Family and Friends of Philip L. Howell - Chapman Legacy Society
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Gifts Established:

  • Philip L. Howell Memorial Scholarship | Est. 1989
brick engraved with name Family and Friends of Philip L. Howell

Family and Friends of Philip L. Howell

Longtime University of Tulsa economics professor Dr. Philip L. Howell combined his copious knowledge with a dry wit to instill an appreciation of economics in thousands of TU undergraduates. His lectures were precisely organized and often featured “widgets and gidgets” as imaginary goods to illustrate principles.

A Boston native who earned three degrees at The University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Howell came to TU in 1946 after teaching at the Wharton School at his alma mater and then at Hendrix College in Arkansas.

Dr. Howell “had a discipline and orderliness about him that was without parallel,” said his longtime friend Ira Schlezinger, a one-time Tulsa hospital administrator, who wrote a tribute. “There had to be rhyme and reason for every conclusion and/or decision reached.”

Dr. Howell was not just analytical; he also was compassionate and concerned with his community. He served on the boards of the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education, the Oklahoma Civil Liberties Union, and the Tulsa Community Service Council. He was an important part of the city’s health care community as president of the Tulsa Area Health and Hospital Planning Commission.

Schlezinger called Howell “an enigma,” a man who wrote frequent letters to the editor, corrected your grammar, and loved sports. And, a friend recalled, he could be tough, “hardest on those who tended to be protective of self-interests and/or self-serving, and gentlest on those who needed society’s protection.”

Despite a slim build, Howell made the varsity baseball team at Amherst College and once almost pitched a no-hitter. Later, he expressed his enthusiasm for the pastime and employed his analytical skills as the scorer for Tulsa’s Texas League baseball team; he also served as the official statistician for TU’s football and basketball teams.

Dr. Howell’s world extended far beyond Tulsa. He traveled by freight ships to Great Britain, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong, according to the Tulsa Tribune. He claimed they were more interesting and less expensive than airlines or cruise ships.

For his exceptional work, Dr. Howell was named the 1972 Outstanding Educator of America, and retired in 1978 as a professor emeritus, remaining associated with the University until his death in 1988.

The following year, Eileen C. Howell established The Philip L. Howell Memorial Scholarship in honor of her late husband, with support provided by family, friends, and colleagues. Eileen was an accomplished civic leader in her own right, serving at various times as President of The League of Women Voters; as dean of students at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas; and as chairwoman of the American Lung Association of Green Country. She died in 1997 at age 83.