Students, administrators mourn death of former dean of students


Photo: Caitlin Ellingson/Iowa State Daily

Dean of Students Pamela Anthony, poses for a picture in her office at the Student Services building Feb. 13, 2013.

David Perrin

Pamela D. Anthony, who served as Iowa State’s dean of students from 2012 to 2016, died Tuesday surrounded by family members, friends and colleagues after a battle with cancer.

“Pamela — Dean Anthony — she lived life to the fullest,” Martino Harmon, senior vice president for student affairs, said. She tried to teach me to do that, to stop working so much and to enjoy life, to live life.”

Anthony, who left Iowa State to pursue her administrative career as vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, was described as “a leader in the field of student affairs,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said on the university website.

Some of Anthony’s more noteworthy accomplishments at Iowa State included charting a refocused mission of the women’s center, training academic leaders and department chairs and enhancing student safety.

When first hired into the division of student affairs, Anthony mentioned in a previous interview that all she wanted in life was to “understand the ISU experience.” Her career became her “passion and [her] purpose.”

Not only was she passionate about her work, but Anthony was also highly valued and greatly appreciated by current faculty and staff.

“She was very, very smart and was just a really strong administrator,” Harmon said.

Part of what led Anthony to her achievements was her education and previous administrative experience.

Anthony began her education at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, by receiving her bachelor’s of science degree in speech pathology. After her graduation from James Madison, Anthony achieved a master’s of education with a primary focus on student personnel in higher education from the University of Georgia-Athens.

Anthony then went on to Georgia State University in Atlanta to get her Ph.D. in educational policy studies.

Anthony managed student crisis intervention and judicial affairs during her time at Iowa State, according to the division of student affairs website. She also involved herself in many student activities and greek life on campus and in the Ames community.

These experiences led Anthony to be the person she was. Harmon described her as “very vivacious” and “so full of energy and excitement.” 

Harmon also mentioned that whenever in Anthony’s presence, “she would just light up the room.”

Funeral and SMU campus memorial services are pending with Anthony’s family.