Lauren Dow smiles.Lauren Dow, director of major gifts, passed away on April 9 following a courageous three-year battle with breast cancer. 

Lauren will be remembered for her infectious smile and laughter that lit up a room. She came to Lafayette in 2017, serving as a member of the Development and College Relations staff. Lauren was instrumental in raising support for the College through the conclusion of the Live Connected, Lead Change campaign in December 2019. She also secured funding for major College initiatives including financial aid, Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center, Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Gateway Career Center, and more. 

Prior to Lafayette, Lauren worked at Lehigh for seven years. There, she served as director of student and young alumni philanthropy, associate director of the Lehigh Fund, and director of regional and affinity giving. 

Lauren was known for her kindness and ability to always lend a hand to colleagues. In 2019 she nominated Yusuf Dahl, Bradbury Dyer III, ’64 Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for ABC News correspondent Robin Roberts’ series “Thriver Thursday” because she was personally inspired by his story. Thriver Thursday highlights individuals who surpass tremendous obstacles to achieve their goals. Her wish to honor Dahl came to fruition in November 2019.

“The fact that Lauren nominated me as a thriver while she was battling breast cancer is not a surprise to anyone who knew her,” says Dahl. “She was incredibly selfless and received great joy and pleasure in supporting the success of others. It’s what made her an outstanding fundraiser for the College and an even better friend and colleague.” 

Lauren is survived by her husband of 10 years, Brian, and two children, Maci (8) and Kellen (5). 

Services will be private. Online expressions of sympathy can be recorded at Those wishing to honor Lauren also may contribute to support medical expenses and a college fund for her children.

Read more about the life and legacy of Lauren and colleagues’ sentiments below. Feel free to use the comments field below to add to these reflections. 

Kim Spang, vice president of development and college relations
“Lauren was a special part of the Lafayette team, and we will all miss her so much. From the moment she arrived at Lafayette, Lauren’s personality came through in every meeting and through the interactions she had with colleagues, alumni, and parents. Lauren’s enthusiasm for Lafayette helped to build relationships with many donors who might not have otherwise been so connected.” 

Adam Stauffer, associate vice president for development
“Lauren’s role at the College was certainly not limited to raising financial resources and driving institutional priorities. Much like in her personal life, Lauren was a connector, a sincere and caring individual who would go out of her way to make others feel welcome and part of the team. Her smile was contagious and her drive and dedication were unmatched. Each of us that was blessed to know her will carry on her spirit each and every day moving forward.”

Chad Davis, senior director of annual and leadership giving
“I consider it a blessing to have known Lauren since 2011 when we both worked at that ‘other school.’ Lauren brought so much joy, energy, and passion to her work every day. She truly loved the work that she did and the impact she was making. She loved engaging with donors and building their connection to the school. That love was nothing, however, compared to the love that she had for her family and friends. To have known Lauren professionally—and luckily for me, I also had the good fortune to know her as a good friend—means that my life is filled with joy, laughter, and tremendous memories of a wonderful person. That is a blessing that I am forever grateful for.”

Ben Landis, associate director of annual and leadership giving
“Lauren was my colleague, friend, neighbor, and so much more. She literally is the reason I am at Lafayette, and I’m thankful for that as Lauren hired me in the fall of 2018. Her smile not only lit up a room, but she was easy to like and easier to trust thanks to her caring way. Her positive spirit is an example for us all as she cared deeply about the relationships she developed at the College and in her personal life as well. She is missed dearly already.”

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