Alumna Dawn Powell to be honored in series of events


From April 11-13, Lake Erie College will host a series of events honoring the life and achievements of alumna Dawn Powell (1896-1965), a member of the College’s Class of 1918. The events will revolve around the contributions of visiting scholars Patricia Palermo and Marcy Smith, both of whom are experts on Powell’s life and work.

Powell, who was posthumously inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame just last year, attended Lake Erie College from 1914-1918 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During her time at Lake Erie, she edited and wrote for the College’s literary publication and was active in theater.

After graduation, Powell moved to New York City, where she settled in Greenwich Village and became immersed in the bohemian culture of this famous neighborhood. Despite many tragedies during her life, she wrote 16 novels, nine plays and numerous short stories and reviews, with her work enjoying a rebirth in recent years. She was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree from Lake Erie College 56 years ago this June.

There will be a scholars' reception and panel presentation on Tuesday, April 12 in Dickinson Auditorium in Austin Hall of Science. This event is free and open to the public. Guests are encouraged to arrive at 6:45 p.m. for a dessert reception, with the panel presentation commencing around 7:15 p.m. At the event, Palermo and Smith will each give a brief lecture on Dawn Powell’s life and work, followed by time for a Q&A session. Registration is required via the following link.    

The events will conclude on Wednesday, April 13 with a luncheon seminar for invited students only on the subject of Powell’s novel A Time to Be Born.

For more information on Patricia Palermo and Marcy Smith’s visit to campus or on the events celebrating Dawn Powell, contact Adam Stier, assistant professor of English, at

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