Two University Members Pass Away

The University recently announced the deaths of two members of the community.

Public safety officer John McCauley died of a heart attack on Nov. 25  while working an overnight shift on the Oakdale campus, according to an internal memo sent to University staff. He was 54.

McCauley began working as a public safety officer in June 2011, working primarily on the Queens campus and occasionally filling in at the Oakdale campus.

“John will be remembered as a hard-working, pleasant and upbeat colleague,” the memo said.

Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., an alumnus and an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees, passed away on Thanksgiving, according to an announcement on the University website. He was 75.

During his time as a student, Towey was a member of the Skull and Circle Honor Society and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor’s in English and Philosophy. He also received a Master’s in Dramatic Literature from the University, as well as a Ph.D in Theatre from New York University.

Towey founded the Theatre program at Niagara University and was in charge of the program until his retirement in 2005. Two of his students, John Kander and Fred Ebb, would later go on to produce the famed musicals “Chicago” and “Cabaret.”

Towey served on the Board of Trustees from 1992 until 2005, when he was named an emeritus member of the board. During his time on the board he was Chair of the Personnel Committee and was a part of the Executive, Educational Policy, Educational Quality, and Student Life Committees.

Towey was granted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the University in 2005.