John A. Nunes, PhD

Remembering Eloise Cohen

Dear Cal Lutheran Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I share news of the passing of Eloise Cohen. Eloise embodied the best of the California Lutheran University community: she was curious, compassionate, graceful, and committed. To say she will be sorely missed is an understatement. 

Eloise’s unwavering dedication to the arts and generous support of cultural institutions elevated the entire Conejo Valley. Together with her husband, Chuck, a lawyer and former Thousand Oaks mayor, she embodied the spirit of servant leadership and philanthropy, leaving a legacy of love, friendship and cultural enrichment. 

As the daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Raymond M. Olson, who served as the second president of Cal Lutheran in the 1960s, Eloise grew up as part of this campus community. She was a member of the first graduating class of Thousand Oaks High School and a 1971 graduate of what was then California Lutheran College. 

Eloise was closely involved in the Center for Nonprofit Leadership (CNL). As a founding advisory board member, she served, along with her husband, on the cabinet of CNL’s Campaign for the Future. She was also assistant director for the Harold Stoner Clark Lectures, a series intended to ignite and fuel an interest in philosophy among those who attend. 

Off campus, Eloise contributed to organizations such as TOArts, the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation and, as a member of its board of governors, the Civic Arts Plaza. She had a passion for creating a thriving philanthropic ecosystem that embraced inclusivity and artistic excellence. 

Eloise’s commitment to community partnerships and grassroots efforts has left an indelible mark on campus, the Conejo Valley, and beyond. Her friends here at Cal Lutheran send prayers to her lovely family and expressions of gratitude for sharing this wonderful child of God with us throughout the years.

Details regarding a celebration of life will be sent as they come to fruition over the next few weeks. 

In community, 

Lori E. Varlotta

Lori E. Varlotta, Ph.D.


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