Rowan Keim Daggett, 84

Rowan Keim Daggett, Ph.D., Manchester University English Professor Emerita, died Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.  She was 84.

Rowan graduated from McPherson College in 1952 and earned her master’s degree from Ball State in 1964. In 1978, she earned her Ph.D. in English language from Indiana University. She joined Manchester’s faculty in 1968 and taught for 30 years until her retirement in 1998. She served as English department chair and also served as associate academic dean from 1979 to 1981. 

From June 2000 through June 2001, Rowan served as Interim Director of the Brethren Colleges Abroad program at Cheltenham University in Cheltenham, England. Rowan was a linguistics scholar. She traveled and studied extensively in Ireland and the United Kingdom, often teaching January session study-abroad courses there. Through the years, she was a beloved teacher and mentor, not only to English majors, but to a broad spectrum of Manchester students.

Rowan reveled in guiding young minds as they learned respect for cultures different from their own.  She was particularly supportive of nontraditional women students in their pursuit of a college education.  Rowan often commented on how pleased she was to have visited each of the United States except Alaska and to have travelled to all continents except Antarctica and South America.  When she retired, friends, colleagues and former students established The Rowan Keim Daggett Scholarship Fund for Nontraditional Women Students as a lasting tribute to her influence on their lives and the University.

“Throughout her distinguished career,” it was said in establishing the scholarship, “Rowan was known and loved for her humble dignity, gentle and supportive spirit, and perceptive discernment. An extremely gifted and devoted mentor, Dr. Daggett played an extraordinarily positive role in the lives of hundreds of fortunate Manchester graduates and challenged and inspired her colleagues throughout her career.”

Rowan was preceded in death by her parents, the Rev. Howard Keim and Winifred O’Connor Keim.

She is survived by her two sons, John Daggett (Denise), Cincinnati, Ohio, and Dan Daggett (Theresa), Winona Lake; grandchildren, Taylor Daggett Akron, Ohio, Jake Daggett, Milwaukee, Wis.,), Evie and Sam Daggett Winona Lake, Paige Gardner, Glasgow, Ky., and three sisters,  Nancy Lengel, McPherson, Kansas, Lois Keim, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Julia King-Smith, Hammond. 

A memorial service celebrating Rowan’s life will be held Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, at 1 p.m. in the Timbercrest Chapel, 2201 East St., North Manchester.

Light refreshments will be served following the memorial service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Rowan Keim Daggett Scholarship Fund for Nontraditional Women Students at Manchester University, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962. To send a private condolence to the Daggett family, go to


Posted on 2015 Oct 29