News Archive

R-MWC President Announces Retirement Plans

Kathleen Bowman to step down after 2005-2006 academic year

5/10/2005 2:07:32 PM


Kathleen G. Bowman

LYNCHBURG - After 11 years as president of one of the leading women's colleges in the nation, Kathleen Gill Bowman announced her retirement to the College community Monday. Bowman, who became the eighth president of Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1994, will step down from the post at the conclusion of the 2005-2006 academic year.

During the next year, Bowman will lead the College through the finalization of a new major strategic plan.

“I hope that creating this blueprint for the future will be a lasting and meaningful accomplishment---one whose fruits I will enjoy seeing for many years to come,” Bowman said. “Its completion represents a natural moment for a leadership transition, with the new president overseeing implementation of the new plan.”

A search for a new president will begin this summer.

“This was not an easy decision,” Bowman said. “As anyone associated with this College knows, it inspires an uncompromising level of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual engagement that becomes an essential part of one's personal identity. Separating from this special place will be difficult for me and for my husband Daniel. The spirit of the College and the people who comprise it will be part of us for the rest of our lives.”

During Bowman's tenure, the College underwent extensive change and globalization, while maintaining its traditional high academic standards. New majors were created in Environmental Studies and American Culture, each anchored by an endowed professorship. The College announced new graduate degree programs in education this spring.

“Kathleen Bowman has set the highest standards for herself and for the College,” said William Coulter, dean of the college. “She has used her formidable energy and intelligence tirelessly to help us all move toward those goals. Her unstinting devotion to the College has made us all better at what we do and put us deeply in her debt.”

The College has increased its international student population from 4 percent in 1994 to 12 percent in 2004. Students of color (both domestic and international) now comprise 25 percent of the student body, up from 15 percent in 1994. This year, the College enrolled students from more than 80 states, countries and territories.

“Kathleen raised the bar high for all of us,” said Jolley Bruce Christman. “She brought a set of standards for herself and the R-MWC community that inspired us to give our best. We were indeed fortunate to have her vision, intellect, and energy for 11 years. Her leadership has positioned the College well to tackle its next set of strategic challenges so that we will sustain our tradition of academic excellence.”

Bowman's leadership helped create numerous opportunities for the College to expand its international offerings, including the creating of endowments that bring international faculty and speakers to campus and allow students and faculty to study abroad. In 2002, the College was recognized by the Association for International Educators (NAFSA) as one of 16 exemplary institutions in the United States for globalization of its campus.

Bowman was instrumental in creating the Pearl. S. Buck Award, a national event designed to bring women global leaders to campus. Recent winners include Corazon Aquino, Sheikh Hasina, Jehan Sadat, Mary Robinson and Maya Lin.

During Bowman's tenure, R-MWC undertook the largest capital campaign in the College's history, raising more than $89 million and establishing 102 new endowed funds. The College campus has seen extensive renovation, including the installation of state of the art teaching and learning technology as well as the renovation of numerous buildings, classrooms, studios and performance spaces. State of the art soccer and softball facilities were also added.

A Phi Be

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations