For the fifth year in a row, alumni and friends from Bluefield College are invited to join Team Dean Dan in Richmond, Virginia, to run in the Monument Avenue 10K.
Just like years before, when the team comes together this spring for the run, Saturday, April 14, they won’t be so much concerned about how they compete or finish the 10K, but instead how well they pay tribute to the late Dan Bowman, a former Bluefield College dean of students, who succumbed to cancer in 2014, but not before leaving a lasting influence on the BC family.
Known as one of Virginia’s most historic races and “one of the best races in the country,” according to USA Today, the Monument Avenue 10K features more than 30,000 runners, and with its party stops, live music and post-race festivities, the 10K is also considered one of Virginia’s best social events of the year and one Bluefield College alumni and friends will join in memory of Dean Dan.
Those planning to run in the 10K as part of BC’s Team Dean Dan are asked to register online with the event web site at sportsbackers.org/events/monument-ave-10K. Alumni and friends planning to run are also asked to notify BC’s Josh Grubb, director of alumni relations, by phone at 276-326-4208 or by e-mail at [email protected] to let him know you’ll be running for Team Dean Dan. If you’d rather not run, but still want to cheer on your BC classmates, please join the team for a photo prior to the race at 10:15 a.m. in Monroe Park. If you can’t make the photo shoot, take a selfie and post to social media using the hashtag #teamdeandan to show your support.
A native of Salem, Virginia, Bowman came to Bluefield College first as a student in the fall of 1990. After earning his bachelor’s degree in psychology from BC in 1994, a master’s degree in counseling and human development from Radford University in 1996, and five years of service as a guidance counselor at Northside Middle School, Jefferson Forest High School, Liberty High School, and William Byrd High School, Bowman returned to Bluefield in 2001 to serve as dean of students.
“Dean Dan was a man of faith, family, friends and support,” said BC alumnus Tony Hall (‘94). “He lived his faith every day and was an example of courage and trust in a loving God. I am blessed to have known Dan and to have called him my friend.”
During four years as dean of students, Bowman did more than love BC students. He spearheaded three major renovation projects for residence halls and the student activities center. He also increased retention and residential enrollment and installed a values-based living and learning program that included a campus-wide tobacco-free policy.
Bowman returned to his native Roanoke Valley in 2005 to become an associate dean of students at Radford University. He later served as principal of Craig County High School, but in 2011 he was diagnosed with myoepithelial carcinoma, a rare cancer of the soft tissue that he battled for three years while continuing to work and serve those around him. In fact, in the midst of his treatments, he and his wife, Staci (Gilley Bowman ’94), continued to coach his daughters, Maddie and Libby, in recreational lacrosse. He also remained a member of the Virginia Tech “chain gang” that worked down markers for Hokies football games.
Despite his valiant fight, Bowman succumbed to the cancer, passing away in January of 2014. As a tribute to his influence and service, Bluefield College alumni and friends created Team Dean Dan to run each year in the Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond.
Through the initiative of the Bowman family, Bluefield College also partnered with Campbell University to create two endowed student scholarships to honor Dean Dan and to benefit both Baptist institutions equally – the Daniel G. Bowman “Dean Dan” Memorial Scholarship at Bluefield College and the Daniel G. Bowman “DB” Memorial Scholarship at Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where Dean Dan’s brother, Dr. Andrew Bowman, serves as an assistant professor.
The Dean Dan Scholarship at Bluefield is awarded to an academically gifted student from Virginia who exhibits financial need, while the DB Memorial Scholarship at Campbell is given to an academically gifted student who has a strong interest in oncology and pharmacy. Alumni and friends who may not be able to participate in the Monument Avenue 10K as a tribute to Dean Dan can always help preserve his legacy with a gift to one of the scholarships. To give or for more information about the scholarships, visit bluefield.edu/deandan or contact BC’s Chris Catron, director of development, by phone at 276-326-4211 or by email at [email protected].
“Dean Dan was a beloved member of the Bluefield College family, and his legacy will be carried on through these scholarships,” said Grubb. “He was a major advocate for student success, and the scholarships are a fitting way to continue to support students in his memory.”