Dr. Todd Crowe ’86, the creator of the College’s beloved Clyde the Cougar mascot, passed away on May 20, 2017. He was 52.
Crowe, an anesthesiologist in Seneca, South Carolina, is survived by his wife and three children.
Born in Simpsonville, South Carolina, and raised in neighboring Mauldin, South Carolina, Crowe had aspired to become a doctor since he was a boy. After earning a degree from the College, he went on to graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1990.
As Crowe told College of Charleston Magazine in 2016, the College had a Cougar mascot suit through the 1970s and early ’80s, but there was no formal mascot program to recruit and train students to play the role of the then nameless cougar. Crowe changed all that during his freshman year in 1982 after attending a CofC women’s basketball game and finding the crowd’s enthusiasm lacking and no cougar mascot in sight.
Crowe made his pitch for a new mascot program to the College and settled on the name Clyde after polling his friends and classmates and donned the costume. Crowe’s efforts established the character now synonymous with the College and its athletic teams.
“I really have an interest in taking this and developing it into a character, having some props and having a costume made for him and coming up with a name, let him really develop into something the College can be proud of and people can rally around,” Crowe told College of Charleston Magazine, recalling how Clyde was born.
When Crowe graduated from the College in 1986, he walked across the stage in full Clyde costume. And later, he established a partial scholarship to help support future Clydes.
CofC alumnus Joe Tebalt ’97 practiced medicine with Crowe at Oconee Memorial Hospital. In fact, Tebalt credits Crowe for encouraging him to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist.
“I met him in Honduras on a medical mission many years ago,” Tebalt wrote in a Facebook tribute to his friend and mentor. “He was doing what he loved best, helping those less fortunate than him. Immediately, he treated me as a colleague, even though I was only a student physician at the time. He roomed with me that week, and we stayed up late into the night, he telling me stories about how much he loved his family and community. He talked constantly about his wife Johnna and his children in the most loving terms.”
Tebalt said that Crowe was highly respected both inside and outside the medical community and was known for his sense of humor and deep compassion for others.
“Todd did house calls for his patients,” Tebalt said. “He carried around little slips of papers in all of his pockets with favors for different people. He went above and beyond. He was a mentor, friend, confidant, counselor, and leader in our hospital.”
Funeral services for Crowe are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, at CrossPoint Church in Clemson, South Carolina. Memorial donations in Crowe’s honor can be made to Volunteers in Medical Missions, CrossPoint Church or the Cancer Center of the Carolinas.