilfred B. Howsmon Jr. set for June 6

Press Releases

Memorial service for Wilfred B. Howsmon Jr. set for June 6

June 3, 2009

A memorial service for Wilfred B. Howsmon Jr. will be held on June 6 at 3 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College. All of Dr. Howsmon’s friends are welcome.

Howsmon was the founding provost at the Manassas Campus. He was appointed in 1972 to oversee construction of the campus which was ready for students in fall 1974. After his retirement in 1990, the original academic building was named Howsmon Hall in his honor.

During Howsmon’s 18 years as provost, enrollments at the campus grew from 125 during the first session, when classes were held in borrowed classrooms at a local high school, to more than 3,300 students in 1990. Howsmon was responsible for all hiring of faculty and staff during his tenure, as well as planning for additional growth at the campus.

In addition to his service to the college, Howsmon was actively involved in many community organizations, including the Manassas Choral Society, Rotary Club of Manassas, Boys & Girls Club of Manassas, Friends of the Central Library, Prince William Commission on Fine Arts, Prince William Committee for Economic Development, Prince William Chapter of the American Red Cross and Prince William Committee of 100.

Howsmon was born Oct. 8, 1925, in Dayton, Ohio. As a member of the 100th Infantry Division he saw action in France and Germany in 1944 to 1945. Following the war he attended Berea College on the GI Bill, graduating in 1950. He earned graduate degrees in chemistry from Purdue University in 1952 and 1955. After a brief period as a research scientist, he entered academia and taught chemistry at Marietta College in Ohio. He was Dean of Instruction at Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, N.C. from 1968 until 1972, when he accepted the provost position at the Manassas Campus.

Howsmon died Oct. 6, 2008, in Sun City Center, Fla., two days before his 83rd birthday. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis MacNeil; four sons, James, John, Robert and Thomas; their wives; and eight grandchildren. His first wife, Frances Stillings Howsmon, died in 1997.

For more information about the memorial service, call 703-530-8243.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America’s largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College’s Web site,