Funeral services announced for Tuskegee U. icon

Pioneers in Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee (L to R: Julius Rosenwald, Frederick D. Patterson, Walter C. Bowie, and T. S. Williams).
Pioneers in Veterinary Medicine at Tuskegee (L to R: Julius Rosenwald, Frederick D. Patterson, Walter C. Bowie, and T. S. Williams).
Dean Emeritus Bowie speaking at the Williams-Bowie Hall Dedication Ceremony, March 2002.
Dean Emeritus Bowie speaking at the Williams-Bowie Hall Dedication Ceremony, March 2002.
T.S. Williams, Jr. (son of the late Dean T. S. Williams) and Dean Emeritus Bowie standing in front of the building named in their honor-Williams-Bowie Hall.
T.S. Williams, Jr. (son of the late Dean T. S. Williams) and Dean Emeritus Bowie standing in front of the building named in their honor-Williams-Bowie Hall.

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) -  Funeral services are scheduled Saturday, October 31 at noon at Tuskegee University Chapel for Dean Emeritus Walter C. Bowie, DVM, PhD. of Tuskegee University, who died at the of 84 on October 25th.

Below is the press release from Tuskegee University.

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In Memory of the Late Dean Emeritus Walter C. Bowie, DVM, PhD

Third Dean of the Tuskegee University

School of Veterinary Medicine

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 29, 2009) - The Tuskegee University family, Tuskegee community, and the veterinary medical and other health-related professions recently lost an admired and respected, retired professor, accomplished researcher, proven administrator, visionary leader, highly sought consultant, innovator, and humanitarian -  Dean Emeritus Walter C. Bowie, DVM, PhD.  Dean Emeritus Bowie, at the age of 84, departed this life after a brief illness on October 25, 2009.  He is survived by his wife and three children.

"Dr. Walter Bowie was one of the most effective deans at Tuskegee University during his tenure.  We will all miss him greatly," said Tuskegee University President, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton.

Dean Emeritus Dr. Walter C. Bowie, was a long time resident of Tuskegee, Alabama, and had been associated with academic veterinary medicine for over 40 years. After receiving the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Kansas State University in 1947, he earned the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in mammalian physiology from Cornell University in 1955 and 1960, respectively.  He did a postdoctoral study at Michigan State University and was a scholar-in-residence at Howard University.

In March 1947, Dr. Bowie joined the faculty at Tuskegee University, then Tuskegee Institute.  He served as a teacher, research scientist, Head of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (1955), and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (1971) until he was appointed to succeed Dean T. S Williams (deceased) as the School's dean in 1972.  Dr. Bowie served as Dean for 18 years until 1990.

Dr. Bowie's contributions to the veterinary medical profession are many.  He earned a reputation as a scientist through his research in cardiovascular physiology and a reputation as a dynamic dean through his leadership of the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine through both difficult and prosperous times.   Dean Emeritus Bowie helped bring the School through difficult financial times in the early years of his tenure and into national and international recognition as a leading institution in many aspects of academic veterinary medicine.

In the 60s and 70s, when the subject of cardiovascular physiology was discussed, the name of "Walt" Bowie was among the top of those working in the field.  As a researcher, Dr. Bowie collaborated with Dr. Edward W. Hawthorne of Howard University, liaison, to establish a Large Animal Cardiovascular Center in the veterinary medical school in 1964.  The center was funded by the National Institutes of Health and it brought to the campus a number of leading cardiovascular specialists and scientists.

Dr. Bowie established the first comparative cardiovascular laboratory in the United States and the first heart-lung bypass machine for horses.  He did this research in a converted hanger of the historic Moton Field where the historic Tuskegee Airmen were trained.   Dr. Bowie and his research were featured in the 1966 edition of Ebony magazine. His work was supported by several organizations including the U.S. Army, Alabama Heart Association, Kellogg Foundation, Merck Foundation, USDA, and the Max Fleischmann Foundation.

Dr. Bowie presented his research findings at scientific meetings and in several refereed journals.  He served as principal investigator, co-investigator, and project director on a number of research and program grants.

While serving as dean, he was credited for his special skill in attracting grants to support the continued development and expansion of the veterinary medical school. Dr. Bowie brought more than a decade of continuous financial support from the National Institutes of Health.  Under Dr. Bowie's leadership as dean, the Tuskegee University veterinary medical program attracted federal and private sector awards totaling more than $50 million.

While embarking on a fund-raising program for improved physical facilities, Dr. Bowie chose to develop a strong multimedia support program to assist with teaching and learning.  The audiovisual and autotutorial program and innovative physical facilities at Tuskegee University were some of the first in veterinary medicine.  It supported the Tuskegee faculty but also was an example and stimulus for the rest of the veterinary medical schools in the nation.

Dr. Bowie also started summer enrichment programs that provided an opportunity for students who showed intellectual ability and promise as veterinarians but who lacked basic skills in tackling the challenging, fast pace of the veterinary medical curriculum.

Dr. Bowie's international contributions included a commitment to veterinary medical services in underdeveloped countries.  His insights were sought internationally in Nigeria, Kenya, Jamaica, and the West Indies.  Dr.  Bowie understood the importance of self-help.  He helped provide veterinary medical education to students from developing countries who returned to their native lands where they provided veterinary medical care and established veterinary medical schools.

Dean Emeritus Bowie has been honored locally, statewide, and nationally.  He was recognized by the State of Alabama House of Representatives; Office of the Mayor, Baton Rouge, LA; Meharry Medical College; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Veterinary Epidemiology Society; American Society for Biological Research; National Academy of Practice in Veterinary Medicine; Association of Minority Health Professions Schools; Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association; American Veterinary Medical Association; and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Alumni Association, to name a few.

The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (ALVMA) named the prestigious Bowie-Heath Humanitarian Award after Dean Emeritus Bowie and Auburn's Dr. M. K. Heath (deceased).  It was Dr. Bowie's energetic drive, thoughtful demeanor, and remarkable ability to generate funds that helped create the Tuskegee University Center for the Study of Human-Animal Interdependent Relationships.  The first ALVMA Bowie-Heath Humanitarian Award was given in 2005.

Especially noteworthy was the March 2002 re-naming, dedication ceremony of the former Food Animal Production, Research, and Service Center to the new name of Williams-Bowie Hall.  The dedication was given in honor of the many contributions Dean Williams and Dean Bowie gave to the growth and development of veterinary medical education at Tuskegee University and to the larger veterinary medical community.  Williams-Bowie Hall is a multipurpose facility, which houses the International Center for Tropical Animal Health, an Audiovisual/Autotutorial Center, Biomedical Information Management Systems, the Biomedical Student Computing Laboratory and the Center for Computational Epidemiology.  In addition to a surgical and recovery suite, Williams-Bowie Hall also includes instructional and research laboratories and faculty offices.

Dr. Bowie served on numerous boards.  Also noteworthy was his election as President of the American Association of Veterinary Physiologists and Pharmacologists; his appointments as Executive Director of the Minority Heath Foundations; President of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools Foundation; Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Chairman of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools.  It was the vision of Dr. Bowie, Dr. Louis Sullivan, Mr. Anthony Rachal, and others concerned with the health and educational needs of minorities, to establish the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS) in 1976. Dr. Bowie was considered one of the founders of AMHPS, an organization formed to provide a means by which the need for a national minority health agenda could be addressed.

"Walter Bowie - in the best sense of the word - was very ecumenical in his views and support of all AMHPS member educational institutions.  He was instrumental in the creation of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  His diligent lobbying efforts regarding U.S Congressional appropriations on behalf of AMHPS were unparalleled.  He was a person you could rely on.  We are all well-served by conditions made by Walter Bowie.  For many years, including his tenure as president of AMHPS, Bowie opened opportunities for minority youths to become health professionals and biomedical researchers.  As a result of his actions, the health status of all citizens was improved, particularly those in small, rural and medically underserved communities," said Louis W. Sullivan, M.D.  Dr. Sullivan is the Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Founding President, AMHPS (1979-1982); President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine; Chairman, the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America's Health Professions; and Chairman, the National Health Museum.

Upon Tuskegee University President, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton's recommendation, Dr. Bowie received "Dean Emeritus" status from the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees in 1992 in recognition of his 44 years of outstanding service, dedication, and commitment.

After retirement, Dr. Bowie continued to provide fundraising guidance and input on various issues related to the profession.  Two years ago, he accepted the position as Co-Chairman of the Dean's Advisory Board, a board selected to assist Dean Tsegaye Habtemariam, current Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health, with matters involving the development of the College.

Dean Habtemariam said, "In far more ways than I can express, Dean Emeritus Walter C. Bowie stood as an example of someone to admire, respect, and emulate.  I most certainly considered him one of the torch bearers of veterinary medicine here at Tuskegee.  Dean Bowie was my mentor, advisor, and friend.  Through all of his many accomplishments over the years, Dean Bowie earned the reputation of a dedicated professor, researcher, administrator, consultant, innovator, and humanitarian.  Our condolences go out to his family.  He will truly be missed."

The funeral service for Dr. Walter C. Bowie is scheduled for Saturday, October 31, 2009, 12:00 noon, Tuskegee University Chapel.  Viewing will be on Friday, October 30, 2009, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at The Peoples Funeral Home, 500 Fonville Street, Tuskegee, AL. The family visitation hour will follow from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Greenwood Missionary Baptist Church, 1510 Washington Avenue, Tuskegee, AL.  In lieu of flowers, a tax-deductible contribution may be made to the Walter C. Bowie Scholarship Fund. Please make checks payable to the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine (place Walter C. Bowie Scholarship Fund on the check MEMO line) and mail to Mrs. Angela Smith-Bascomb, Office of the Dean, Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, Tuskegee, AL 36088.  Expressions of condolences may be sent to the family at: P.O. Box 88, Tuskegee Inst., AL 36087.