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Longtime Trustee John Low Passes Away at 95

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University of Denver

Announcement  •
John & Merry Low

A message from Chancellor Rebecca Chopp

On March 28, 2019, our longtime trustee and friend, John Low, passed away at the age of 95. John will be greatly missed.

John has been such a special member of the Board and of the DU community; he was an alumnus of our Sturm College of Law and served in many leadership roles over the years. Among his varied contributions, I recall with particular fondness and appreciation his extensive work and consultation with the Faculty Senate.

John’s contributions to DU simply cannot be overstated. He was generous with his time, expertise and wisdom, always advising the University’s leadership to maintain the highest standards. And as an alumnus of this institution, he could not have loved it more or served it better.

There will be a memorial service for John on Friday, April 5 at 1:30 pm at First Plymouth Congregational Church, 3501 S. Colorado Boulevard, Englewood.

All the best,



A respected attorney who spent his 66-year legal career at Denver’s Sherman & Howard L.L.P., John Low specialized in banking and finance, as well as business and corporate law. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.

John joined the University of Denver’s Board of Trustees in 1987 and offered steady, responsible leadership in a number of capacities, including as vice chairman from 2003 to 2018. During his three decades as a trustee, he attended roughly 125 full board meetings.  

Throughout his career, John held a number of oversight positions for Colorado-based business, civic, educational and arts institutions. He served for 20 years as director of First Interstate Bank of Denver, N.A., now Wells Fargo. He also occupied board and leadership positions with the Public Education and Business Coalition, the Colorado Symphony Foundation, the Central City Opera Foundation, the Mesa Verde Foundation, the Colorado Neurological Institute and Volunteers of America, and the Institute for International Education.

John’s relationship with DU dates back to his time as a law student in the post-World War II years. After earning a B.A. from Nebraska Wesleyan University, he completed his J.D. in 1951, graduating cum laude. 

Over the years, his contributions to the University of Denver have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Outstanding Law Alumnus Award and the Evans Award for Distinguished Service.  Most recently, in 2017, the University named a second-floor lobby in the Sturm College of Law after John and his wife, Merry. The John and Merry Low Lounge reminds all who visit of the couple’s continued service and enduring legacy. That legacy at DU continues with the Merry Low CWC Endowed Scholarship Fund, which he helped establish, and several family members actively involved in our community today:  John’s stepdaughter, Karen Cook (EMBA '10) is an adjunct professor in the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management and grandson Sean Magraw is a second-year law student at the Sturm College of Law.  

In addition to his wife, Merry, John is survived by his children Jan Low, Lucinda Low (Dan Magraw), stepchildren Karen Cook (Jan Koster), Robert Cook-Deegan (Kathryn), and six beloved grandchildren.