The third Vusumzi School Legacy Initiative is dedicated to Louise Beth Cohen, a beloved director, actor, teacher, mentor, confidante, and friend to students and adults, alike. Raised in Revere, Massachusetts, Louise attended Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts before making her way to Purnell School in Pottersville, New Jersey. Throughout her 14-year tenure at Purnell, she touched lives with her humor, compassion, and patience, and made a deep impression on scores of students. As a result of that impact, Purnell School, together with her colleagues and former students, is paying tribute to her by naming a South African classroom in her honor. The gesture fittingly pays tribute to Louise both globally and in perpetuity.
She was such a huge influence in my life.
What a wonderful thing to do. Louise Cohen helped me so much in a time of need. Happy to participate in this. I miss that smiling face.
Emily Juergens Colson
I have such wonderful memories and I will always cherish them. Ms. Cohen and all the staff and students at Purnell made this possible.
Ms. Cohen was one of my all-time favorite teachers. I adored her, and she was a rock for me during my Purnell years. I miss her!! Thanks to Universal Promise for what you are doing!
Kerry Krech Morrison
Louise, you are and always will be an inspiration, a smile, and a dear, dear friend. We miss you!
Oh, what a dear, sweet legend. Miss you, Lou…
Louise was always kind to us and friendly. We think of her often, and she still makes us laugh out loud when we remember her.
Brian and Cindy Cummings Neprash
I would do anything and give anything to my Purnell family. I was very insecure in 1984 when I arrived, and my good friends and teachers like Louise changed my life…
Louise was an extraordinary woman, teacher, advisor and mentor. Beyond that, she was hysterically funny and would make me laugh at faculty and advisor meetings when we were supposed to be serious. Many thanks for all Universal Promise is doing in her memory.
I remember thinking after Louise died that the world had gotten less uninhibited, less compassionate, less fun. I know Lou would have been absolutely devoted to the efforts Universal Promise is making in South Africa and that she would have already been there by now, more than once, connecting with the nursery school children in ways that only she could. I can see her prancing around the playground, kids hanging off her every limb, while she sang, made goofy noises, and smiled from pure, unabashed joy. They would have loved you, Lou, as so many, many of your former students clearly did (and do) by virtue of their having named this classroom after you. We miss you. Mar and I talk about you all the time. And laugh.
Martha T. Cummings