Chancellor John McDade Howell, ECU 1982-1987
John M. Howell was born in Five Points, Alabama on January 28, 1922.
In 1942, John entered the US Army Air Corps. He served for 3 years in the European Theater of Operations and was decorated with a Bronze Star and honorably discharged. He then studied for a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Master Degree in Political Science at the University of Alabama, graduating in 1948 and 1949. While in school he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Mr. Howell began his teaching career at Randolph Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, VA, where he met his future bride, Ms. Gladys Evelyn David. They married in August of 1952.
In 1954, John completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at Duke University. Degree in hand he and Gladys moved to Memphis, TN where John took a position as Associate Professor of Political Science at Memphis State University. His first son, David N. Howell was born in April 1954, followed by son Joseph L. Howell in July 1957.
In 1957, Dr. Howell was hired by ECU, beginning his 30 year career with the university. He taught political science and became a full professor in 1961. During his time at ECU he would hold many administrative positions, Chair of the Department of Political Science (1963), Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1966), Dean of the Graduate School (1969), and finally Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (1975). In 1979, Dr. Howell would return to the classroom until he was tapped to be the interim Chancellor in January 1982.
The Selection Committee selected Dr. Howell from 120 candidates, making him the 8th Chancellor of ECU in May 1982. His inauguration was held the following year on February 4, 1983. He served in this capacity until his retirement in 1987.
The Howell Science Complex is named in honor of Dr. John M. Howell, Chancellor Emeritus.