In just seven years, David Owen has effected what many refer to, only half jokingly, as the Winthrop Renaissance. Taking over a House distressingly like its "jock" stereotype, he has quietly but successfully created a diverse and exciting student community. Owen's concern for undergraduates and their activities seems endless. His ability to remember the names and problems of each man in the House is legendary. Weekly teas, presided over by the Master and his vivacious wife, Louise, have become crowded discussion sessions that invariably last past their scheduled closing time. The Master's hand is evident everywhere, but his own sense of informality has characterized the House. No undergraduate or tutor is ever urged to do things he would prefer not to do, there is no juvenile trumpeting of "Winthrop House accomplishments." Yet, while Owen has been Master, newspapers, literary magazines, playreadings, lecture series, language tables, and a quiet sense of pride in the House have flourished. His style, wry sense of humor, and deep interest in undergraduates have set a tone at Winthrop that will not easily be preserved.
Owen's term as Master of Winthrop is the final entry in a long record of distinguished administrative work at the University. For nearly 20 years he has served Harvard in one important post after another, providing in each the same warmth, understanding, and leadership that he has offered at Winthrop since 1957. As Master, administrator, and teacher, he has exemplified Harvard at its best.