We are counting down to our exciting AADC 100th Anniversary in June, 2022! Our “Legacy of Leaders” series highlights and celebrates just some of the many people whose dedicated work and leadership will ensure the future of our sisterhood.
Published on November 18, 2021
Since her graduation in 1959, Flora Buchbinder Cowen has devoted countless hours to serving the AADC. Her loyalty, enthusiasm, and service have endured the test of time. In 2013, Flora was honored with the AADC’s Vanguard Service Award for her unwavering service and dedication to the AADC for 50 years.
Flora was married right after graduation and her husband’s medical studies and service in the Army took her away from the New Brunswick area for five years. When she returned in 1964, she moved to Edison, NJ, where she reconnected with several classmates and attended her 5th Douglass Reunion – she hasn’t missed one since! She became active in the Middlesex County Douglass Alumnae Club, met other alumnae and expanded her Douglass connections.
Since then, Flora has been a mainstay of the AADC. She served as AADC President for two consecutive three-year terms and also served on the AADC Board of Directors as a member, Treasurer, Vice President for Development and Public Relations, and on the Executive Committee. She also was on the Douglass Fund Committee, Nominating, Alumnae Awards, Douglass Society Selections, Extern, Douglass Annual Fund, Pacesetter, Long Range Planning, Publications, Reunion Chair, and Chair of the Task Force on Women and the former Annual Douglass Days Alumnae Leadership Conference. She chaired the Douglass Alumnae Oral History Project and continues to serve on the AADC Memorabilia Committee, collecting, retaining and protecting the irreplaceable artifacts of our history. Flora credits the superb leadership of the late Executive Director, Adelaide Marcus Zagoren ’40, for keeping her involved as a volunteer and then as a part of the AADC staff; Flora served for 10 years as Director of the Annual Fund, connecting with her classmates and many alumnae friends to raise money for the AADC.
An enthusiastic member of the Class of 1959, Flora has served her class as President, Vice President and Reunion Chair, and as Secretary. She is always happy to break out into her class chant, “We’re great, we’re fine, we’re the class of ’59!”
Each week prior to the pandemic lockdown of the AADC offices, you could find Flora busy volunteering at the Ruth Schilling Hennessy Alumnae Center, where she assists with countless projects. And she is a mainstay each year at February’s “Cabin Fever,” where she graciously shares her joy of knitting. She rarely misses an AADC event, even joining her alumnae friends via Zoom for online AADC gatherings.
For all of her extensive AADC involvement, Flora was recognized with the Margaret T. Corwin Award, the AADC’s highest award for service, as well as the AADC Alumnae Recognition Award. Rutgers University also honored Flora with the Rutgers Alumni Meritorious Service Award.
Flora is a consistent supporter of the AADC Annual Appeal and to many special initiatives and projects. Flora shared that she always thought that if she could create an endowed scholarship, she would want to. During the Campaign for Douglass, she found her opportunity and generously she established the Flora Buchbinder Cowen ’59 Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to a Douglass student each year, with a preference for a student from her hometown of Garwood, NJ.
Flora Buchbinder Cowen ’59 is part of the institutional fabric of the AADC. She sets a shining example of getting and staying involved with alumnae through the AADC.