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Tufts Mourns John Dowling

Tufts Mourns John DowlingDescribed as ‘larger than life’ by his friends, Tufts trustee John Dowling will be greatly missed by the University community. New York.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.10.04] Family and friends gathered in New York City today to remember Tufts graduate and Trustee John L. Dowling. A loyal family man who was described by friends as "larger than life," Dowling was actively involved with the University, serving as Trustee since 1997, Chairman and Director of Tufts Development Corporation and a member of the Board of Overseers for the Arts and Sciences. He died Tuesday at his home in Boca Grande, Florida, at the age of 66.

"He truly influenced the life of almost everyone who studies or works at Tufts," said Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. [Read the President's Letter to the Community] "This university and all of us have lost a great friend."

After graduating from Tufts in 1959, Dowling went on to become a leading real estate broker, becoming a legendary figure at Cushman & Wakefield where he served 44 years.

"His clients included many of the nation's largest companies, including General Electric, IBM, Texaco and MCI," reported the New York Times. "At the peak of his career, in the 1970s and 1980s, it seemed as if he was in the middle of every deal in Manhattan, orchestrating negotiations for corporate headquarters and large blocks of office space across the nation. In many cases, he worked directly with top executives as their corporate real estate advisor."

An executive vice president and board member, Dowling was the company's leading commercial real estate broker 16 times.

"He was indisputably the No. 1 real estate broker and adviser in the United States for a decade," Darcy Stacom - who worked under Dowling in the 1980s and described him as a mentor - told the New York Times. He went on to charter his own company - Dowling & Company - in 1999.

While earning a reputation as a "superstar" in the office, Dowling was equally renowned at Tufts, where flags were lowered to half mast last week to mark his passing.

"It's like losing a family member," said Linda Dixon, Secretary of the Corporation at Tufts. "John was larger than life."

One of his many contributions was Dowling Hall - an innovative multi-million dollar facility which Dowling himself helped design because he wanted to help students.

"This isn't a typical building," Dowling noted upon it's completion in 2000. "We've taken an innovative approach to ensure that, under one roof, students have as many resources per square foot as possible."

Dowling also lent his expertise as an advisor to Tufts on real estate projects - helping to address design and permitting issues for Sophia Gordon Hall, as well developments in downtown Boston.

In honor of Dowling's memory, his family and the University have created the John L. Dowling Fund at Tufts University.

Dowling leaves behind his wife, Hebe, and three children: Peter, John and Meaghan.

To contribute to the John L. Dowling Fund, make donations payable to "Trustees of Tufts College" and send care of Brian Lee, Vice President for University Advancement, Tufts University, Packard Hall, Medford MA 02155.

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