Former board chair Bowden dies
Henry L. Bowden Sr., who served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from
1957 to 1979, died Feb. 17 of heart failure at the age of 86. Bowden, whose
service on the board dates back to 1947, was present and responsible for
much of Emory's growth during the 1950s and '60s.
The integration of Emory was "the most significant thing" that
took place during his tenure, Bowden told The Atlanta Constitution
in 1979 on the eve of his retirement. Because the Georgia Constitution prohibited
educating blacks and whites together, the state threatened to take away
Emory's property tax exemption if the University admitted black students.
Bowden led the court battle to allow the admission of the first black undergraduate
students in 1963.
For his efforts, Bowden was given the Alexander Meiklejohn Award that same
year by the American Association of University Professors, which acknowledged
his defense of the faculty's right to speak out during the integration crisis
and his own courage in speaking and acting forthrightly on such a controversial
Bowden's beliefs regarding academic freedom were further put to the test
in 1965 when the "God is Dead" controversy swirled around then
associate professor of Bible and religion Thomas J.J. Altizer after an article
he wrote about the "death" of God-based theology appeared in the
The New York Times. Bowden defended Emory's independent stand in
the controversy as proper based on a university's role as a place for "ferment
As board chair, Bowden oversaw the building of the Woodruff Library, the
Dental School and the Nursing School. Signficantly, his longtime friend
Robert Woodruff along with his brother, George, donated the corpus of the
Emily and Ernest Woodruff Fund to Emory toward the end of Bowden's tenure.
Bowden entered Emory College in 1928. After three years of study, he was
admitted to the law school, from which he graduated in 1934. Bowden was
editor of The Emory Wheel as an undergraduate and president of the student
body in 1933.
His life outside of Emory included a more than 50-year partnership in the
law firm of Lokey & Bowden and the job of Atlanta city attorney from
1963 to 1976. He was chair of the state Judicial Selection Commission during
Jimmy Carter's term as governor and later was made chairman of the selection
committee for federal district judges in Georgia when Carter was president.
He is survived by a son, Henry L. Bowden Jr. '74L; two daughters, Mary Fidler
'64G and Anne T. Bowden; and three grandchildren.
Emory Report takes
a spring break
Emory Report will not be published next week (March 10) in observance
of Spring Break. The newspaper will resume weekly publication on March 17.
Issues and deadlines for the remainder of spring semester are:
Issue date Deadline
March 17 March 7
March 24 March 14
March 31 March 21
April 7 March 28
April 14 April 4
April 21 April 11
April 28 April 18
May 5 April 25
May 19* May 9
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