Mason and Susan Lowance

Biographies

Mason Lowance is a native Atlantan who grew up in the Buckhead community on West Wesley Road. He completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University and received a master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Oxford in England. He received his Ph.D. from Emory University. He currently teaches early American Literature, American Romanticism, and American Realism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  

Susan Coltrane Lowance is a native Atlantan. She received her MBA from the Yale School of Management. She later served as the Director of the Management Program for women executives at Smith College and then became the first female Director of the Sloan Fellow Program at MIT.

Abstract of Interview

Susan discusses growing up in the Ansley Park neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. She talks about her father’s role as an air raid warden in the neighborhood. She also discusses how she met Mason in London while she was on the Atlanta Art Association trip in 1962; most of the trip’s participants perished when their plane crashed in Orly, France.

Mason remembers attending Miss Bloodworth’s kindergarten and E. Rivers School until it famously burned. He also discusses living on West Wesley Road in a house his father—Dr. Mason I. Lowance, Sr. (1900-1984)—purchased in 1940 with cash (having been influenced by the Great Depression). He discusses his father’s medical practice—the Lowance Clinic established in 1940. He also talks about his mother’s accomplishments with the Atlanta Symphony; she was one of the institution’s founders. In addition, he remembers being an usher with his brother at Georgia Tech football games and worshipping the mid-1950s team. He also discusses attending Westminster when it was first established in 1951. He also talks about the influence of its founding headmaster Dr. William Pressly. Susan puts the founding of the school into the context of the Forward Atlanta movement. Mason also talks about growing up in Buckhead and the sense of community residents once had. He also recalls how Ed Noble chose the land for Lenox Square during a trip to Atlanta to visit his parents. In addition, Mason and Susan discuss their profession careers.

Interview by Chad Wright and Ivan Allen IV, May 19, 2015

Read the transcript.