FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW, BLUEFIELD COLLEGE ALUMNI ARE INVITED TO A REUNION AND 10K RUN IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THE LATE DAN BOWMAN, BC ALUMNUS AND FORMER DEAN OF STUDENTS.
Just like years before, when the team comes together this spring for the reunion and run, Saturday, April 9, 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 January 2014, but not before leaving a lasting influence on BC students and residents of Greater Roanoke, Virginia.
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 everyday 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 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond.
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 40,000 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 this year, Bluefield College alumni and friends will join the fun to pay tribute to Dean Dan.
“This is a great way we can continue to honor Dean Dan and his legacy,” said alumnus Mark Hipes (’03). “The idea came from alumnus Aaron Peck (’03), and it gives all members of the Bluefield family an opportunity to fellowship, get a little exercise, and be a part of remembering and honoring Dan Bowman.”
In fact, Hipes will host some of the fellowship this year. Following the race, he and his wife, Peyton, will host a Young Alumni Reunion Cookout at their home in Richmond (1229 Lorraine Avenue) for BC alumni participating in the Monument 10K or for grads, family and friends gathering just to cheer them on. Alumni and friends are also invited to the shelter in Monroe Park after the race and prior to the cookout for a group picture commemorating the reunion.
For more information or to register for the reunion, visit www.bluefield.edu/reunions. From this page you can also access the registration form for the race, which must be completed at www.sportsbackers.org/events/monument-ave-10k. The cost to register for the race is $45 until sold out. If you register the day of the event, the cost will be $55.