Oxford dean, wife underwriting $100,000 scholarship fund

COVINGTON - Oxford College Dean Stephen Bowen and his wife, Nancy, have started a new scholarship fund for students attending the local campus of Emory University. This scholarship provides sophomores with $100,000 in financial assistance.

"We at Oxford have been working to build a tradition of philanthropic support, and I recognized that it is important to lead by example," Bowen said in a press release. "Nancy and I have developed a particular appreciation for the students who begin their Emory careers in Oxford College. An endowment that will provide them with financial assistance through scholarships seemed most appropriate."

According to the press release from Oxford's Office of University Media Relations, alumni consistently report that the personal relationships they established with faculty was a critical ingredient in their Oxford educations.

However, not everyone can take advantage of those benefits due to the cost of attending school there. Oxford College costs about $41,500 a year.

Bowen said that 74 percent of Oxford students receive financial aid.

Bowen's background is as a biologist with a specialty in the ecology of fisheries. He was certified a fisheries biologist by the American Fisheries Society and has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the state of Michigan, the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, the United Nations and Agriculture Organization for his works.

Bowen served as assistant professor in 1978 at Michigan Technological University and was later promoted to department chair, then associate dean, then vice provost. He also served a six-month term as interim provost in 2000. That same year, he became Michigan Tech's vice provost for instruction and distance learning. He joined Oxford as dean in August 2005.