Vayne A. Lowry was born at Hibbard, Indiana on September 23, 1896. He was the son of John and Uretha Lowry. He attended a rural elementary school and graduated from high school at Culver, Indiana. He attended Purdue University prior to serving in the U.S Army in World War I, returning to Purdue University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1919. Post-graduate work was done at University of Iowa and he was awarded honorary doctorates by both Dakota State College and Dakota Wesleyan University. He married Daisy V. Easterday on November 9, 1919. They raised four children, John, Robert (whom was killed in action in France during WWII), Nancy and Susanna. Dr. Lowry served as an instructor at Des Moines, Iowa, in West High School in 1920; instructor and coach at Central High School from 1920-22; instructor and coach at Eastern State Normal School, Madison, SD from 1922-25; and Dean of Men at Eastern from 1925-32. In 1933 he became the ninth President of Eastern State Normal School and held that position until his retirement in 1962. He then was in charge of the Smith-Zimmermann State Historical Museum from 1962-72. He actively supported the college and wrote a history of the school Forty Years at General Beadle 1922-1962. Lowry was always very active in the state and community. Memberships and awards included: Board of Trustees of the Madison Community Hospital, State WWI History Board, President SD Academy of Science, Director of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, President of the Sioux Council, American Legion, Rotary Club, Eminent Citizens Award, Distinguished Service Award and a member of the Masonic Lodge. Vayne Arnold Lowry died at his home on January 8, 1980 at the age of 83.
In 1959 Lowry Hall, a 70 men dormitory, was built and named after President Vayne A. Lowry.
Lowry, V. A. Forty Years at General Beadle (1922-1962). Madison, SD:
Dakota State University, 1984. pg author’s page
Dakota State Univeristy Historical Archives