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Donor Uses RMD to Support UNC Students

Jim Bowman sitting in leather chair in front of fireplace

January 26, 2023

For James Bowman, Ed.D., supporting UNC and helping students in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences reflects a deep belief in education and its role in society. “I just think that with an educated society we’re prepared to succeed.” 

Bowman worked in education for nearly 30 years – a career he embarked on after one of his high school teachers and his dad encouraged him to think about becoming a teacher. It’s guidance he’s glad he had. 

He enrolled at UNC as an English major with plans to teach and says that he loved his time at UNC (then Colorado State College).  

 “I did everything on campus I could find to do, whether it was a concert, a play or a wrestling match. I joined a fraternity, lived in a residence hall my freshman year, and I loved my classes. It just really broadened my outlook on life, and that first year was kind of an adventure for me." 

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English in 1963 and went on to teach high school English and speech in Yuma, Colorado for three years before earning his master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation in 1967. He spent the next three years working for the Oregon Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, helping place students with mental and intellectual disabilities in jobs, work he found to be rewarding. After three years he left Oregon to work on his doctorate. 

“My master’s program stimulated me into wanting to have a doctorate, and my goal was to teach at a university,” he says. He earned his Ed.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling from UNC in 1972 and went on to teach at Mississippi State University for 24 years. 

“We always had at least one or more work study students in our department,” noting that it gave students an opportunity to work in an academic environment. Both his son and his daughter-in-law were work study students in college, and he saw how the opportunities benefited them. The impact of work study and his belief in the importance of education inspired him to give back to UNC. 

Bowman gives to UNC using his retirement account’s required minimum distribution (RMD) and established the James T. Bowman Work Study Scholarship Endowment. As a result, his legacy and passion for education will live on in perpetuity. He found that by using his RMD as a charitable contribution, he realized tax benefits while being able to increase his support for students at UNC. For alumni who are considering gifting to UNC, Bowman definitely recommends using their RMD as a vehicle for this. "With the advice and assistance of a member of the UNC Foundation staff, contributing in this way was easy to do, and best of all, it was a win for me and UNC.” 

 For more information about giving through your RMD or your estate plan, visit unco.edu/give, call 970-351-2551, or email donor.relations@unco.edu

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