Diane Legan Howard's passion for the arts can now be enjoyed by many others thanks to a lecture series established in her honor.

Diane Legan Howard

In the spring, Mississippi University for Women hosted the first Diane Legan Howard Art History Lecture Series, featuring Dr. Temma Balducci, associate professor of art history at Arkansas State University. Her lecture was titled "Paris Seen from a Balcony: Imagining the Boulevard Differently."

"Dr. Balducci's interesting lecture and the lovely reception afterward kicked off what our family hopes will be a valued enrichment program in the days ahead for The W community, as well as to the city of Columbus" said Marion Howard Wallace, the oldest of the Howard children.

Howard studied art history at The W and graduated summa cum laude from the university in 1959. Her husband, Malcolm Beard Howard, and their four children chose to honor her love for the arts through a scholarship and lecture series they started at The W in 2012.

"The W was always near and dear to our mother's heart; though she graduated with a degree in English, she studied art history while attending The W and remained an active student of art history all of her life," Wallace said. "She would be deeply honored by the scholarship and lecture series established in her memory and that her legacy will play an ongoing part in all of the exciting things happening at her alma mater."

Howard was born in Macon and resided in Columbus for many years before moving to Arizona.

She was noted for numerous contributions to her community, including being a life member of the Columbus Junior Auxiliary. Howard served the Junior Auxiliary on the national level as president, first, second and third vice president and finance chairman.

Howard was a member of the Soroptomist Club of Columbus; the Junior League of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and the Junior League Sustainer Transfers of Phoenix, Ariz. She was also involved in the Milady Garden Club in Columbus, the Historic Columbus, Inc., and the Columbus Historic Foundation. She served both organizations as chairman of the annual Antique Show and Sale.

An avid antiques collector, Howard owned and operated Les Bijoux, an antique consignment business in Columbus, for several years. She also worked with her husband at their family-owned business, Universal Industries, where she served as president.

She was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Columbus as well as the Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley when she moved to Arizona. There, she taught Sunday School, the Mom's group and was a member of Ruth's Circle and the Presbyterian Woman.

At the age of 63, Howard died in Scottsdale, Ariz., after a lengthy illness.