Paying Tribute to a Life Well-LivedUH Mourns the Passing of Elizabeth Rockwell

Elizabeth Dennis Rockwell (HON '99) always had a place in her heart for the University of Houston, and her loyalty and generosity never wavered. The University of Houston mourns the loss of this beloved member of our Cougar family, who passed away Friday morning.

Rockwell's journey with UH began in 1938 when classes were still being held in the San Jacinto High School building. Her legacy continues today, evident in the countless ways she supported the university.

Rockwell left UH in 1944 during her senior year to take a job as a cashier with a mortgage company to begin her long career in finance - becoming widely respected as an expert in retirement, estate, investment and tax planning.

In the mid-1970s, she gained national recognition for her work with IRA rules and regulations. She later became executive director of the Private Client Division of CIBC Oppenheimer Corp., retiring in 2001.

As her career spanned decades, she never forgot her UH roots.

Rockwell suppored three endowed deanships: one at the M.D. Anderson Library; one in the Cullen College of Engineering; and one in the College of Education. Her name adorns many facets of the university, including the Elizabeth D. Rockwell President's Suite in the Houston Alumni Center, the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Career Services Center in the Bauer College of Business and the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavillion in the M.D. Anderson Library.

She funded lectures and events, including the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Library Heritage Lecture Series and the prestigious Elizabeth D. Rockwell Ethics and Leadership Series, which brings national speakers to campus.

"I have an interest in two things - the preservation of the past and the direction of the future," she said, speaking of her interest in supporting the university. "And what better way to secure our future than by supporting the education of tomorrow's leaders?"

Among her many honors, Rockwell recieved a UH Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1999, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Houston Alumni Organization and from the UH Bauer College of Business, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Health Law Policy Institute.

Rockwell remained proud of her continued association with the University of Houston.

"Over time, I have seen UH position itself at the forefront of higher education in the 21st century," she said.

A memorial service will be held on the University of Houston campus.